30th ave in astoria? what's good?
- janie Mar 8, 2012 07:50 AM
Driving along 30th ave in Astoria and noticed so many places to eat, but have no idea what's good these days....thanks for some current info..........also, stopped into that Fish Market on 31st st down from Rosario's, thought they were very expensive, place was dark, and very very stinky--I don't like fish markets that stink like rotting fish---and quality did not strike me as very good either....got some very tasty fresh mozz from Rosarios, and slice of pizza for my kid---they are so nice there........on another note, went into check out what kind of ravioli Casinelli's has, and observed lady at register touching fresh pasta (linguine) with bare hands and putting it into packages--not good,--and their selection of ravioli didn't touch the selection over at Pastosa which by the way I tried, and it's a terrific little place on Cross bay blvd----------tried several types of ravioli, and the choices are outstanding......
31-12 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105
22-55 31st St, Queens, NY 11105
22-78 31st St, Queens, NY 11105
Hi Janie. Lucky you, you have PLENTY of great options along 30th Ave. I just wrote this up over the weekend:
In addition to Via Trenta, there are a few recently opened places with great reviews. I enjoyed both Butcher Bar for locally sourced organic BBQ and Sugarfreak for Cajun. Heard very interesting things about Queens Comfort and hope to try it soon for brunch. Also on my short list to try is Harissa, a Moroccan cafe. Popular standbys include Ovelia (didn't love my one meal there but their menu looks promising) and Vesta further west. A new Indian restaurant opened near the N train, Namaste, which has gotten mixed reviews.
34-01 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
21-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102
34-05 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
40-09 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
36-18 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11106
37-08 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
36-19 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
31-15 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102
Queenseats, definitely give Harissa Cafe a try! We just ate there last night for the first time and really enjoyed our food (a mix of Moroccan and Algerian fare).
Service was also attentive (but not oppressive), and the ambiance was surprisingly lovely. It doesn't look like much from the outside but inside it's a cozy space -- perfect for a weekend morning b'fast/brunch.
On to the food:
BRIK: a triangular-shape filo dough packet stuffed with tuna, capers, parmesan cheese, egg, herbs and fried. I didn't get to try this (the tuna is off-limits) but it disappeared quickly and the woman who ordered it looked satisfied.
CHAKCHOUKA: scrambled egg cooked with green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs/spices. This was totally different from the Israeli versions of Shakshouka we've had (whole egg cooked in tomato sauce), and we really enjoyed this. I'm not sure what seasonings were in the mix -- but they were what I would label Middle Eastern and were very distinct and tasty, too.
ZAALUK SALAD: roasted/pureed eggplant cooked with herbs and spices. I was prepared to be wowed by this, having read other bloggers' praise for it, but I was underwhelmed. It was definitely tasty -- smoky and distinctly flavored (though I'm not sure which spices/herbs were in the mix). But the begun bhartha at Neerob (Bangladeshi in Parkchester) is 10 times more flavorful (garlic, mustard oil, cilantro, chilies!); heck, most roasted eggplant dishes in Indian cuisine (it made properly) pack way more flavor than this did (or maybe I just prefer more strongly spiced food...).
LAMB TAJINE: A lamb and vegetable stew. I was disappointed that this didn't come out in its tajine but rather was plated nicely (not that that's entirely a bad thing). As a vegetarian, I didn't get to try this but the folks who ordered it raved about it, and their plates were totally clean by the end of the meal.
VEGETARIAN COUSCOUS: Hunks of roasted carrots, zucchini, potato and chickpeas over couscous. The couscous was perfectly cooked -- individual grains! And the vegetables were tender and incredibly flavorful -- cinnamon seemed to be the dominant seasoning. This is some of the best veggie couscous I've had yet.
MERGUEZ AOILISSA: Merguez & carmelized onions tucked inside a crispy baguette with Harissa (spicy, garlicky Middle Eastern condiment) aoili on the side (and French fries). I also didn't get to try this but the folks who ordered it said the sausage was legitimately spicy and the baguette was above average (crunchy outside; soft interior). The harissa aoili disappeared quickly.
re: squid kun
The owner was personally attending to us -- and he was lovely. Some of the best service I've had in a very long while in Astoria or anywhere in the city. Totally unintrusive but thoughtful and thorough.
If you're curious to see photos of some of our dishes, one of my dining companions wrote a review of our meal, with photos:
Keeping things strictly to 30th Ave:
Queens Comfort......hipster-ish place with small menu of fattening, delicious comfort food. BYOB.
Sugar Freak.....New Orleans-style food, and full bar. One of NYC's best muffulettas, great blackened catfish, fried chicken, jumbalaya, and so on. Lima beans are an excellent side. Odd hours.
Butcher Bar......serves BBQ and sells local/organic meats raw. (Haven't been there for cooked food, because I'm still jonesin' on John Brown Smokehouse on 37th Ave!)
William Hallett.......interesting menu and drinks.......everything from bone marrow and foie gras to a sloppy joe made with rabbit and a turducken-inspired meatloaf.
Sweet Afton.......stylish gastropub (mainly burgers, etc.)
Seva...popular Indian. Cramped.
Burger Club...Europeans' take on the burger craze. Not bad.
Petey's Burger...more fast food-y burger outlet....some compare to In'N'Out.
Vesta...excellent farm-to-table Italian restaurant.