Tag Archives: Food

Woodside duo creates Instagram account about local eateries

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

These two have the inside scoop on the tasty side of Queens.

Woodside residents Ashley Copperstone and Brian Geraghty, both 23, created the Instagram account QueensEats together to highlight the hidden gems of small food businesses in Queens.

The page started in February of 2015, and the regular posts feature mouth-watering close-ups of every type of cuisine offered in the “World’s Borough,” along with information on where they can be found.

Copperstone and Geraghty say that many of their favorite restaurants are small operations that cannot afford to pay for marketing to build a strong customer base in the community. They use the blog to spread the word about great places that they want to stay in business.

“We know so many places in this borough that need word-of-mouth support,” Geraghty said. “And it costs us nothing to do that.”

Although they have garnered a considerable following on Instagram, the two behind QueensEats use their voice and growing influence to spread only positive reviews. They keep negative criticism to themselves, and disapprove of negativity which they say is pervasive in many restaurant review outlets.

“People will only really say something when they have something bad to say,” Geraghty said. “We are ardently opposed to that.”

Following the success of their Instagram account, Copperstone and Geraghty have teamed up with fellow blogger Ashley Dean of The Queen of Astoria to host regular supper clubs and happy hour events.

These outings work to take people out of their comfort zone to try new food, and can attract anywhere from 20 to 100 people. The next one planned is a Halloween happy hour at Rockaway Brewery in Long Island City.

While Internet fame might be a dream come true to most bloggers, the QueensEats foodies do not earn any money from their photo project and don’t intend to work on it as anything more than a hobby.

Both are passionate about their current jobs and intend to continue pursuing work in their respective fields. Copperstone works as a children’s special educator and Geraghty is a lab assistant at New York Presbyterian Hospital and is hoping to attend medical school.

“We love doing QueensEats; it’s super fun, we love the people we meet and the places we get to go,” said Copperstone. “But I love my job.”

A photo posted by QueensEats (@queenseats) on

A photo posted by QueensEats (@queenseats) on

A photo posted by QueensEats (@queenseats) on

A photo posted by QueensEats (@queenseats) on


Queens vendors to compete at the 11th annual Vendy Awards

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy the Vendy Awards

The competition is heating up as sidewalk chefs from all across the city vie to win one of five different categories at the 11th annual Vendy Awards, and several Queens vendors will be looking to take home top honors.

Over 25 vendors will be showcasing their foods and drinks on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Governor’s Island during New York City’s premier street food competition.

The categories the vendors will be competing in at the Vendy Awards are the Vendy Cup/People’s Choice, which is the grand prize; the Rookie of the Year, the best of 2015 new food carts and trucks; Best of Market, which is the best from all the markets around the city; Best of Dessert, the best sweet tastes from the city’s street vendors; and a new category for this year, Best of Street Drinks – celebrating everyone’s favorite drink vendor.

Competing in the Vendy Cup category is Elpida Vasiliadis with her Souvlaki Lady’s Greek food cart. For a quarter of a century, the Souvlaki Lady has served hungry customers on the corner of 33rd Street and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria. Residents of Queens and beyond can’t stop coming back for an authentic taste of Greece.

Souvlaki Lady image1

Fighting to be this year’s Street Drinks champion is Astoria’s Tea and Milk. Tea and Milk was started by a three longtime friends who wanted to create the perfect bubble tea.

Their ingredients are all natural and the drinks do not contain any powdered teas or concentrates. Tea and Milk eventually expanded into a variety of teas and serve over 15 different tea beverages including roasted oolong, hibiscus flower peach and taro milk tea.

Tea And Milk

The Best Market Vendor category features Karl’s Balls and Burmese Bites.

Karl’s Balls, a new school takoyaki stand, has been making quite a stir since its recent debut at the Queens International Night Market and LIC Flea.

After being featured in a food film documentary about takoyaki called “Tako NY,” Karl’s Balls has taken pride in putting their unique spin on this internationally known dish.


Burmese Bites has been drawing crowds for their Burmese food at Queens International Night Market and other markets around the city. Burmese Bites is known for their palatas — a hand-stretched thin pancake — as well as Shwe Taung Kaukswe, which is a noodle salad, vegetable fritters and shaved ice.

To purchase tickets to be a part of this delicious event, visit the Vendy Awards website.


Firefighters and chefs compete in Kew Gardens culinary competition

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Atria Kew Gardens


Atria Kew Gardens, a senior living facility in Kew Gardens, hosted a Culinary Competition Cook-Off on July 29 along with members of the Fire Department in celebration of National Culinary Arts Month.

Barry McWilliams, Richard Nerko and  Martin Vanschil, all firefighters and firehouse chefs from the Forest Hills fire station (Engine Co. 305 and Ladder Co. 151), competed against Atria Kew Gardens’ Director of Culinary Services Amanda Ciniglio and Chef Kevin Hernandez.

A crowd of Atria residents watched the competition and eagerly sampled each of the four appetizers the two teams made. The firefighters prepared guacamole, a hot spinach artichoke dip, salmon mousse on crackers and Moroccan carrot and beet salad. The Atria team also served guacamole, as well as salmon mousse on toast, a cold spinach artichoke dip and lemon ricotta with beet.

The Atria team won the cook-off — and a trophy — by a slim margin.

“They were very worthy competitors,” Ciniglio said. “They were very into their dishes. They took it very seriously, which was very nice. They really took pride in their food. They were so engaging with the residents, and the residents were so happy to have them. They were very good with them. The interactions were very good.”

In addition to the cook-off, Atria will also be celebrating National Culinary Arts Month by preparing recipes for the residents provided by the residents themselves.

As a token of appreciation for the firefighters’ visit and participation, the Atria Kew Gardens culinary team will be serving lunch and dinner at the firehouse during the following week, including a pork crown roast.


Flushing Town Hall to host food and wine tasting event on Aug. 1

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Flushing Town Hall


Flushing Town Hall will play host to a farm-to-festival food and wine tasting event, The Catskills Comes to Queens, on Saturday, Aug. 1, starting at 6 p.m.

The night will feature an all-star lineup of 20 chefs from the Catskills, Queens and the greater New York City area, including Hugue Dufour of M. Wells in Long Island City; Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery in the East Village; Ed Cotton of Sotto 13 in the West Village; and Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine in Bushwick.

The festival will showcase and celebrate the agricultural bounty of the Catskills, with plenty of grass-fed beef, heritage pork, farm-fresh produce and more. Brewers, vintners and cider makers from the region will be at the event as well to pour and serve their wares to guests.

Some of the items on the menu for this event are gigantic tagine of lamb (Hugue Dufour, M. Wells Steakhouse), crispy beef tripe with Sichuan peppercorn and jalapeno (Landhaus), maple cured pork belly with sour cream grits and red pepper jelly (Natty Felder, The Astor Room), and braised short rib with tamarind and fruit chutney (Alfonso Zhicay, Casa del Chef Bistro). Beers from Keegan Ales and Roscoe Brewing, as well as Awestruck Ciders, will be poured.

Tickets for the event are $95 for the public and $76 for Flushing Town Hall members.


Gastropub and beer bar is newest concession stand at Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Randolph Group and Entertainment Fusion Group


Mets fans wanted it, and now they’ve got it — after winning the second annual Citi Call-Ups Program, Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and beer bar, will be joining the culinary lineup at Citi Field starting July 23 during the Mets’ first home game after the All-Star break.

The new concession stand will be offering the jerk chicken po’boy, a new take on a traditional southern sandwich crafted just for Citi Field by Randolph Executive Chef Masterful Davis. The stand will also serve Randolph’s collaboration beer, brewed by LIC Beer Project and specially created to go with the sandwich.

The stand will be located on the outfield concourse, near the Shake Shack and Two Boots Pizza stands, and will be open during home games for the rest of the 2015 Mets season.

“We envision a fan at the ballpark holding the jerk chicken po’boy in one hand and a cold beer in the other. It just fit,” said Dave Plate, co-founder and Partner of Randolph Group.

For the second year in a row and in an effort to bring New York’s favorite flavors to Citi Field, Citi nominated four New York City eateries for the Citi Call-Ups Program that fans could vote for in online and in-stadium polls. This year, Randolph Beer beat out Crepes & Delices, Bagel Stuffins by Bantam Bagels, and Zengo.

Since 2007, Randolph Group has aimed to satisfy a wide variety of palates with three distinct locations throughout New York City: Randolph at Broome, a cocktail dive and café; Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and craft beer bar; and Randolph Brooklyn, an eclectic garage bar and restaurant.

“We see Randolph as a New York City institution that has been serving quality cocktails, craft beer, southern soul food and providing an authentic Manhattan vibe for over eight years,” said Hari Kalyan, co-founder and partner of Randolph Group. “We are very excited that the New York fans chose Randolph Beer to become part of Citi Field, another authentic New York institution.”


Queens Taste 2015 satisfies appetite of hundreds

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Here’s to another year of fun and fancy foods.

The Queens Economic Development Corporation’s 13th annual Queens Taste festival drew attendees from the whole city Tuesday to sample some of the borough’s most diverse and delectable dishes and drinks.

The New York Hall of Science hosted a total of 67 vendors providing every imaginable flavor to attendees, who jumped from crunchy, creamy, spicy and salty, and from bite to bite. Live Afro-Latin jazz music drifted over the crowd as food from 20 different countries was eaten, a considerable growth since the event’s first year of only 12 vendors.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything, which, to me, is the beauty of Queens: its diversity,” said Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism for the QEDC, which works to create jobs by promoting tourism and business development. “And it’s not just diverse people; we also have diverse cuisine.”

Local eateries had to keep up a quick pace to satisfy the appetite of the 650 guests. Many of the booths featured chefs creating fresh dishes from raw ingredients as if by magic, flipping burgers, frying chicken and slicing beef tenderloin for passersby to admire. With so many options available, anyone lucky enough to attend left the night with a very full stomach.

“It was full. There were a lot of people,” said Christina Nastasi, pastry chef at Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe in Ridgewood. “I totally finished everything. I had 500 [desserts], and it’s gone an hour before the event is even finished.”

For many restaurateurs, the event was an opportunity to reach out to new audiences who had not yet tried their styles of cuisine. Luccas Leite of Beija Flor, a family-owned Brazilian eatery in Long Island City, said that the event was a chance to introduce people to the culture of the South American nation, which can also be experienced as a total package in live music performances at the restaurant.

“Brazilian food isn’t very popular but we’re very happy to be able to expose people to not only the food but a couple of drinks too,” Leite said.

While guests may have had their head spinning because of all the excitement surrounding the event, most knew which flavors stood out as their favorites.

“I really like spicy food,” said Sarah Kam, who said that one of her favorite flavors was the Tango Chili hot sauce, a tangy and salty Central-American-born condiment with a hint of lime. Kam also enjoyed a cocktail made with fresh cucumber, celery and Queens Courage gin from Astoria Distilling Company.

Craig Tamamoto said that while he enjoyed being able to taste the more unusual culinary fare at the festival, his favorite flavor was the classic burger from Bareburger, which sells organic and gourmet hamburgers in Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills and LIC.

“It had a bacon jam on top of it, which I’d never heard of before,” said Tamamoto.

Perhaps the only person in the room who did not eat anything was QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein. He said that he enjoys going to all the restaurants throughout the year, but he was so busy hosting that he would have to settle for a late-night snack at home later that night.

“I’ve got to be on to speak to everybody so I’m busy chatting,” said Bornstein. “That’s the irony. It’s all this wonderful food and I’m told it’s great, but my role is to be the host and make sure everybody has a good time.”


Local Roots CSA adds Ridgewood location

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Local Roots CSA

Getting fresh-from-the-farm food has never been easier.

Local Roots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has added several new pickup locations, including one in Ridgewood. Members of the CSA in Ridgewood will now be able to pick up their weekly grocery deliveries at Onderdonk & Sons bar, located at 566 Onderdonk Ave.

Other new pickup spots include locations in Crown Heights, South Street Seaport and Greenpoint. These are in addition to their current locations in Boerum Hill, Bushwick, Carroll Gardens, South Slope and Williamsburg.

Local Roots CSA allows members to shop on their website for food from local, sustainable farms. Food available for purchase includes fruits, vegetables, pastas, meats, fish, bread, chocolate and more. One order of food feeds a household of approximately one to two people.

The farmers harvest the food the day before or the morning of delivery to ensure that the food is at its peak flavor and nutritional value for the consumer.

Customers of Local Roots CSA can place their orders for a 12-week season, shorter than the 24-week season of other CSAs. The 12-week season gives their customers less of a financial investment and allows Local Roots CSA to offer four different seasons of food.

Local Roots CSA then delivers the food to the pickup location designated by the customer each week for the 12-week season. They also offer home delivery for customers in Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.

On April 24, Local Roots CSA will host The Good Festival, an annual celebration of local bands with cooking demonstrations and sustainability workshops between performances. Some of the demonstrations and workshops include making mozzarella at home, how to make sambar and soil-less spoil-less salad greens with Radicle Farm.

This year’s The Good Festival will be held at Tiny Montgomery, located at 333 Douglas St. in Brooklyn.


Cinco De Mayo moves down Bell Blvd., replaced by Peruvian restaurant

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Hasta luego, Cinco De Mayo; bienvenido, Piura.

Mexican restaurant Cinco De Mayo,  located at 39-32 Bell Blvd., is closing its current location on Bell Boulevard, which used to be home to Italian food store La Bottega, and a Peruvian restaurant called Piura will be moving in.

But fans of the Mexican restaurant will not have to travel far for their “comida.” The eatery is just moving down the Bayside commercial strip to another location at 42-29 Bell Blvd.

The owner of Cinco De Mayo is only doing minor construction to the new location, according to city records. A sign hangs on the new location announcing the move, while the old spot still has a sign for the Mexican restaurant and above it is a new sign for the Peruvian eatery.

Current Cinco De Mayo workers said they will continue to work in the new location and the menu will stay the same. The owners of both the Mexican and Peruvian restaurants could not be reached but several workers in the restaurant expect the move to take place this fall.


Queens natives start ‘non-touristy’ food tour of borough

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Richard Mumith

The founders of a new walking food tour, which is making its start in Long Island City, are looking to prove that Queens is the “king of the boroughs.”

Queens natives Richard Mumith and Sergey Kadinsky started the company Locals Finds Queens Food Tours to share their love for the diverse borough and bring tourists across the East River.

“We essentially started up for the tourists but now a lot of natives are becoming part of it too,” Mumith said. “We now want Queens locals to really see what is in their backyard.”

The three-hour tours, which began July 13 and take place every Sunday, look to combine the history, culture and food of the borough in what Mumith calls a “non-touristy ‘off the beaten’ experience.”

Every Sunday eight participants, who are told the meeting point after purchasing tickets, get together and sample food from six local Long Island City establishments, while also being given a tour by Kadinsky, who is a licensed tour guide, on the history and present details on the western Queens neighborhood.

The stops of the tour include Manducatis Rustica, Woodbines Craft Kitchen, Sweetleaf, Alobar, Rockaway Brewing Company and Sage General Store.

Mumith said the tours are starting in Long Island City because it is close to Manhattan and also has an “amazing industrial manufacturing history and artistic presence.”

“We’re really here to create a relationship with the communities,” Mumith said.

However, Mumith hopes to expand the tours into full weekends in Long Island City and later move them further into other Queens neighborhood such as Astoria and Flushing.

“We’re here to stay. We’re here to do all the great borough of Queens and each neighborhood presents something unique,” he said.

The Briarwood resident is even challenging the other four boroughs to try and beat the diversity and distinct cuisines offered in Queens.

“What people don’t know, when it comes to the culinary scene, Queens is the king of the boroughs,” Mumith said.

Tickets for the tours are $56 for adults and $42 for children 12 and under. The price of tickets include the tour, which begins every Sunday at 11 a.m., food tastings and an exclusive brochure featuring a map of the neighborhood, list of attractions, other restaurant recommendations and list of things to do.

For more information visit foodsofqueensny.com or call 800-656-0713.



QEDC hosts League of Kitchens culinary sweepstakes

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of It's in Queens

Food lovers may apply.

The Queens Economic Development Corporation is hosting a sweepstakes for a chance to win two cooking workshops that offer cultural delights from South Indian food to Lebanese cooking.

The nonprofit organization hosts a taste sampling event called Queens Restaurant Week every year and they are now holding a sweepstakes on Facebook.

The winner will be given a gift certificate for two food workshops by The League of Kitchens, a New York City-based company that hosts workshops like “Afghan cooking with Nawdia” and brings different cooking styles from all across the world.

The prices for these classes usually go for $100 to $195, making the gift certificate as valuable as $390. You can enter here to win.



Glendale food pantry runs out of food

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The cupboard is bare at a Glendale food pantry.

The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church is all out of food for Glendale’s needy, and the two women who run the pantry are asking residents to donate what they can.

“Everyday we hope people will come bring us food,” said Nancy Baer,  who along with Sister Margaret Raibaldi, runs the food pantry Monday through Thursday out of the church’s basement.

“This pantry has evolved over the years but our goal has always been to help the hungry,” Raibaldi said. “We never let people leave here hungry.”

While the church’s food stock often goes through low and high cycles, Baer and Sister Raibaldi said that this week’s low is worrying for them. They serve more than 100 families every week and a large group of single men, all of whom are from Glendale.

“We offer them what we can,” said Sister Raibaldi, but for this week what they have in store is a few pounds of whole wheat pasta and some canned vegetables that won’t make enough for one family meal.

The Catholic organization Knights of Columbus provides the Glendale pantry with hundreds of pounds of food during major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but for the rest of the year, the pantry depends on donations from the community and the nearby St. Pancras Church in Ridgewood.

Among the crowd favorites are macaroni and cheese and tuna.

“And we definitely wouldn’t turn away a chicken,” Baer said.

Anyone who wishes to donate can call (718) 821-3285.



Queens, Bronx borough presidents make edible wager on Subway Series

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


The stakes are going to be deliciously high when the New York Mets and New York Yankees take the field during this year’s Subway Series.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. are wagering an assortment of foods, each from their respective boroughs, based on the results of the four-game series taking place from Monday, May 12 through Thursday, May 15, the two announced Sunday.

If the Mets win more games than the Yankees, then Diaz will send Katz a sample tray of empanadas from Babalu on East Tremont Road and a dozen cannolis from Egidio Pastry Shop, located in Belmont, the Bronx’s Little Italy.

But if the Yankees win, Katz will send Diaz a tray of sandwiches from Leo’s Latticini, also known as Mama’s of Corona. For dessert, Katz will also send pastries from the Omonia Café in Astoria.

“Queens offers an incredibly diverse array of cuisine and has some of the best restaurants in the city, so Borough President Diaz is in for a real treat if the Yankees manage to win the series,” Katz said. “But I fully expect the Mets will win and that I will be enjoying some delicious food from the Bronx.”

Both stakes will be paid out if the two New York baseball teams split the four game series 2-2.

“We have great culinary options in The Bronx, so a Mets victory would certainly be a treat for Borough President Katz,” Diaz said. “But the Yankees are the greatest franchise in baseball history, and I’m sure their decades of dominance will continue through this week.”



A new party at Pachanga Patterson

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks


Peyton Powell recently took over as executive chef in the kitchen at Astoria’s Pachanga Patterson, the third restaurant of the Mexican trio that also includes Vesta in Astoria and Venturo in Sunnyside. Powell had been the executive sous chef at Casa Mono since 2009 and also worked at DB Bistro Moderne, as well as Daniel.

Powell met the owners of Pachanga by eating at Vesta and seeing them around Astoria, where he has been living for the last four years.

“I loved what they were doing in the neighborhood, and wanted to be a part of it,” explains the chef.

Previously, Pachanga focused on serving “family meals,” incorporating  nontraditional ingredients into classic Mexican recipes.  A family meal, in the restaurant industry, is a staff meal served before a shift.  While tacos stuffed with duck remain, the theme has moved from fusion to classic Mexican.

“What I’m trying to do at Pachanga is not strictly Oaxacan,” says Powell, “even though it’s my favorite region of Mexico, foodwise. I want to incorporate traditional Mexican flavors and ingredients influenced by my background, in a local, seasonal, and comfortable environment.”

The result is some of the most delicious Mexican food in the entire city.  A surprisingly light queso fundido arrives in a shallow clay dish, studded with hen of the woods mushrooms, tiny diced cubes of butternut squash, and pumpkin seeds.  Quacamole is served in the classic style, or can be ordered jazzed up with pomegranate seeds, queso fresco, and chipotle pepper oil, making it sweet and spicy.

Cabernet colored beets are delicately charred on the grill, and served with pickled apples, crushed peanuts, and hibiscus.  Grilled octopus is stewed with cannellini beans and jalapeno oil, giving just the right spark of heat to remarkably tender tentacles.

If you order the fideos con mariscos, do not plan on sharing even a single bite, as these head-on prawns are sweet and tender, swimming with mussels in a pot of broken capellini, stewed with cactus paddles in a habanero aioli.  From the land, never has pork belly been executed to such deliciousness, glazed with tamarind and served with crunchy chicharrones and tangy tangerines.

“Pachanga” can loosely be translated as “street party,” which means there are plenty of unique cocktails to sip.  Drinks range from a Coriander en Fuego to a Cactus Cooler, made from organic prickly pear puree, blended with tequila blanco.

From appetizers to desserts, Pachanga Patterson is hitting it out of the park.  Chef Powell is dishing out some pretty remarkable dishes worthy of at least a visit, if not two… or 20.  If only all Mexican food could taste this fantastic.

Pachanga Patterson
33-17 31st Ave., Astoria




Panda Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar: More than just great food

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Panda Asian Bistro

Among a plethora of chain restaurants, fast food joints, small eateries and convenience stores, there’s a new player on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park that is looking to change the game.

Panda Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar, which opened roughly six months ago, boasts a fusion of oriental specialties, and owners are considering expanding it as an entertainment venue.

“On Queens Boulevard, there are not many things you could do after night [fall],” co-founder Sam Cheng said. “We are trying to change it into an entertainment place rather than just pure restaurant. That’s the goal.”

The first floor of the restaurant has black and white striped walls and red bamboo sprinkled around near the windows. Every Friday night the eatery features a performer who does magic tricks.
Cheng said since it has been well received by patrons, they are considering expanding the performances.

A 1,200-square-foot, 80-seat party room for private events is located on the second floor of the restaurant. Cheng, who grew up in nearby Elmhurst, also said they are experimenting with turning the second floor into a lounge with live music.

Besides the entertainment value of Panda, the food is worth looking forward to. The eatery boasts a range of Asian specialties, including Chinese, Thai and Japanese food.

Appetizers are a mix of favorites such as gyoza dumplings, crispy duck rolls and Thai herbs calamari with an original spicy duck sauce.

Entrees, such as tender General Tso’s chicken and yaki udon, grace a wide menu, which includes many vegetarian choices as well.

Cheng said the sushi fish is bought from Japanese vendors, and rolled by a Japanese chef. There are plenty to choose from, including Yellowtail, ikura (salmon), ebi (shrimp), and maguro (tuna).

And so customers can fully enjoy the selection, Panda offers all-you-can-eat sushi every day for $19.95 on weekdays and $21.95 on weekends.
On top of the entertainment value and wide selection of dishes, customers should know that meals at Panda are free, if it’s your birthday.

Panda Asian Bistro
95-25 Queens Blvd., Rego Park
Hours: Sunday –Thursday 11:00 am- 10:30 p.m.
Friday& Saturday: 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Credit card: yes
Delivery: yes




Build-a-burger at Burger Bistro

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks


Last month, the space next door to JJ’s Asian Fusion became a Burger Bistro, the company’s fourth location in the city.  The original is in Bay Ridge, with a sophomore effort in Park Slope, a third on the Upper East Side, and now our own outpost here in Astoria, sharing the same 31st Avenue restaurant corridor as Milkflower, Pachanga Patterson, Il Bambino, Enthaice, Zenon, Point Brazil, Brick Café, and Café Boulis—just to name a few in that 10-block stretch.

While the company achieved  status as the #2 burger in the city from Zagat, this location is also just a couple blocks from the Astoria based giant, Bareburger—which, if lines and wait times mean anything at all, is currently making one of the most popular patties in town.  Both Bareburger and the Burger Bistro feature a “build your own” selection of toppings, offering everything from tuna and kobe beef (at Burger Bistro) to ostrich and bison (at Bareburger).

Because we were anxious to see how this newcomer holds up to the competition, we stopped by after they’d been open a week, just to test things out.  Truth be told, we have already returned more than once.

While the burger is certainly one to drool over, I mostly loved that it could be served on toasted garlic bread–reminding me of my old college burger joint that sold GCB’s (garlic cheese burgers).  Other bread options, however, include potato, wheat, or brioche rolls, as well as sliders or lettuce wraps.

There are several side dishes to choose from, as well, from various tater tots to homemade chips, and fried onions to split pea salad.  The buffalo tots were kinda sorta outrageous. Crispy tater tots lightly tossed in a creamy buffalo sauce, then topped with diced celery and crumbled blue cheese.

Other side choices include deep-fried corn on the cob, fried artichoke hearts, and a few salad options, including one with Portobello mushrooms, pears and goat cheese.

The ice cream sandwich was probably one of the best I have ever tasted, with two sugar crystal-coated chocolate sugar cookies, sandwiching a cold, firm scoop of fresh peppermint ice cream.  They also have versions with snicker doodles and cinnamon ice cream, or oatmeal raisin with buttercream ice cream.

At lunch, you can order a cheeseburger with one topping and a side order for $10 —and they offer other specials throughout the week.

Funky burger toppings range from buffalo shrimp to pickled jalapeños, onion frizzles, wasabi mayo, and portobello mushrooms… just to name a few.

The selection of toppings, meat, breads, cheese, and sides is extremely generous, yet still fits on one page.  In fact, the menu is a dry erase board where you actually mark your choices before turning it in to the server.  And thank goodness it is dry erase.  Leave yourself plenty of time to play with the choices to create a burger and side combination that is just what you want.  The cooks execute everything perfectly–you just have to tell them what to do!

Burger Bistro
37-03 31st Ave., Astoria