Archive for January, 2010

Krave Astoria Cafe and Grill

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Burgers, Cheap Dining, Diners |

Greek Omelet and Home Fries

Krave (45-01 Ditmars 718.204.7711) Despite the name of this brand new eatery, it really wasn’t what I was craving at all. Their extensive menu and unlimited mimosas for Saturday and Sunday brunch were enticing, yet the skeptic in me warned that all free things come with a price. I stopped into this place two days after they opened, here is a recap of the experience. Although the decor is nice, much like the food, there is nothing that particularly stands out to make Krave unique. The menu is similar to that of a scaled-down diner. There are many breakfast, sandwich, wrap, salad and burger plates to choose from at inexpensive prices (items average about $7-$10). The brunch menu (that they advertise on the main menu) is not available for another week, so one Spanish omelet and one Greek omelet were ordered from the standard breakfast menu. The plates arrived nice and hot, but the food on the plate was luke warm at best. The proportions were relatively small and mediocre in taste. Although they serve a sizable cup of gourmet Illy coffee, watch your wallet if you are expecting a  bottomless cup. At Krave you will be charged for each cup of coffee, thus adding a few extra dollars onto your tab. Overall the service was friendly, but a little scattered. Needless to say, Krave has room for improvement. The experience wasn’t completely negative, but first impressions are difficult to erase. See for yourself what their brunch or dinner has to offer and let me know how you like it!

*Thanks for all your comments! I am tempted to give this place another try, as so much of the feedback is positive. I will let you know when I go there again!

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Astoria Music and Arts Benefit for Haiti

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, LIC, Music & Dance |

Astoria Music and Arts and Stomp & Howl Movement have come together to bring us two days of music in the Far Out festival Jan 29th & Jan 30th , donations for Haiti relief.

From the AMA website-

Haitian relief on Friday & Saturday –

Friday, January 29th Shillelagh
$5 cover with James Call, Illimanjaro, Mike Benedetto (from RATTRAP BUMPKIN) & Deep Sound Diver

Saturday, January 30th Far Out Festival Part II The Quays
no cover with The Jamies and Bliminal (the revival!!)

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Week days don’t have to be work days

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, LIC, Local718 Neighborhood Update |

Here are some happenings around town. A little diversion from the weekly grind…

The Jamies (Jamie Stellini The Weekly Song) will be playing a few sets at the Sycamore in Brooklyn Thursday Jan 28th. Check out Astoria’s singer/song writer as she soldiers through her halfway point of 52 songs.

Mix – Astoria’s new gay friendly bar is hosting karaoke night Wednesday Jan 27th. Get in touch with your inner Whitney Houston and belt a few out while drinking some fabulous martinis!

Side Door (next door to and from Bistro33 ) has changed their hours to 10am-6pm For those who are around during the afternoon- stop by for a delicious sandwich and a spicy hot chocolate.

The Crave Shack – (Astoria 25-47 Steinway Street) will soon be opening and according to the awning they will be serving burgers and shakes.

Sage General Store–  (Long Island City) is hosting a new series of cooking classes. Tired of those tv dinners? Sign up! Tuesday, February 2 The Basics—Risotto & Tuesday, February 9 The Basics—a sexy valentine dinner

Cafe BarWill be closing temporarily. Join them as they celebrate one last Friday before they renovate. Here are the details from their site- On Friday, January 29 @ 8pm we are throwing a party in celebration of 13 years of Cafe Bar! The Cafe will close at the end of the month for much needed renovations and will reopen approximately a month later with a fresh interior and exterior design and lots of new improvements on the menu and much better service! Let’s enjoy this special evening together with great music, drinks and complimentary appetizers, courtesy of Chef Michael!

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Edible LIC Extravaganza

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, LIC, Local718 Neighborhood Update |

Lhaus and Edible Queens teamed up with local businesses to host the first annual Winter Warm-up food drive benefiting the Hour Children Food Pantry. It was a chance to meet fellow neighbors and get a brief tour of one of LIC’s hottest new digs… all while stuffing your face with your favorite local fare. Here is a recap of the day’s events that took place in the lobby of LHaus.

A Room With a View at LHaus

Pasta e Fagioli & LHaus Patio

Pasta e Fagioli & LHaus Patio

Beginning the event with a tour of LHaus, I got a peek at the LIC lap o’ luxury. These spacious 1, 2 & 3 bedroom condos seemed fit for a king (note the utensils varnished in gold) I was impressed with the sleek baths deep enough to sink the Titanic in and the ultra sound-proof window panes. For a more in depth tour, click here. LHaus also sells storage space and private terraces. The next move was outdoors to the meticulously manicured garden where guests mingled and I gobbled up a local feast of Pasta e Fagioli from LIC’s Italian eatery, Testaccio.

Sweet Leaf Goes to (Stump) Town

The third stop entailed a caffeine fix. For those who were in need of a pick-me-up Sweet Leaf Cafe gave away samples of the long-time favorite Stumptown coffee.

Searching for some more savories to munch, I spotted some slices of french bread doused in sweet fig mostarda wth goat cheese and veggies topped with olive tapenade, products of the new LIC Market, that is to open this Spring. This locally inspired cafe will serve as a market and wine bar featuring breakfast, lunch and brunch.

LIC Marketeers

After devouring my way through the LHaus lobby, I noticed a pair of very talented women sitting gleefully among the crowd. I made my way over to meet Zora O’Neill and Tamara Reynolds the authors of Forking Fantastic , Queens’s quintessential guide to throwing dinner parties. It was a great afternoon to share with fellow residents and it was all for a good cause. Food is once again the ultimate celebrity guest that brings Queens together!

Tamara Reynolds & Zora O'Neill

Tamara Reynolds & Zora O'Neill

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N Train Gossip Local718 Neighborhood Update

Posted on January 22, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Local718 Neighborhood Update | Tags: |

Pete Malachowsky-N Train Gossip- photo from Daily News

Normally I review restaurants or post events. Well here is a review you might find useful of one of our neighbors. This man thought he was being clever to create a Twitter account based on humilating our fellow N train riders. Well- here he is, take a good hard look at this face and make sure he doesn’t capture you on his cell phone camera. You can find his site to see if your photo is on it by googling N Train Gossip or his name. Here is a Daily News story about it. He claims he takes photos of only inconsiderate people. If that’s the case, perhaps he should try snapping a photo of himself and posting it on his site with a caption reading something like- overweight, balding guy snaps humiliating shots of unassuming N train riders.

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Lady Gaga in Astoria, Tango in Sunnyside and free food in LIC

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, Free, LIC, Music & Dance, Theater, Woodside/Sunnyside |

Queens Winter Wonderland

Don’t you just hate it when people say things like…. I can’t believe it’s January already! Well, as a matter of fact I can believe it! It’s downright freezing, I’ve gained 50lb of post holiday blubber and last month was December.  So no, it is really not that hard to believe at all. What’s hard to believe is that there are still people who would rather go to Manahttan for entertainment on the weekend when there are so many things to do in Queens. Let’s see if I can coerce you to settle into your favorite neighborhood this month with a few activities…

Mix Astoria– Kicks off the weekend Friday night Jan 15th with  a pre-concert Lady Gaga Party. Dress to Distress in your Lady Gaga Best- enter to win tickets to see Lady Gaga perform at Radio City Music Hall.

PS1 -Long Island City Presents Saturday Sessions– “Join us for our new weekly version of Saturday Sessions tomorrow, January 16 from 4-6PM. Edwin Ramoran, from Newark’s Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, has curated a special line-up of performers ($10 Outfit, Neko Legacy International, Jeffrey Ralston, Kenya (Robinson), and Jacolby Satterwhite) from the art, club, and vogue ballroom scenes who work in music and sound, performance, sculpture, and video. The performances will take place in the Third Floor Main Gallery within the 100 Years exhibition. WERRRQ it!”

Waltz Astoria This weekend through Jan 16th Astoria’s favorite open mic coffee shop is having their Superstar Comic NYC. Join the fun as locals gather to vote for the… last comic standing.

Lhaus & Edible Queens Food Drive– 12-3 January 24th marks the first annual Winter Warm up. Bring a can of food to donate while you munch on local goodies from various Queens restaurants. Guest appearances by authors of Forking Fantastic and Dave Cook- the Eating-in-Translation guy will be there to guide your culinary experience. Don’t forget to RSVP

Thalia Spanish Theater– Sunnyside It takes two to tango. Watch “Borges Y Piazzola Tango” the World Premier Tango Musical- starts January 29th with original musical arrangements by 2007 Latin Grammy Winner RAUL JAURENA.

Green Space– Long Island City- Presents Take Root with choreography Dana Salisbury Jan 23rd 8:30pm. Enter the studio in a blindfold to experience dance on a whole new level. Allow your senses to guide you and take over your sight. See for yourself what magical transformations can happen as you let your mind and body lead an effort through sound, touch, vibration, and air currents.

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Tortilleria Nixtamal Naturally A-maize-ing

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Cuisine in Queens, Flushing/Corona, Mexican/South American | Tags: , |

Much too often New Yorkers devour their beloved Mexican fare with a grain of salt.  Skeptical palates graze the city landscape for that perfectly authentic tortilla, taco, tostada… thus creating the never-ending debate of what is real Mexican food versus what is merely fodder. Tortilleria Nixtamal will give these folks yet another matter to chew on. Situated on a quiet street in Corona Queens set far from the noisy Roosevelt Ave, where Mexican food abounds, this small tortilleria is popular among converse clad diners who enjoy watching the tortilla production in process. The red and yellow picnic tables are reminiscent of Mexican street-food stands. The menu is brief, but exhibits well prepared, inexpensive meals like tamales, tacos, tostadas and soups. They even have a recession special– tamale, pozole and soda for $6. The Chile Relleno with Tuna is a tasty roasted jalepano pepper stuffed with albacore tuna, delicately arranged to resemble a butterfly on your plate. The food here is good and the service is friendly. They offer tours of the tortilla production and there is even a small factory in the basement where they grind the maize. The restaurant touts healthy and natural tortilla preparation. Nixtamal is an Aztec word to describe corn that has been partially cooked and treated with calcium hydroxide (otherwise known as cal or lime). Nixtamal can be used for grinding into masa (or corn dough) used for tortillas (finely ground) or tamales (coarsely ground), or can be kept in its whole form to make hominy, typically used in pozole soup. (courtesy Tortilla Nixtamal website)

Tortilleria Nixtamal (104-05 47th Ave Corona 718-699-2434) is a worthy field-trip for those adventurous borough dwellers and Manhattanites alike. Here you can get a glimpse into how your food is made from the crushing of the corn to the mixing of the dough. As for its authenticity, well we will have to just leave that topic to the corn pundits. Meanwhile I’ll savor my tasty plate for what it is.

Chile Relleno with Tuna

The Daily Grind

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Incredible, Edible Queens Winter Warm-Up Food Drive & Tasting

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Entertainment, Free, LIC | Tags: |

What do you get when you combine a handful of great food, one fantastic borough and a pinch of love? A delicious tasting event that will kick-off a month long food drive. LHaus and Edible Queens have teamed-up to create the first annual Winter Warm-Up January 24 12-3pm. Stop by Long Island City’s new condominium space to grab some free delectable bites from local restaurants and meet local chefs and authors of Forking Fantastic. A few of the community offerings include provisions from Sage General Store, Sweetleaf Tea, JJ’s Asian Bistro and more. Bring your appetite and a can of food to donate to LIC’s Hour Children Food Pantry. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Winter Issue of Edible Queens- where you will find tasty recipes, a how-to on making the perfect cup of joe, and a market tour with Lydia Bastianich.

You can kindly RSVP at

Edible Queens the Winter Issue

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