Restaurant reviews: New Queens restaurants
Queens has long been known for cheap international food, but a recent wave of eateries signals fresh ambitions for the borough. We checked in on some of the buzziest newcomers and found varying results.
Tue May 17 2011
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
The comfort-food mania that's overtaken Manhattan and Brooklyn has been largely absent in Queens. Unfortunately, this down-home eatery is a poor ambassador for the craze. The cheery, sun-filled restaurant—decorated with white chairs, green swivel stools and old-fashioned wood fans—looks like it could serve as Astoria's go-to brunch spot, but at 1pm on a recent Saturday, the joint was nearly half-empty. One bite of the biscuits with andouille sausage gravy and it's easy to see why it hasn't caught on: Flaky, buttery biscuit rounds are undone by a dense, greasy sauce. Chicken-and-"Eggos" also disappoints, the bird overseasoned, the waffles flavorless except for a dousing of weak maple syrup. Even the iced tea strikes an off note: It's sweetened with molasses, instead of plain white sugar, giving the glass an acrid, tarlike whiff. It's almost painful when the friendly young waitress says with a South Carolina twang, "We hope you come back soon." If only the food were as inviting as the service. 40-09 30th Ave between Steinway and 41st Sts, Astoria (718-728-2350)