It’s time for our weekly Queens food blog roundup, where we show you what the local food press has in store. For this meal, we’ve selected an Turkish cuisine, half-shell treats, homestyle meatballs, and cookies. Please have a seat and your server will be right with you.
It’s time to plan for brunch again. Although the food choice is important, sometimes the drinks need to take center stage. The Mimosa is a classic. The Bellini is refreshing. The Bloody Mary is an excellent pick-me-up after a long night. This weekend, try picking your location based on a new cocktail like one of the ones from a couple of Astoria’s most popular brunch locales.
It’s happy hour during Sweet Afton’s brunch, so it’s the perfect time to try out one of their refreshing cocktails. Their list of brunch cocktails includes the Witte Screwdriver, which starts with Ommegang Witte and adds Citron Vodka, OJ, lemon, and ginger syrup.
Queens Kickshaw, Astoria’s go-to place for grilled cheese, also offers a delicious brunch, with a variety of slight variations on traditional brunch cocktails. The restaurant prides itself on its beer, mead, and cider list, so try its Mimosa substitute: Agua de Astoria, a sparkling cider with fresh squeezed OJ.
What is your favorite brunch cocktail? Do you prefer a classic drink or do you prefer one with a modern twist?
It’s time for our weekly Queens food blog roundup, where we show you what the local food press has in store. For this meal, we have selected a pair of international dishes, a home-grown favorite, and a simple, unique dessert. Please have a seat and your server will be right with you.
“What’s a-matter with you?” Robert De Niro asks a money-flashing wiseguy in the famous Goodfellas scene shot at Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven. “Are you stupid or what?”
Cadwallader R. Coldon certainly wasn’t.
He is the improbably named, politically connected racetrack manager who founded Neir’s Tavern in 1829. Neir’s has been in business almost without interruption ever since, making it arguably the oldest bar in Queens and one of the oldest in all of New York.
Photo Courtesy of Queens Ledger
De Niro’s character Jimmy Conway didn’t want fancy visitors, and neither do Neir’s regulars. The narrow, low-ceilinged bar is a no-frills trip down memory lane. It has cheap drinks ($3 Budweiser; $4 Jameson’s) and live music from local acts a few nights per week. Well-worn armchairs make do for décor; a 2009 renovation restored the original mahogany bar and some fixtures.
There’s excitement in beginnings, especially if they happen around Christmas. The Queens Young Professionals broke onto the scene with an inaugural networking event at Austin’s Steak and Ale House in Kew Gardens in the fall. Tonight, December 19, QYP holds its first ever holiday party at Bud’s Ale House in Astoria/Long Island City. All are invited to this supreme networking event, which will feature an unlimited buffet, specially priced drinks and raffles items such as tickets to the Laughing Devil Comedy Club. Spearheaded by the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the group, which is free to join, provides resources and support to members as they invigorate the borough’s business and civic life for years to come.
Consider it the All Star Game for Queens food entrepreneurs. Today, December 15, Quaint Restaurant will host a Pop-Up Artisan Market featuring products made by local businesses. Expect Guyanese-influenced Chicken Curry with Roti and Spiced Banana Cake, thanks to Veda’s Catering. The Chocolate Swirl will offer edible Christmas baskets with Cake Pops, Truffles, Mini Cupcakes and Boxed Chocolates. Another local favorite, Mel’s Melting Pot, will have traditional Quebecois chutneys, such a Sweet Fruit Ketchup and its spicy cousin. Tamarind balls, Caribbean spicy cheese, gourmet ice cream and chipotle salsa will also be among the many items on sale.
Pop-Up Artisan Market
46-10 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside
Saturday, December 15
noon – 4pm | Free to enter
We were happy to learn that SingleCut Beersmiths is opening their tap room for the first time on Saturday, December 8! They’ll be there from 12-6pm, ready for you to check it out and enjoy some of their locally-made brews. They are planning on having tastes available of their PNW Mahogany Ale, and hopefully their 19-33 Lagrrr, if it’s done in time.
New Yorkers are not unfamiliar with arepas, whether they’re the beyond delicious discs created by the Arepa Lady (we enjoyed her amazing arepas at Viva La Comida! last summer) or the Venezuelan stuffed arepas at Astoria’s Arepa Cafe, or face it – even the ones in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket (we like the cheese ones) are tasty in a pinch. Over on Irving Street near Troutman in Bushwick – just a block from the Jefferson L stop and three blocks from the Ridgewood-Bushwick border (only a couple of blocks from Bushwick Five Points, too) – is Arepera Guacuco.
Image source: The Queens Kickshaw – Layered Potato Cake
This week we had the pleasure of trying out some of the new brunch items at The Queens Kickshaw, a much-beloved, newer Astoria restaurant known for its expertly-made grilled cheese sandwiches, delicious coffee, and extensive craft beer selection. Brunch starts today, Saturday November 24, and will be served on the weekends and holidays between 9am and 4pm. Their brunch items include plenty of eggs, as well as french toast, and a beet salad.
On to the food! First, is the french toast – it’s made with brioche bread, and topped with a hard cider pear compote and a spicy frico, which is a cheese crisp made with a few different cheeses and chili. The french toast has a wonderful custardy texture – something that is hard to find in NYC, to be honest.
On 31st Avenue, just west of 31st Street, lies Cafe Boulis, a little cafe that serves a variety of Greek pastries – bougatsa, glaktaboureko, spinach pies, honey soaked cakes, and a variety of other things. Their loukoumades – a kind of deep fried dough with origins in Greece – are ridiculously good – so light and airy and easy to eat, they really separate themselves from the loukoumades found elsewhere around Astoria.