Monday, April 21, 2008

A Walk through Astoria

I've been walking through Astoria recently, and jotting down real quick observations of restaurants that I've sampled across the way. Here are some quick observations:

On Steinway:

El Basurero - columbian restaurant with outlandish decor - bicycles hanging from the ceiling, carnival-esque. Had a cheese bunuelo there, but it wasn't very good.

On Broadway:

Brooklyn Bagel -- had a raisin and wheat bagel here that was very dry. Ugh.

Omonia cafe -- Nice. This Italian bakery had a tasty little rum-soaked sponge cake sandwich filled in with custard. It was soft and moist and alcoholicky -- tasty.

Mundo -- this slightly wacky and small argentinian-turkish joint is filled with paintings that somehow look a little like picasso in 5th grade or something. Anyway, I tried their "signature dish," a set of lettuce wraps with a kind of thick lentil paste with cracked wheat and lemon. This was highly delicious and addictive.

Parisi bakery -- Had an onion roll here, but it was a little hard and dry.

Pao de queijo -- I was a touch skeptical of this little Brazilian bakery just off of Broadway on 30th st. But I tried one of their sugared cornball pastries ("docinho de milho"), and it was a burst of rich, melt-in-my-mouth sweetness! Wonderful! I also had a chewy chocolate ball, filled with a cooked condensed-milk substance ("brigadeiro"), which was also very good. I hope to try their savory stuff sometime soon.

Sac's place -- I had a slice of pizza at this pizza place. I liked the way the slices had sauce and cheese strewn over them, almost in a homemade fashion. And actually, I liked the slices -- but they did remind me a lot of a better kind of homemade pizza, almost like a really much-better version of the kind of white bread pizza a kid might make and heat in the toaster oven. The crust was tender, and the sauce was mild.

On 21st:

Roti boti -- tried a roti from this small Indian buffet, along with a little of their okra curry. Both were competent, but nothing to write home about.

On Dittmars:

La Guli - tried a cannoli at this bakery. All in all, not bad, but the vanilla filling was too rich and dense for me (and I have a pretty high tolerance for rich and dense). Also, the cannoli shells were not quite crunchy enough for me, which is not surprising since they are prefilled with the cream.

Oleput - visited this bar & tried a chocolate chip cookie. Not bad, but it was a shortbread kind of cookie. I don't really like my chocolate chip cookies made out of shortbread. But it was a neat environment, filled with interesting books and mementos, and it would be a fun place to spend some time.

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