Bareburger

With a second location soon opening in Astoria, two Manhattan locations and a new Park Slope spot in the works, Bareburger continues to grow.  Since I do not eat meat, it took me a while to check the place out.  However, I have now had a couple visits to Bareburger and am happy to say that they have delicious offerings for everyone, including some for those who eat gluten free and for those who don’t eat meat.

Since I go into the category of those who do not eat meat, I was excited to try their veggie burger.  Bareburger‘s menu is such that you pick your desired burger first and then you decide which bun and toppings you would like to go with it.  I opted for the Avocado California Burger, whole grain bun, veggie burger combination.  This included fresh avocado, raw milk cheddar, tomato, lettuce, onion, and cilantro lime dressing.  We also ordered a combined french fry and onion ring basket for the table.  The fries come with a variety of dipping sauces which are sure to please everyone and they are irresistible as our basket was completely empty by the end of the meal.  The veggie burger was delicious and very filling.  This was not just a small patty on a bun.  It was hearty and went perfectly with the California Avocado option (which is their recommended match).  I might not eat meat, but I do know many Bareburger fans who rave about their Ostrich burgers and Lamb burgers.  Their original Astoria location is also completely packed most of the times I walk by so they must be doing a lot of things right.  If you have enough room after your burger, then their milk shakes are also quite good.  With real peanut butter and chocolate mixed in if you choose those flavors and with interesting options such as pistachio flavor, you cannot go wrong.

Bareburger uses organic and all natural ingredients.  Their free range meats are from animals that are pasture raised and grass fed.  They also use mainly sustainable and reclaimed material when building their restaurants.  It is great to know that when you eat there you are also supporting the environment at the same time.  The location on 31st Avenue in Astoria also has a lovely outdoor seating area that is perfect for some al fresco dining this summer.

Sac’s Place in Astoria

 

We are lucky to live in an area where there are so many places where you can get a delicious slice of pizza.  I finally had a chance to stop in at Sac’s Place located at 25-41 Broadway in Astoria and am happy to report that they serve an excellent slice.  The slice pictured on the right is from their regular cheese pie, although if you compare it with most other place’s cheese slices you can see the difference upon first sight.  Sac’s uses homemade mozzarella on their slices and applies the sauce (made with San Marzano tomatoes from Italy) in circular swirls so that the proportion between the sauce and cheese is just right.  Pictured on the left is the Sicilian slice where the quality of the cheese is also distinctive.  I enjoyed both immensely.  If you like beer with your pizza, you will be happy to know that imported beer bottles such as Birra Moretti are an affordable $4.

These are two of the carry out slices offered at Sac’s so you can only imagine a piping hot pizza pie coming out of their coal oven and then being brought straight to your table while dining in the restaurant.  After going on Scott’s Pizza Tour, I really love trying different pizza places and am so happy to have found Sac’s Place.  I’ve already visited them twice this week and expect there will be quite a few more visits in the future.

 

 

MexiQ

MexiQ is now open and I was excited to try out one Astoria‘s latest hot spots.  Happy hour offers $3 Mexican beers and $5 classic margaritas from 4-7pm.  The bartender was extremely helpful and accommodating.  If you are not sure which of the many beers to try, they will help guide you to a good match for your taste buds.  

Dinner began with a small plate containing 2 large tortilla chips accompanied by a squirt bottle of salsa.  What a fun way to start your meal!  I ordered a Devil Corn Quesadilla to start and a Tuna Tartar burger as my entrée.  As you can see in the picture above, the presentation was lovely.  And I am happy to report that everything tasted as good as it looked.  All of the flavors blended together wonderfully and I did not need to heap on extra amounts of sauce or toppings on either the quesadilla or burger. 

If you are a dessert person, then you will be happy at MexiQ.  The desserts our table ordered were beautiful and well portioned.  There was enough fried ice cream that it was shared around the table.  We all left happy and full.  I look forward to trying other dishes soon.

MexiQ is located at 37-11 30th Avenue in Astoria.  The website is not currently up and running but here is a link that gives an overview of the menu:  http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/09/what_to_eat_at_mexiq_now_servi.html.  Based on their business cards, their website will be www.mexiqny.com and hopefully it will be working soon.

Slider Happy Hour at Five Napkin Burger!

The Astoria location of Five Napkin Burger has a delicious happy hour deal! Every day from 4-7pm it is Slider Happy Hour (only at the bar and only in Astoria).   Fill up on $4 draft beers and $2 sliders!  Even vegetarians can enjoy this special as they offer the 5 Napkin Veggie Burger slider in addition to the original 5 Napkin Burger and the Italian Turkey Burger sliders.  Pork taquitos and chicken wings (the wings are served in groups of 4) are also available for the $2 bargain price during this special.

I went this past Friday and it was a great way to finish off the work week.  Of the draft options, I chose the Goose Island Summer Ale and pictured above is the veggie burger slider that was finished off rather quickly.  Having only tried (and loved!) the Ahi Tuna Steak burger, I wasn’t sure if a veggie burger would win me over.  I had nothing to be worried about though.  The veggie patty was flavorful and generously topped with Five Napkin sauce and pickles.  I can honestly say that this veggie burger was so good that I know I will be back for more ASAP. I was in slider heaven!

You can also read about the dinner experience I had at Five Napkin Burger here.  Apparently you just can’t go wrong at Five Napkin Burger!

A Taste of Italy at Da Franco

Located right off of Astoria Park at 23-92 21st Street, you will find Da Franco RestaurantDa Franco offers a few outside tables to enjoy a good weather day and also has a wide selection of gelato to cool you off from the summer heat.  Their menu is extensive but that just means there is more to try and enjoy.

To start, they brought a plate of freshly baked crostini drizzled in olive oil. It was right out of the oven and still warm so it was devoured rather quickly.  All of the pastas at Da Franco are home-made on the premises.  Being a pasta and seafood lover, I tried the Spaghetti Ai Frutti Di Mare.  It met all of my expectations.  The fresh spaghetti pasta sautéed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a light tomato sauce was surrounded by a plentiful portion of seafood which included mussels, calamari, clams and shrimp.  It was absolutely delicious and I will definitely order it again.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Da Franco without getting one of their brick oven pizzas.  Da Franco uses home-made mozzarella directly from his own factory in Ridgewood, NY and you can taste that freshness.  I really enjoyed the margherita pizza.  The crust was thin and was a nice balance between doughy and crispy – I thought it was just right.

The mission at Da Franco is to make everyone feel at home at their family restaurant.  I can say that I enjoyed my visits there immensely.  The friendly service and the food will keep me coming back.

Get Your Fill at Five Napkin Burger

The new addition of Five Napkin Burger in Astoria (35-01 36th Street) has been talked about quite a bit, so I was excited when my dining out group made an appointment to go this month. The space looks great and has transitioned well from its prior inhabitants (Bizarre Avenue Café and Cup).  Busy on a Wednesday night and located near the Kaufman Astoria movie theater and Studio Square, this place will hopefully stick around for a long time.

The drink menu is the same size as the food menu and there are so many options that it was hard to pick – the beer list in particular is quite extensive.  For my entrée, I opted to try the Ahi Tuna Burger. While our dishes each came with french fries, my table agreed to sample a side of tater tots as well.  Once positioned in front of me, my Tuna burger was very impressive.  Placed on an open bun was a huge tuna steak covered in wasabi mayo topped with 2 onion rings.  It was delicious!  The tater tots were also quite delectable. Not to be confused with the store brand variety, these tots were creamy and slightly seasoned mashed potato pillows enclosed in a delicate fried crust.  With the combination of my sandwich and these tater tots, I was in heaven! I did not even think about dessert because I was way too full.  Definitely go to Five Napkin Burger with a hungry stomach!

In addition to this new Astoria location, Five Napkin Burger has two city locations – one in Hell’s Kitchen and one on the Upper West Side. You can get all the location details and drool over photos of their burgers at www.fivenapkinburger.com.

DiWine is Delightful

I had the pleasure of trying brunch at DiWine in Astoria this past weekend.  They recently began serving brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11am.  The price fix brunch includes your choice of entree, a coffee and a cocktail for $13.  For an additional $6 you can get unlimited cocktails with your brunch.  There is a variety of entrees to choose from including eggs, paninis, salads and their fabulous brick oven pizzas.

My friend and I decided to split the Breakfast Pizza (eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella and house cured salmon) and the Capricossa Pizza (Pepperocini, mushrooms, eggs, and mozzarella).  Both were quite delicious and it was very enjoyable to go from one flavor to the other. We had also chosen the unlimited cocktails option and while I ordered my usual mimosa, my friend tried the Bellini.  I am tempted to get that cocktail the next time I go because you could see that these Bellinis were made with real peach puree. The wait staff did a great job of filling our drinks throughout our leisurely meal and we left feeling quite content since the portions were so filling – we even had some pizza to take home.  I look forward to going back for more visits to DiWine for their scrumptious brunch in the future.

DiWine also has an excellent dinner menu.  In addition to their brick oven pizzas, the focaccia bread appetizer is absolutely delicious and I am a big fan of their berry martini.  DiWine has an elegant, cozy setting with outside seating available during the nice weather.  It is definitely worth a visit whether is it for brunch or dinner.

DiWine is located at 41-15 31st Avenue, between 41st and 42nd Street in Astoria.