Archive for November, 2009

The Best Hot Chocolate in Astoria, LIC & Sunnyside

Posted on November 25, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Bakery, Coffee/Tea Shop, LIC, Woodside/Sunnyside | Tags: |

If there’s one thing I like more than the seasonal candy canes, holiday lights, and that dreadfully awful Christmas music blasting on Steinway Street, it’s a good hot chocolate. Every Winter I search the streets of Queens in quest for the perfect hot chocolate and here is what I found… so far

Sage General StoreLong Island City– This hot chocolate is pretty standard in taste, worth getting if you are in the area.

*Sweet Leaf – Long Island City– Known for the “best coffee in the world” they will also offer a hot drinking chocolate made from chocolate imported from Brooklyn… I haven’t tried this drink yet- as they are still waiting for the chocolate to be delivered. It sounds so good I had to post it, review pending.

Sugar & JoeSunnysideMalted hot chocolate made with Valrhona cocoa powder from France. This creative drink combines rich, dark chocolate with a sweet malted taste. Definitely worth trying.. again and again.

Himalayan Teahouse-Astoria– This unique tea and dumpling house offers a Chocolate Chai Latte. The smooth essence of chocolate marries the spicy taste of chai layered with creamy foam milk. This drink is a nice alternative to the traditional hot chocolate.

Side DoorAstoria– the proprietors of Bistro33 opened a cute cafe reminiscent of an old fashioned ice cream parlor- called the Side Door. It offers free wifi, panini, ice cream and hot drinks. They also make spicy hot chocolate infused with jalepeno and topped with whipped cream that soothes the burn of the pepper.

Il BambinoAstoria– The Nutella hot chocolate is possibly my favorite of all the hot chocolate drinks. A tall cup of steeped milk mixed with cocoa and a scoop of Nutella hazelnut spread makes a perfect combination of  chocolate nutty decadence.

Himalayan Teahouse Hot Chocolate Chai Latte

Side Door Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate

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Book Signing and Tree Trimming in Astoria

Posted on November 25, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Fashion, Great for Singles, Shopping | Tags: , , , |

Recover from your Thanksgiving stress and Black Friday blues with these fun events…

Start off your December in Queens with a Site booking signing, drinking, tree trimming in Astoria, and shopping…

KrisTees presents the first annual Shine 2009 , December 2, 5pm-10pm. An event where the spirit of fashion and the cheer of the season collide.

Site will host a Forking Fantastic book signing and holiday party December 3 6pm-9pm.

Sparrow features a Tree Trimming Party December 6th 6pm-9pm. Pick up a unique ornament at Site and throw it on the tree at Sparrow.

Shine 2009 at KrisTees

Site's (cute) Holiday Ornament

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Local718 Queens Neighborhood Update 11/23/09

Posted on November 23, 2009. Filed under: Local718 Neighborhood Update | Tags: , , , , , |

Greetings- There is a lot happening in Queens and I want to share  some exciting neighborhood news with you. Thanksgiving is almost here- you can check out the Local718 post on various neighborhood restaurants that have our holiday stamp of approval- top on the list is Adam’s favorite- Stove in Astoria. Unfortunately they’ve been procrastinating on posting a holiday menu on their site- but you can call for the details and to make a reservation. I have also posted a new video exploiting some of my favorite cupcakes in Sunnyside at Sugar & Joe Cafe. Beware- video may induce extreme sugar craving! New businesses are popping up all over Astoria- the Astoria Farmers Market on Ditmars is practically up and running. Havana Express Cafe/Bakery is now open in Astoria at 21-37 31st Street, they have some bar stools so you can sit while enjoying baked goods including sweet pastries and breads. In Flushing there is a new Korean/Chinese mega grocery store GW Supermarket– aka Great Wall Supermarket. It is filled with live seafood, candy, exotic fruits and teas. An old staple Sanford’s in Astoria is one of my favorite places to get food. Try their Charity Burger– a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. And it tastes good too! Astoria’s Il Bambino is constantly educating us about their meat and cheese, almost as much as they boast about the taste of the food. Soon they will feature a new cheese program where there will be new cheese pairings every week. We can’t wait!

The cold weather intrudes in on our short afternoons brrrr…but  luckily I got to take a nice ride on the bike this weekend and got some great Korean food in Flushing before the sun set- (reviews coming soon) I got to tour around the neighborhood a while  and noticed that the colorful leaves covering the ground at the Flushing Friends Meeting House, one of the oldest Quaker meeting houses left in the city,  made for some autumn-centric photo ops. Thanks for reading and enjoy!  -C Smith

GW Market "Living" Seafood

Tombstone at the Friends Meeting House

Sanfords Charity Burger

Havana Express in Astoria is now Open

Havana Express in Astoria is now Open

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Sugar & Joe Hits the Sweet Spot

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: Bakery, Brunch, Cheap Dining, Coffee/Tea Shop, IceCream/Ice/Gelato/Fro-Yo, Local718 Video Shorts, RIP, Woodside/Sunnyside | Tags: , |

Local718 is sad to say that Sugar and Joe’s has closed . RIP

Baking out of a tiny kitchen in Sunnyside, Sugar & Joe’s is serving up sweets of all kinds. This cafe is run by a mother and daughter team with the help of their baking assistant. See what inspires Christine and her daughter Emma to make such mouth watering delights day in and day out. (For those who are too tired to bake, ask about their Holiday special orders)

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Thanksgiving in Queens

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, LIC, Woodside/Sunnyside | Tags: |

Decisions on where to eat that turkey plague us every November. Here are a few solutions for Thanksgiving in Queens, whether you are eating or giving the gift of food to others…

Food Bank New York will tell you where in Queens (or anywhere in NYC) you can donate your turkey and stuffing or get fixin’s for a meal if you can’t afford any of the options below.

Stove in Astoria offers hearty cooking in a cozy atmosphere. Check out their Thanksgiving menu for a hot home-cooked meal.

Sanfords in Astoria Thanksgiving dinner begins at 4pm and serves up Turkey, Rack of lamb, filet minon and Salmon entrees along with appetizers and desserts.

Sidetracks in Sunnyside features a delicious pris-fix menu. Here are just a few main entree choices- Turkey, Rack of Lamb and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Donovan’s Pub in Woodside will be open and serving a special menu with Turkey, Leg of Lamb and Roasted Ham as a few choices.

Dorian Cafe in Long Island City will be hosting a homestyle holiday selection with Turkey, Prime Rib and Fish entrees with Chesnut Stuffing, soup, salad dessert all for an affordable $20.95

MojaveAstoria’s popular tex-mex restaurant is serving up Thanksgiving with a twist. Get a complimentary cocktail and a pris-fix entree for $29.95. Some choices include Cider Brined Turkey, Pumpkin seed-crusted Salmon and Pecan Pie for dessert.

Mix in Astoria will also be open during the holiday serving their dinner menu along with a guest appearance from American Idol finalist, Anthony Fedorov as he  joins Mix Thanksgiving Eve tribute party.

Les Bistro Minots in Astoria will feature a Thanksgiving menu for $24.95

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Stitch & Bitch Brunch in Astoria

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Brunch, Fashion, Gay Bars, Great for Singles, Off the beaten path | Tags: , , , |

Busy knitting that holiday scarf for Grandma? Want to make your doggie coat in some good company? Checkout Saturday brunch at Mix in Astoria where like minded knitters gather to stitch and bitch…

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Dance, Play, and Skate in Queens

Posted on November 18, 2009. Filed under: Art, Astoria, Entertainment, Free, Great for Singles, LIC, Music & Dance, Outdoor Recreation, Theater, Woodside/Sunnyside |

There’s a lot going on this weekend in Queens. Here are some cool events to check out.

Sunnyside– Thalia Spanish Theater (41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside) presents A MUSIC & DANCE extravaganza- The best of the Mestizo Dance Companywith Grupo Musical Experience the colorful diversity and beauty of the music & dance of  Colombia,  Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Gorgeous costumes, dazzling dance, sizzling music!


Long Island City- The City Ice Pavilion – Queens only roof-top ice skating rink is having the season’s grand opening reception in Long Island City- 47-32 32nd Place #7 train – 33rd Street

Saturday, November 21, 2009-12pm – 3:30pm – Grand Opening Party, 3:30pm- 3:45pm – Ice Theater of New York special performance 7:00pm – 9:30pm – Free skating & skate rentals & Sunday, November 22 12pm – 2pm – Free skating & skate rentals


Woodside– Topaz Arts and Gallery in Woodside will kick-off this season’s opening reception with the 9th annual open house on Saturday November 21st 4pm-8pm See the performance Cabaret Solotaire featuring solos by talented dance choreographers, Molissa Fenley, Nicholas Leichter and Paz Tanjauquio. Art work includes Footnotes For Revelation- book cuttings by Roger Rothstein.

Fall in Astoria Park

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Drink for a Cause at Hell Gate Social

Posted on November 18, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Music & Dance |

Stomp & Howl Movement presents a benefit  for children suffering from neglect and abuse. Join them at Hell Gate Social.

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