Experience the flavors of Romania in Sunnyside! Romanian Garden serves hearty dishes like stuffed cabbage, polenta, meatball soup, and meats fresh off the grill. To start get a variety of appetizers. Chiftele (fried meatballs), caseavel pane (fried cheese), and salata de vinete (eggplant salad spread) will do you right.
Romanian Garden, 43-06 43rd Avenue, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar in Sunnyside is now open, and the food is phenomenal… From the same team that brought us Vesta Trattoria and Pachanga Patterson come some incredible new dishes. Pictured: Roasted Beet & Mascarpone Pansotti, Stracchino Pizza (with roasted chantarelles, spinach pesto, & fried egg), The Torino cocktail (served with a sidecar bottle of San Bitter Rosso), Espresso Granita (shaved ice with homemade mascarpone and cacao nibs), and Toasted Almond Semifreddo (with fudge brownie, chocolate almond butter, & chocolate meringues). Tonight & tomorrow they are still in ‘soft opening’ from 6-9PM, but beginning Thursday they serve dinner from 5-10PM seven days a week. 44-07 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside, NY 11104.
This one time famous hamburger from Donovan’s Pub in Woodside comes with sweet potato fries or regular french fries. If you get it with cheese, they give you two slices! Donovan’s Pub is up for sale. Come by for a drink, to watch the game, and that juicy burger before the famous landmark becomes a thing of the past.
A Legendary Cheese Bagel sandwich from The Bay Gull Store of Broad Channel.
On the way to Rockaway Beach, a cheese bagel sandwich packed with chicken cutlet and ham, hot roast beef and gravy, or other messy deli creations is a great precursor to the boardwalk. Traveling through this little community, The Bay Gull is the perfect excuse to get out of the car and spend some time like a local.
I especially love the cheesiness on the bottom of the bagel - not baked like the top, but squishy.
Bay Gull Store, 1632 Cross Bay Blvd, Broad Channel, NY11693
The saganaki at recently opened Thymari (thee-MAH-ree) is sesame-crusted Arachova feta, pan-fried, and topped with a ribbon of strawberry-raspberry compote. Thymari, 32-07 34th Ave, Astoria; (718) 204-2880; http://www.thymari.com/
The Carolina Burger at Burger Club is a juicy, grilled Pat LaFrieda patty topped with creamy coleslaw, pepper jack cheese, and a haystack of slow-cooked pulled pork. Burger Club, 32-02 30th Ave, Astoria; (718) 777-7788; http://www.burger-club.com/
The Queens Kickshaw has gained national recognition (in less than a year) for serving some of the country’s most incredible grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches, an eclectic array of craft beers and wines, and gourmet coffees & beverages (from V60 pour-over coffee to vinegar-cordial sodas called shrubs). Pictured are three of my favorite items, the Gouda (on brioche with black bean hummus, guava jam, and pickled jalapeños), the Mac & Cheese (with cheddar, gruyere, smoked mozzarella, & french beans), and the miso-mustard pickles (with everything from white beets to quail eggs). The Queens Kickshaw, 40-17 Broadway (a block from Steinway), Astoria; (718) 777-0913; http://thequeenskickshaw.com
Patacon Pisao, the famous Venezuelan food truck from Washington Heights, now has a storefront in Elmhurst. The cachapas sandwich above uses sweet corn cakes instead of bread. It’s stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, pernil (roast pork), queso frito (fried cheese), and Patacon Pisao’s special sauce. Other Venezuelan snacks available are arepas, patacones, and tachuchos.
Patacon Pisao, 85-22 Grand Ave., Elmhurst, NY, 11373
Open since 2006 and run by three brothers from the former Yugoslavia, along with their mother, sister, and aunt, Ukus is known for having some of the most gargantuan and tasty pies, like the sirnica (above). Putting most versions of tyropita to shame, the flaky puff pastry of buttery sheets of phyllo is crispy on the outside, and ever so moist and chewy inside, filled with a mixture of soft cheeses and egg. Think oven-fresh strudel stuffed with a tangy lasagna cheese blend of creamy ricotta and mild feta. The remainder of their little menu reads like an abridged Who’s Who of the most popular dishes served in the Yugoslavian tradition, with three soups, four salads, five pies, and thirteen grilled and main dishes (the name, ukus, translates to “taste”). But these gigantic pastry pies appear nearly a foot-and-a-half in diameter, and come piping fresh out of the oven throughout the entire day. $4.50 gets you one slice of either the meat, cheese, or spinach pies; and each slice is actually a quarter of the whole pie! It’s colossal, and more than enough to share. Ukus (42-08 30th Ave., Astoria) Open daily from 10AM to 11PM (718) 267-8587