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
Hankering for a burger, I zipped by this place many times on my bicycle, only to find that they were closed. I decided to inquire within. A helpful voice on the other end of the line informed me that the Burger Garage should open sometime in July. In the meantime I will have to wait at their doorstep, drooling in silence.
Brothers Jim and Adam Pileski take their food expertise gained from working at the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse and The Palm and pour it all into our favorite borough. Their vision- to serve “the most delicious high quality burgers, fries, shakes…” I can’t wait to try them!
The Burger Garage 25-36 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101, Ph: (718) 392-0424 http://theburgergarage.com/home.html
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
I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Sweet Afton ever since they opened. As a general rule, any bar that offers outdoor seating and caters to the hipster crowd is often overflowing with praise, whether it’s warranted or not. I was in no hurry to try this place because I figured it would be exactly what I imagined it to be; a bunch of young scenesters sipping over priced microbrews and eating overpriced novelty foods (such as fried pickles) while referencing some obscure facts about the neighborhood or their record collection they bought for 50¢ at some garage sale upstate… Oh wait, that was me. But… am I wrong? Though a pleasant place to have a drink, Sweet Afton presents a typical hipster scene in a typical hipster setting, a sight that is becoming more popular in the neighborhood as the early onset of gentrification sets in. Sweet Afton has a substantial range of draft beers to choose from for an average price of about $6, including Guinness, Red Wagon IPA, Abita Amber, Palm, Chimay Triple, Kelso Nut Brown Lager and Ommegang Witte. They also have a surprise beer of the month and a few traditional cocktails and some house specials.
Aside from the great choice of drinks, I was excited to try the food, apparently it was voted the best bar food in Astoria. I ordered the grilled cheese, toasted on pullman bread (a fancy word for regular white bread) made with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions and served with pickles and whole grain mustard. The sandwich was tasty, but I could have ordered the same sandwich at the nearby diner made with artificial Kraft slices with a side of fries and it would have tasted just as good, for a fraction of the price. Next on my plate, fried pickles. I had eaten fried pickles once before, they didn’t do much for me. Personally, I’m not a fan of the fried pickle, but diners who favor the sour delicacy will find Sweet Afton’s pickles to be on the top of the pickle pedestal. A spicy crunchy pickle is nestled in the middle of a warm and fluffy outer breading. For just a few bucks ,you will receive an entire basket of these little critters. Aside from my harsh depiction of the place, overall I did enjoy the ambiance at Sweet Afton, although I was there before the after work crowd sauntered into the bar. It can get pretty noisy during the evening hours as they are often crowded. The service was extremely warm and friendly and is enough reason to make a return visit to try their overpriced burger. Sweet Afton has beers on tap and outdoor seating for summer drinking.
Sweet Afton 30-09 34th St Astoria, NY 718-777-2570
The bee beckons you in with a wave of his hand, and you just can’t help yourself. You are pulled into a crowd of hungry diners munching happily as they stare at you with vacant eyes. With some unexplainable force, the Filipino fast food chain on Roosevelt avenue reels you in- hook, line and sinker. Serving meals with names like “Jolly Crispy Fries” and “Chicken Joy” this place is bound to make even the saddest soul come out sporting a smile. The colorful menu seemed to speak to me as I perused every unusual item and meal combo they could offer. I spotted the 99¢ board and decided to order the Spam on a bun. I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into the tiny sandwich that tasted like ham nestled on a warm fluffy bun smeared wih mayonnaise. Also for ninety-nine cents on a bun are hotdogs, corn-beef, and egg. Jollibee is novelty fast-food at its merriest.
Jollibee– 62-29 Roosevelt Ave. Woodside, NY 11377 (718) 426-4445
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
A doughnut burger may not be the healthiest thing to eat after working out at the gym, or ever, but I was intrigued so I ordered one at the new halal eatery, Crave Shack in Astoria. This place is as cute as can be, think: 1950s diner meets the Jetsons. The staff is very friendly with an extra enthusiasm for their customers and their job, a hard-to-find trait in customer service these days. Situated on the busy Steinway Street, the place was bustling with hungry evening diners, including myself. The wall offers a back drop of the New York City skyline and colorful tiles to create a hip atmosphere for the red and white tables and chairs. I plopped myself in a booth and ordered a doughnut burger with bacon and cheese grilled on a glazed doughnut. Yes, a doughnut. Also with the dish were fries smothered in a special sauce. The burger was much tastier than I expected, with an interesting combination of salty and sweet all at once. Although I wasn’t crazy-bananas about the taste mixture ( I think I would have preferred a plain cake doughnut), it was definitely worth trying. The burger tasted fresh and seemingly prepared with herbs and spices although the portion was a little small. The fries were crispy on the outside with a fluffy center. With the fun vibe this place has, it seems great for an after-school diner hangout and a late night place to go for a quick pick-me-up. I like that the menu is limited to the basic burger and shake items with a few other distinctive features. Delivery available.
Crave Shack- Astoria 25-47 Steinway St 718-278-2323
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