This Weekend Eat and Drink in LIC Market- Now Open!

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Brunch, Burgers, LIC |

Looking for a new place to go for your weekend lunch or evening drinks? Head out to the new LIC Market, where the menu focuses on locally acquired fare and wine. Here is a sample menu of their offerings from July 30.  LIC Market will begin serving Saturday brunch in mid-August.

LIC Market– 21-52 44th Drive, LIC, NY

Breakfast (7am – 11am)

Greek Yogurt $4.00 
granola and honey

Market Pastries $1.75 
danish, croissant

black forest ham and gruyere croissant $3.50

Tortilla $4.00 
toasted baguette, baby greens, aioli

“Butter and Jam” $3.25 
toasted 7 grain or pecan cranberry bread

Omelet of the Day $6.00 
toasted baguette

Lunch (11am – 4pm)

Salad Market Cobb $11.00 
romaine, chicken, boiled egg, avocado, grape tomatoes, bacon, maytag blue cheese dressing

Roasted Chicken $10.00 
baby greens, grape tomatoes, french beans, roasted corn, roasted shallot vinaigrette

Soft Cooked Egg $9.00 
frisee, bacon, croutons, maytag blue cheese, pommery mustard vinaigrette

Sandwich Roasted Chicken $8.00 
souman bread, caramelized onions, provolone, arugula, roasted shallot dressing

Shredded Brisket $9.00 
brioche bun, red cabbage slaw

Slow Cooked Pork $8.00 
souman bread, gruyere, house cured pickles, pommery mustard dressing

Plates Roasted Chicken $11.00 
sweet peas and baby carrots

Slow Cooked Pork $10.00 
basmati and black beans

Omelet of the day $7.00 
toasted baguette, baby greens

Market Burger $9.00 
brioche bun, cheddar, sliced tomato, greens, aioli w/ potato salad

Sides Potato Salad $4.50 
Rice and Beans $4.50 
Wilted Greens $4.50

Drinks Boylan Sodas/Honest Teas/Bottled Water $1.75 
Market Iced Tea/Lemonade $2.50 
SerendipiTeas $1.50/$2.00 
Brewed Coffee $1.50/$2.00 
Cafe au Lait $1.75/$2.25 
Espresso $2.00/$2.50 
Macchiato $2.25/$2.75 
Café Late or Cappuccino $3.50/$4.00 
Iced Coffee $2.75 
Fresh Squeezed OJ $3.25

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Five Napkin Burger in Astoria – Long Island City

Posted on June 16, 2010. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Burgers, Cheap Dining, Diners, LIC, Outdoor Seating/Patio |

I was invited to a preview opening at Five Napkin Burger (formerly known as Cup Diner) in Astoria. In addition to meat burgers they also offer veggie burgers and sushi. Everything was absolutely delicious and the service was flawless and friendly. Traces of a meat packing factory were brought out in the restaurant’s decor, such as the ominous meat hooks and lone light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  This is a classy place to go for a burger or a larger social get together. They have a large oak bar, outdoor seating and a private party room for those special occasions. Here are some photos of the things I tasted- my favorite being the tempura pastrami with pickle… and of course the burger!

Five Napkin Burger 3501 36th Street, Long Island City – (718) 433-2727

tiny taco topped with pulled pork

sushi with shrimp

cilantro and onion infused burgers

lobster burgers

breaded pastrami and pickle on a toothpick

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Sanford’s Affordable Weekend Brunch in Astoria

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Brunch, Burgers, Cheap Dining | Tags: , , |

Elvis would have gone crazy for Sanford’s peanut butter banana pancakes. As he isn’t here to try them, I ate them in his honor. Usually packed on a weekend morning, this popular Astoria restaurant was once a humble diner rid of any lines or long waits. Now with a sleek makeover and a revived menu, the place is bustling with hungry patrons from the moment they open the doors. Sanford’s has been a community staple since 1922, but has recently experienced a surge in business following their renovation last year. Customers don’t seem to mind the 20 minute wait as they cram into the restaurant’s tiny entryway on a Saturday morning. The amiable staff and appetizing aromas that flow effortlessly from the kitchen leave no doubt in the diner’s mind that it is a well-run operation. Perusing the menu you will find classic dishes as well as a few inventive selections like the banana pecan whole wheat pancakes, crab cake benedict and the charity burger, of which a portion of the profits are donated to the Ronald Mc Donald House. The whole wheat pancakes are fluffy and rich, smothered in fresh bananas and crunchy pecans, while the more savory crab cake benedict is made with 100% real crab meat. A weekend meal wouldn’t be complete without your choice of cocktail with a free refill, compliments of the chef. At Sanford’s the $13 prix fix brunch allows you to choose from either champagne, wine, mimosa, bloody mary, or a bellini in addition to a free bottomless cup of coffee.  The atmosphere is hip and draws fellow diners of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, reflecting the essence of Queens life. Diners will find their plates graced with deliciously well-prepared food of generous proportions that will leave merely a dent in their wallets, providing enough cash leftover to ensure many repeat visits.

Sanford’s 30-13 Broadway Astoria, NY 11106 (718) 932-9569

Banana Pecan Pancakes

Crab Cake Benedict

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Gettin’ Baked in Astoria

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Cheap Dining | Tags: , , |

Kelly Choi likes La Papa, so naturally, I had to try it. Influenced by our neighbors from across the pond, jacket-potato eateries are finally starting to catch-on in New York. Appropriately situated across the street from Mount Sinai Hospital in Astoria, this little baked potato shop offers a world of fast and healthy eating. For about $6 you can decorate your spud with as many delicious toppings as your heart desires. From roasted peppers, olives, kosher franks, cheese, olive oil, mushrooms, broccoli, chili, corn… and the list is endless. You can beef it up with kosher franks for a protein fix- ok maybe not so healthy but it still beats fast food. You can also opt for the vegetarian choices if you are watching your diet. The potatoes are baked to a soft perfection and smeared with olive oil or butter, your choice. The root vegetables are quite large. Topped with a generous heaping of veggies, one serving is big enough to share. This little place also has the delicious Turkish lemonade, Uludag, and a decadent dark chocolate souffle pudding dessert. The service is nice and personable and free delivery. If you feel like eating more than a potato, check out the owners’ other restaurant, Mundo (but not on Wednesday).

La Papa Astoria 718-777-7879 25-13 30th Ave

fast food made healthy

sweet Turkish limonata

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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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Jackson Hole Brunch in Queens

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Brunch, Burgers, Cheap Dining, Diners, Jackson Heights | Tags: , , , , , |


7oz of Juicy Beef


The Fruits of Labor from the Open Kitchen

Famous for the steam grilled 7oz burger (that feels more like the 7lb burger) Jackson Hole Diner is a classic cliché of what makes a great diner. From the antique Pepsi Cola ads, and the red vinyl stools to the jukebox in the corner, it is a throw-back to the simpler days of poodle skirts and  bobby socks. Just like Happy Days, Jackson Hole was made in the seventies, but resembles the 1950s. No matter what time warp you are living in- the food is consistently tasty and the service is hospitable and timely at this old-fashioned roadside establishment. Made to look like an old train-car diner with an open-kitchen, you can perch yourself up to the bar with a hot coffee and watch your burger being prepared right before your eyes. There are about 27 different burger combinations to choose from- the Texas burger, topped with a fried egg, the pizza burger smothered in mozzarella and marinara sauce, the bacon burger and of course the classic burger- all ranging in prices $8.50-$14. The beef isn’t the only thing on the menu worth ordering. There is an extensive breakfast menu with hearty omelets and various pancake and french toast platters covered in heaping piles of fresh fruit. Despite this restaurant being a popular New York chain, it continues to impress patrons (like me) with quality comfort food and reliable service at the Queens location. I didn’t get the feeling I was eating a processed meal that just slid off the factory conveyer belt. The ingredients are markedly fresh and the food well made. Set far from the main strip, it’s a great place to take a Sunday stroll on a warm Autumn afternoon.

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Brooks 1890 Restaurant & Pub LIC

Posted on February 1, 2009. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Cheap Dining, LIC, Off the beaten path, Pubs |

100_0866Brooks (24-28 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101 (718) 937-1890) is a cozy restaurant and pub that serves comfort food  with a side of congeniality. The unaffected charm begins with the tin ceiling and radiates throughout the original polished oak interior. The wholesome menu features a modest selection of beers on tap and conventional entrees at affordable prices. The cajun pork-chops is an entree of seasoned meat and peppers piled high, soaked in a cajun sauce  and nestled next to a heap of fluffy white mashed potatoes. The home-made dish is tradition with a spicy twist. The hearty cheeseburger comes on a toasted bun with or without bacon and mushrooms and always with a crispy side of fries. Brooks serves generous helpings in a casual atmosphere where friendly locals gather for lunch or after work drinks and food. Reminiscent of a famous show where “everybody knows your name”, you get the feeling that patrons and waitstaff welcome the old and new faces just the same. Drawbacks are it’s early hours- only open until 8pm daily and they are closed on the weekends.

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Dorian Cafe Long Island City

Posted on September 23, 2008. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Cheap Dining, LIC |

Dorian Cafe ( 10-01 50th Ave 718-937-1120) seemingly resembles any other diner in New York. However, it’s when you start eating you notice that the quality surpasses any traditional diner experience by far. Dorian creates an outstanding dining experience- minus the trendy atmosphere or attitude that accompanies most surrounding eateries. Its humble decor includes nothing more than a checkered floor, tin ceiling and traditional style seating booths.  The selections are vast but not complicated. The food is simple but, in  most cases, extremely well prepared. Each visit contains an elegant touch that sets Dorian apart from the rest. Brunch is served with a mimosa, dinner is served with gourmet olive and onion rolls, and every meal is served with a friendly greeting from start to finish. Breakfast never falls short of a tasty entree at a reasonable price, offering standards like Greek omelets or more original choices like frittatas. The gigantic Mediterranean platter is filled with humus, vegetables, babaganoush, tahini sauce, tabouli salad, and falafel. The special du jour- sea scallops sauteed in garlic butter won’t melt in your mouth, but is sure to please. This is one restaurant where quality and quantity meet at a cut above average.

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