Agnanti RestaurantAstoria, NY
This small-plates Greek restaurant is located right on the edge of Astoria Park and has seating outside, cold or warm weather. There is usually a super-long wait as well, and people line the sidewalks for hours waiting to get in to try their tasty offerings. Stick to their small plates and askew the mains here……a basket of bread starts you out (pita by request), try the great eggplant dip, the fresh Greek salad, the shrimp wrapped in Phyllo with a mustard sauce, the Fava Beans are AMAZING and comforting after being stewed all day in tomato sauce, and the stuffed grape leaves are served with a giant scoop of Greek Yogurt in the middle. I also love their free dessert of grain cake and honey cake and a large scoop of Greek yogurt drenched in sweet and sour cherries. The house wine is cheep and flows plentifully and you have to hunt the waiter down after two or three hours to get your check! (View Full Blog Post)
When we asked where to find Baked, the counter guys gave us directions and the suspicious tip “walk fast”. But we didn’t run into any trouble, just amazing whoopie pies at
Baked. In case you are not familiar with this tasty treat, a whoopie pie is two round chocolate cake discs with a thick layer a creamy frosting sandwiched between them. Think of a big cakey oreo. We had some peanut butter ones which were oh so good. Baked itself is a full service coffee place with great treats and interesting customers. It might be heading towards trendy in the near future, but for right now, it is an excellent stop for whoopie pies, brownies and caffeine.
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JG MelonNew York, NY
It has only been around since 1972, which is an eternity in NYC, but J. G. Melon feels more like an 80 year old. It’s a little tired, very much set in its ways, but is still reliable day after day, decade after decade. It is a preppy Upper Eastside institution that has its diehards – ask Bobby Flay – it’s his absolute favorite. Melon does make a very good cheeseburger. The bun is soft and squishy and unseeded. The beef, a sizable patty, not too much, not too skimpy. It is classically dressed with a fully melted American cheese slice, chopped onions, tomato and pickle slices. The ridged cottage fries are tasty too. It’s always packed, the service is borderline surly, and room hasn’t been updated in, maybe forever, but you will still come here and get your beer and burger. With the whole city burger craze, there are better places, but this grandfather will be here long after the others fail in their infancy. Long live Melon! (View Full Blog Post)
Kebab CafeAstoria, NY
Kebab Cafe is definitely an Astoria classic dining experience. This tiny (20 seater?) restaurant is run by Ali, the local Egyptian chef who has been running this tiny culinary extravaganza for almost 20 years. Ali knows everyone and everyone knows Ali.
We recently ventured here with 10 friends to try a melange of interesting foods. Ali is known for his meat preparation. We tried brains and cheeks, both of which were amazing! The brains were lightly breaded and fried. They were spongy and tasty. The cheeks were so hot that the egg cooked as he stirred it. Really, if you’re into this sort of thing (offal, I mean) this is the best place to have it.
Overall, it is an incredible experience that every die hard foodie needs to try. Another great perk is that it is BYO…..which definitely helps reduce the prices – which are typical for Astoria.
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Lansky's DeliNew York, NY
Their tagline says it all. The place is a modern/classic oxymoron, that somehow works quite well. Lansky’s isn’t old, but somehow seems classic. I’m not talking Katz’s classic, but it has done a nice job of making a cozy pub-like decor and good soundtrack – we heard some Bowie tunes. They serve the requisite garlicky pickles and creamy coleslaw as complimentary starters. We split the “Coney Island Knishwich”, and along with our Dr. Brown’s, it was a tasty, filling lunch. This dastardly creation is a large potato knish cut in half with one side corned beef, the other pastrami, both topped with muenster cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. It is genius really. At a Jewish deli, I always want a knish and a sandwich – now I have both and the whole thing just melts in your mouth. They have a wide variety of soups, sandwiches, special “Devil Dogs”, and everything else one desires from solid Jewish fare. Check it out, it’s a lot tastier than temple! (View Full Blog Post)
BabboNew York, NY
There is a secret to getting a table at Babbo...and when you get that coveted table, be sure to order the fantastic pasta tasting menu. Read on... (View Full Blog Post)
Doughnut PlantNew York, NY
Doughnut Plant is widely considered to be the best doughnut shop in New York City. There really isn't any competition. I can eat these unique flavors any time of the day. (View Full Blog Post)