Tag Archives: Astoria

Takeout in Astoria, Queens

Four years ago I found myself paying an arm and a leg for an 8′ x 10′ room without windows in the Financial District of Manhattan. As the lease renewal came up in August, I thought to myself, “What the heck am I doing?” My good friend Becca had been touting the benefits of her incredible (and incredibly cheap) house in Queens for a year so I decided to give the neighborhood a shot. Four years later, I’m the biggest advocate of this adorable and still-affordable neighborhood. I’ve convinced (with Becca’s help, of course) numerous friends to move to the ‘hood along with me and now I can safely say I have little to no reason to ever leave my borough.

Since I’ve got so many friends as new neighbors, I thought I’d pull together a list of my 5 absolute favorite takeout places in Astoria. If you’re new to the ‘hood or just need a change of pace, I hope this is helpful. #QueensRepresent

1. Petey’s Burger: As far as I’m concerned, this is the only burger place on the East Coast that rivals In ‘N Out. It’s worlds better than Shake Shack and I’ve never had to wait in line to get it. They even have a deliciously decadent side called California Fries, topped with caramelized onions and a “special sauce” that looks suspiciously like an In ‘N Out knockoff. Who cares. This place is the ish.

2. Napoli Pizza and Pasta: You couldn’t make an Italian meal for less money than you can spend for authentic Italian at Napoli. Lasagna the size of your head is $6.50 (and comes with garlic bread), baked ziti for two will have you unbuttoning your pants and napping by the end of the meal, and the entrees cost a couple bucks more and come with extra bread and a pasta on the side. When it’s cold outside and you want a filling, home cooked meal without the dirty dishes, you can’t beat Napoli.

3. Crave Astoria: Besides the delicious, fresh food at Crave, I’m always commenting on how punctual and friendly their delivery staff is. More than once I’ve commented, “Hey, it’s that well-dressed guy again!” when the food shows up. Call me crazy, but I like it. In addition to the lovely delivery staff, the food is top notch: fresh and healthy. It’s not dirt cheap, but it’s well worth every penny. My favorite dishes are the Greek salads and the burgers (huuuuuge burgers with freshly made fries on the side), and for a fun (not so healthy) dessert, the Crave bites: fried dough puffs served with warm honey sauce. They also make a killer, inexpensive lentil soup that I’ve had more than once.

4. Sanford’s Restaurant: The priciest spot I’m highlighting, Sanford’s is a classier delivery restaurant that is open 24/7 and offers takeout late and pickup all the time. The menu is full of real restaurant items like mushroom risotto and hanger steak but my personal favorites are the salads and breakfasts. I actually love their pancakes, and I rarely say that about anyplace that isn’t my own kitchen. The only thing I don’t get about this place is why their pulled pork gets such high ratings; I ordered it once and hated it. Everything else I’ve ever had there (and trust me, it’s been quite a bit…) is delicious.

5. Astoria Park Pizza: Best pizza in Queens, hands down. This is also the teeny tiny pizzeria where I buy the pizza dough for my homemade pizzas. The crust is thin and crispy, the cheese is never drippy but always perfectly melted, and the prices are super affordable: a large cheese is only $11! I love Napoli for my pasta dishes and meatball parms, but for pizza I’m an Astoria Park girl all the way.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

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Indonesian Food Bazaar

A vegetarian patty from the food bazaar in 2010

I have BIG news! Two years ago I went to an incredible Indonesian Food Bazaar in Astoria and ate myself silly off of some of the most delectable Indonesian food ever made, for a handful of singles. The mosque that hosts this bazaar is not really all that great about promoting the food bazaar so for two years I forgot to check back to their website to find out where the next one was. Well, today, by stroke of luck and maybe the phases of the moon, I remembered. Lo and behold… it is this Sunday.

So if you need something to do this Sunday June 17th from 10AM – 4PM head over to Masjid Al-Hikmah at 31st Avenue and 48th Street in Astoria, Queens for an endless treasure trove of delicious eats. And don’t forget that it’s Father’s Day, so if your dad is an adventurous eater, this might be the perfect gift.

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Throwback to a More Glamorous Time


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m never really one to be on top of the newest and most exciting places. I view this blog as more of a way to bring you along on my journey of discovering “new to me” places and hopefully inspiring you to go or stay away from some of the thousands of restaurants in New York. So when the BF told me he had heard about a new bar located in Kaufman Astoria Studios (the film studio where Sesame Street and The Cosby Show film/filmed at), I figured he had stumbled upon an old article. Turns out the place has only been opened for 2 months. So… ahem… you heard it here first.

´╗┐The Astor Room 34-12 36th St, Astoria, Queens. You enter the restaurant down a marble staircase, surrounding by gold-framed mirrors and peacock wallpaper. Enter to the left and a piano greets you, followed by a dark mahogany bar and a feeling that you’ve stepped back in time. The bar just reopened but in its hey day in the 1930s, it was frequented by silent movie stars that were filming at Kaufman Astoria Studios. The menu is a throwback, too, with dishes like Dover sole, lobster thermidor, and short rib stroganoff.

On the menu:
Crispy fried calamari over roasted tomato paste with green pepper shavings
Spaghetti carbonara
Double cut coca-cola porkchop
Smoked seven layer chocolate cake


Verdict: It’s aces! It’s keen! It’s swell! (I had to Google “1930’s slang”… in the interest of full disclosure, you know). This place is awesome. The food was SO well done; the pork chop was juicy but crisp and sweet, the spaghetti smooth and buttery, and the seven layer cake sprinkled with gold. Yes, gold. Edible gold. Old world luxury and glamour at its finest, gals and pals. I also have to give props to the amazing staff. I read many reviews of The Astor Room that criticized the service, but I could not have been more impressed. Our wine glasses were never empty, an empty plate never sat on the table for more than two minutes, and on our way out the maitre’d asked if we needed umbrellas to battle the rain. We were never smothered, always taken care of. Loooove love love this place.

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Oh, hello there. Remember me?

Hi friends. Lauren E. here. How many of you are actually reading this after my very long hiatus? I’m gonna guess 3. Hello mom, dad, and… okay, maybe 2.

In any case, I’m back! I made myself a manageable schedule to keep on posting amidst the busy day job schedule I’ve recently inherited. I love my new job but suddenly this blog felt like a chore. “Ugh, I guess I’ll post tonight…” But then I was eating at all these amazing places and missing great recipes in my life and I thought, “Okay, time to get back in it.” A good friend told me if it’s my passion, I can’t just give it up.

So I’m not. I’m not giving it up! And to welcome you back, I bring you a week of Astoria (it’ll be Wednesday to Wednesday… so sue me). Have you been to this neighborhood? It’s the one I live in. It’s the one I love. It’s affordable, it’s safe, and the restaurant scene here is blowing up. Visit us, why don’t cha?

Pachanga Patterson 33-17 31st Ave, Astoria, Queens. The idea behind this restaurant is simple and brilliant. I usually try to reserve my opinion for the “Verdict” section of my restaurant reviews but I just can’t contain myself. I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT and I love the idea that inspired it. In the restaurant world, “family meal” is the meal that the kitchen staff eats after all the patrons have gone home. The meal, built on the remnants of the night at the restaurant and enhanced by the cooks’ expertise, comes out without agenda. Pachanga Patterson’s owners claim that because the restaurants they’ve worked in have had mostly Mexican staff members, no matter the cuisine of the restaurant, all the “family meals” come out with a decidedly Mexican influence. It is these menu items that make up the menu of Pachanga Patterson. Each dish has a Mexican flair, and is made with local ingredients and by expert hands. Small plates, even smaller prices, a cozy tucked-away atmosphere, and a warm staff that takes care of you like you’re part of the family, too.

Braised pork shoulder tacos with crispy pork skin and pickled red onion

On the menu:
Guacamole and house fried tortillas
Chipotle braised short rib tacos with roasted tomatoes and scallions
Berkshire pork shoulder tacos with crispy pork skins and pickled red onion
Panna cotta with pumpkin seed brittle

Verdict: Duh. I love this place. Not only is it literally downstairs from the BF’s apartment, but it is some of the most delicious, well-thought-out, comforting food I’ve had in Astoria. Hands down. The pork shoulder was so tender and perfectly complimented by the crispy bits of skin and juicy, fat slices of pickled onion. The guacamole was DIVINE and the chips fresh. The panna cotta pushed the whole meal over the top, and had me running for the kitchen to make my own pumpkin seed brittle. The restaurant is slowly adding more meals to its hours (recently lunch, soon-to-come weekend brunch… thank God!) and come summer, they have a lovely patio out back, perfect for drinking pitcher after pitcher of sangria and pretending like you’re in Mexico. Ah bliss.

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Where’s the Beef? Oh… there it is.

I’m a simple girl. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. A beautiful sunset. The wag of a puppy’s tail. Red soled Christian Louboutins filled with Cartier diamonds hand delivered to the front door of my mansion in the Irish countryside by a newly single Johnny Depp. Okay, that last one’s negotiable. I would accept Cillian Murphy, as well.

But really and truly, I love simple, delicious food. And what is simpler and more delicious than a burger and fries? Not much, my friends. Not much.

My native-California friend Selina told me about a burger place in my Astoria neighborhood that supposedly rivals In-N-Out. Famished after a ballet class (yes, some dancers do eat), we trekked over to Petey’s Burger for deliciousness on a bun.

On the menu:
Cheeseburger
French fries
Coke
(AKA the cheeseburger combo #2)

Verdict: HELLO NEW FRIEND. These burgers are really… really… good. Really. As you can see in the picture, these are relatively thin beef patties topped with your standard tomato, onion, lettuce, ketchup, special sauce (which is probably mayo and ketchup mixed together), and cheese on a basic bun. I think the key is in the proportions, the stand-out flavor of the beef, and the crispy-crunchiness of the fresh lettuce and onion. I also have to give Petey’s major props for essentially replicating McDonald’s perfect, golden French fries. The meal wasn’t super greasy but it definitely hit the “I need some junk food in my belly now” spot. Too bad they deliver. There goes my waistline.

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