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Steinway street openings and Astoria cafes (long)

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Steinway street openings and Astoria cafes (long)

Dan Sonenberg | Sep 21, 2003 09:57 PM

A bunch of new activity on Steinway Street near Kabab Cafe (betw. Astoria Blvd. and 28th Ave.)

Haven't tried any of these, but they all look interesting:

Sandwich Shop - small halal place, with some interesting sounding items, including a mountain oyster sandwich (what is a mountain oyster???)

New Seafood Place (can't remember the name) - In the now-closed El Farolito. Seafood-based menu in the window with the prices suspiciously obscured. I prefer a seafood place to steakhouse though, and am curious about this one.

The Taco and Sandwich Place - or some similar name. Looks like mainly taco-type stuff. Absolutely not a single item w/o meat on the menu, but for carnivores (of which I am not one) might be interesting.

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Have been doing lots of cafe hopping. Astoria's cafe scene is thriving and wonderful.

Santorini - corner of 28th Ave. and Steinway St. Finally finally this place got a sidewalk cafe permit this year, and they are also serving food. It's a very laid back cafe vibe, and the food that we've tried so far: fried calamari; penne alla vodka; caesar's salad; ice cream, has all been quite good (a bit too much batter on the calamari). Entrees, unlike the drinks, are VERY CHEAP ($6.95 for a generous portion of penne, which was delicious...entirely simple and honest. So many places wreck simple pasta dishes by trying to get fancy w/o truly fancy ingredients). Ice cream and desserts by the Italian company Bindi have all been good.

Cafe Bar - a bit of Brooklyn cool on 34th Ave (and 35th St.). The place is lovely inside and out, and the food is outstanding, particularly for brunch. The prices are unashamedly Manhattan, but I don't know of any place nearby that can do eggs, salads, or sandwiches anywhere near as well. (Have the scrambled eggs w/ tomato and feta, for instance, or the shrimp and avocado wrap on lavash bread, and prepare to rapture on the spot).

Athens Cafe - 3 years in Astoria and I'm starting to really adore this place. Their tiramisu has been praised recently, and deservedly so. It's doled out in extremely generous portions, rich with LOTS of mascarpone (that has the nicest little sour twinge), the savoiardi (lady's fingers) soaked just the right amount in what seems to be mostly coffee (not much booze taste, which I miss somewhat, although my Italian friend says true tiramisu doesn't have or need alcohol). Most of the other desserts leave me uninspired, but the drinks are fabulous (alcoholic drinks come with a bowl of pistachios), and the vibe, at what is arguably one of the loudest outdoor spots in New York City (I think it's actually been mentioned as such by the Mayor), is oddly restful.

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