Wednesday, April 30, 2008

31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins

Image by

The 2nd Annual Baskin Robbins 31 cent Scoop Night is back today from 5p-10p. All Baskin Robbins locations nationwide are participating in this fun promotion that supports a great foundation--the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). Together with the NFFF, Baskin Robbins honors 31 exemplary firefighters from across the nation who've committed themselves to serving their community.

But without further ado, here's the scoop (pun intended) on this incredible deal:

1. Visit your local Baskin Robbins today between the hours of 5p - 10p

2. All 2.5 oz ice-cream scoops are reduced to 31 cents

3. Enjoy your 31 cent scoops and share this fun news with your friends

Below are Astoria and LIC BR locations that you can visit to take advantage of this deal.

25-02 31st St, Astoria, NY 11102

31-17 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102

25-24 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106

33-26 21st St, Long Island City, NY 11106

30-08 Steinway St, Astoria, NY 11103

43-22 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105

34-01 Broadway, Long Island City, NY 11106

31-02 36th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11106

42-02 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101

35-00 48th St, Long Island City, NY 11101

Important Meeting Tonight!

I'll be there. I hope you will, too.

Community Forum on ConEd's Sale of its 20th Ave Location
Wednesday 4/30
St Francis of Assisi Church 21st Ave between 45th and 46th St.


From Mike Heffron of Transportation Alternatives Western Queens:

As you may know ConEd is planning to sell a portion of vacant waterfront property along 20th Ave to Steel Equities, to be leased to FedEx Ground as a distro center. We invited ConEd, Steel and FedEx to attend but they declined, so I'll give a brief presentation on the sale so far and we'll discuss the community's issues and thoughts on the sale.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Joeys - 5 Questions

This month to welcome our newest co-blogger Judith, we decided why not let the world know how we would answer our own 5 Questions?! Here it is, from the horse's mouth:

a) Joanna Grossman, Creator/Boss-chick of Joey In Astoria. Joey is not a boy!!!
b) Meg Cotner. I was a starving harpsichordist. Now I manage online communities for an Internet company in the wilds of Manhattan and love it!
c) Susan Vasconcelos, yet another blogger. To pay the bills though I am a graphic designer and wannabe hobbyist photog.
d) Judith Klein AKA The Foodista. I'm the founder and contributor of the Foodista Blog. I'm also the latest proud addition to this blog--Joey in Astoria.

Question #1 Were you born here? If not, where were you born, and what brought you to Astoria?
a) My parents are from NYC. I was born in Syracuse, NY. I moved to Astoria because NYC seemed to be my destiny for as far back as I can remember. Astoria itself, was cheap and close to the City. At the time it was pretty cruddy, but seemed worth the sacrifice.
I was born in a small town in Southern California, but have also lived in the SF Bay Area, Michigan, and on Long Island. I came here originally right after graduating from SUNY Stony Brook with my DMA, looking for a more cosmopolitan place than suburban Long Island. I originally wanted to live in Brooklyn, but was deterred by the exorbitant rents. Friends from school raved about Astoria, so my then-housemate and I took a chance on Astoria and found a terrific apartment here. It was best thing I could have done! I love it here.
Originally from NJ, I worked in midtown for years. Fell in love with an Astorian and found my way over here! It's been about 7 years now and i'm still loving it... and him.
I was born in a small Eastern Europen city of Kosice, Slovakia. And although I come from a city, it's nothing like NYC. The pace is slower, everything is older but the food (just like in Astoria) is incredible! I moved to Astoria two years after college. It was the perfect place for me to begin my independence and I immediately fell in love with its diverse feel. The mixing of cultures (including Eastern European) made me feel so at home. One of my first memories of Astoria is having lunch at Zlata Praha (Czech restaurant on 31st street near 30th Avenue) and completely stuffing my face with fried cheese, tartar sauce and a palacinka (crepe-like dessert). And that was just day 1.

Question #2 What is your favorite thing about living in Astoria?
a) The diversity and proximity. And the intangible 'neighborhoodiness'. And the park. And Loveday 31.
I love the mix of cultures here - Greek, Eastern European, Brazilian, Arab, and more. The languages, the food, the culture - it's all wonderful. I also adore Astoria Park and being near the water.
FOOOOOOD! I am first generation born in the U.S. and was brought up with very European eating habits, the fact that I feel like my mom could be cooking at any of these restaurants is a very comforting and yummy feeling.
My favorite thing about Astoria by far is the amazing food scene. Upon moving here, I couldn't believe how very European everything felt. I'm proud to say that I've ventured beyond my comfort zone and have tried various types of cuisines--from Brazilian to Moroccan, I love it all. I'm never bored when it comes to food and am constantly getting others (especially Manhattanites) to try it! If there's ever an advocate for Astoria, it's moi!

Question #3 What is your number one go to restaurant in Astoria?
Mundo. I think Wingasm's a major contender, tho. Except for the stupid name.
b) This is a hard one! There are actually two that would break my heart if they ever closed - Wave Thai (21-37 31st Street) and Il Bambino (34-08 31st Ave). Both produce excellent, delicious food that is well worth eating over and over again.
I adore Kabab Cafe and Ali. I always recommend it to everyone I know. Rivaling Kabab would be Il Bambino. Darren has made me a lover of everything pork!
I'm pretty loyal to my roots and have to say Koliba, which is a Slovak restaurant on 23rd Avenue and 32nd Street. The food reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen. The dumplings (called Knedle) are to die for and they have the best bacon I've ever tasted--it's super thick with an incredible smoky taste. Their fried cheese is also superb and a nice goblet of beer is a MUST with every meal.

Question #4 Best kept local secret that you don't mind sharing?
The fresh marinated artichokes at D&F Deli on Broadway. The focaccia slice at Grand Av Pizza. The white chocolate mousse cake at Brick Cafe. Also, I ate meat once at Mundo at it was totally worth it.
I am always happy to point people in the direction of Family Market (29-15 Broadway), a little Japanese market/convenience store. They have a nice selection of Japanese foodstuffs, from curries, to rice, to frozen dumplings. It's the only place I know of in town where I can get daifuku, one of my favorite sweets. Daifuku is a confection that's basically mochi stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. They have a number of flavors there, all of which are delicious. Oh, they also sell onigiri, which is a tasty snack - I like the ones with umeboshi (pickled ume plumb) especially.
The miriad of goodies at the Sandwich Kings! Yes the sandwiches rock, but also get the macaroni salad and a pickle! You won't be dissapointed. If you love the peppers as much as I do, order a little tub of the sweet peppers and add them to EVERYTHING!
Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant (31st Street near 23rd Avenue) is a local secret even though you've all probably passed by it. Although it looks like nothing much from the outside, it has one of the best Mexican kitchens in Astoria. And the prices are unbeatable!

Question #5 What would you like see happen in/for Astoria in 2008?
Bookstore!!!! Also a nice cafe bakery that's not cheesy around Broadway. Like the French one that closed. That made me sad.
I would love to see a good vegetarian/vegan restaurant open up in Astoria. I think it's one thing that's really lacking in this town, food-wise. Also, I'd like to see that damn scaffolding taken down from the Amtrak overpass near the Ditmars station!
Updating the durn wiring. The crapola Con Ed infrastructure REALLY gets my goat! Fingers crossed that we have a "cool" summer.
I'd like to see a cool live music venue open up. The food part is already taken care of, now we need some good entertainment to keep the night going!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Burger to Burger: Sparrow vs. Fatty's

In honor Dish du Jour's first ever "The Burger Battle of the Boroughs," I'm dedicating this post to Astoria's burgers--and shining the spotlight on two places that do them very well. Let the face-off begin...

1. The Sparrow - Astoria's beloved casual bar and eatery found directly across the street from the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. Sparrow has gotten so popular lately that I'd urge ya'll to get there early--even if you're using it as back-up when the Beer Garden gets crowded. Its loyal fan base has no doubt grown from its homey atmosphere, good music and of course its flourishing food cred. The burgers are a particular must and Reyes--Sparrow's head chef--has them down to a science.What makes the Sparrow burger a plus for me is the brioche bun--always fresh with a hint of sweetness. The burger meat itself is yet another masterpiece. It's juicy, seasoned well with various fresh and dried herbs and is generous in size--you won't get slider portions here! Pair it with your choice of cheese (gruyere, fontina, brie or cheddar), a side of their crunchy fries (herbed or spiced) and you got yourself a killer Sparrow Burger. Happiness and gluttony on a plate for $9-$12 (depends on your choice of toppings).

The Sparrow: 24-01 29th Street, Astoria, NY 11102. 718.606.2260

2. Fatty's - Also a small neighborhood gruberie, which offers its own spin on American and Latin bar food--think empanadas, croquetas, burritos and of course the mighty burger. Fatty's is known as a laid-back spot on Ditmars Blvd not far from Astoria Park. It's especially a hit in the summer, offering a nice outdoor garden with a backyard feel. You'll find people hangin' out all day and night. If you want to chill with the locals, go to Fatty's.

The Fatty's burger is complex. There are five varieties including a salmon burger and a Jalapeno turkey burger (shown here). Like at Sparrow, the portions are generous and I'd say even more so. The actual burger meat is fantastic--also moist, hearty and packed with fresh ingredients. Fatty's burgers are "glitzy", illustrated by this turkey burger. They're accompanied by a lot of crap--the mayo, the veggies, the salad, the list goes on. While I enjoy these embellishments on their own, they sometimes steal the burger's thunder. But if you fancy a fancy burger, I highly recommend Fatty's. The prices are wallet friendly, ranging from $7-$11.

Fatty's: 25-01 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105. 718.267.7071

Which burger wins? I'm biased and choose Sparrow (I have a soft spot for Reyes) but you be the judge. Visit these neighborhood joints and let us know what you think.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 24.04.08

Green is so the new black! Well, for this weekend at least. There are so many Earth Day events going on this week, just check with the Astoria/LIC Waterfront Community group to pick one that suits your taste.

EVERYTHING MUST GO! I'm sure everything is gonna go on Saturday at the last show at the Flux Factory (38-38 43rd St). Starting at 7 p.m. and free, come dance the night away with the "Make It Go Dance Party". There are going to be cool performances and all kinds of surprises, so go say your farewells!

Rain or shine, Sunday is Kite Flight: Plastic Play at Socrates (32-01 Vernon Blvd.). 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. turn your old plastic bags into cool recycled kites; then fly them in the park!

Also on Sunday, enjoy the first party of the season at Water Taxi Beach (2nd St & Borden Ave). Beach. Here. Now. will be packed full of DJs and will cost $20 in advance, more at the door. The party goes from 1 to 10 p.m.

If you find yourself hungry and outside, stop over at Akti and eat while enjoying the hustle and bustle of 30th Ave. The seafood is delish and they have a cool inventive way of using the menu.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My 2 Cents About Akti

Thanks for that segway Flooz. Akti sure is delicious and after much waiting for it to open, we were glad that it delivered on all counts--atmosphere, service and of course the food.

Our experience started pleasantly. We were seated at an outdoor table in a sunny spot. Something different that I've never seen was Akti's ordering method. Here's what goes down: 1 menu, 1 dry-erase pen and 1 unanimous decision has to be made. It was fun because we got to chat about our items of choice, marked up our menu and then handed it back to the waitress--painless and in fact enjoyable.

The food was somethin' else. I sometimes feel unsure about new places that have no cred yet but Akti built a great one in my book right away. We ordered several small mezedes (appetizers) to share and one larger fish entree. I recommend dining in this fashion because it allows you to try a lot of different delicacies. Here's what we ordered:

Roasted Pepper and Feta Cheese Spread - One word says it all--awesome. While this dip had spice, it was not too intense and we continued eating it throughout our meal and paired it with our other dishes ($7).

Grilled Haloumi Served with Tomato and Pita - Another fun starter, this one had an incredibly fresh taste from the tomatoes, lemon and parsley. The cheese itself was pretty light and had gorgeous grill marks. If you're picky about your cheeses, don't be shy to try this one, it's definitely not a smelly, pungent one ($9).

Zucchini Croquettes with Tzatziki Sauce - This was my favorite dish because I have a soft spot for fried foods. But even though it was crispy, it wasn't too oily and the tzatziki gave it a very cool, refreshing taste. The portion here was generous, providing great value for an app ($9).

Grilled Octopus - While not my favorite Akti dish, Flooz and Meg seemed to enjoy it. I thought it was a bit chewy but otherwise you could tell that the octopus meat was good quality ($12).

Grilled Porgy - A beautifully grilled white fish. While it was rustic looking--head, tail and bones in tact--the meat was so tender and cooked perfectly that we destroyed poor fishy to the bitter end. This is a large plate and sharing it was a great idea--I certainly couldn't eat the whole thing myself. It also came with a side dish of choice and we got the seasoned Greek fries (Market Price).

We ordered some fine Greek white wine to go with our seafood. Our gracious waitress recommended a delicious fruity option for only $24/bottle. She was familiar with it and mentioned that it came from the Greek region of her hometown. We were each able to get 2 full glasses out of it and were quite satisfied. Try Akti out for yourself and let us know what you think.

Akti Seafood Restaurant - 34-19 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103. 718.721.3530

Akti is open and delicious

Originally uploaded by The Flooz
Just in time for sidewalk seating weather, Akti has opened. What would we be if not diligent little bloggers for you all- we've gone on a recon mission and came out with satisfied bellies.

If you don't want to take my word for it, check out what Foodista had to say about it!

34-19 30th Ave

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 17.04.08

Join Bistro 33 for a fabulous wine and food pairing on Thursday (4/17); seatings at 7 and 9 p.m. Call (718-721-1933) or email ( for reservations. Bistro 33 is at 19-33 Ditmars.

Flux Factory hosts the Fluxer Reunion Party on Friday (4/18), 9 p.m.
"If you’ve ever lived at Flux, participated as an artist, been a guest, or just want to spy on the reunion magic... All are welcome!" Refreshments will be served. Dress to impress. Flux Factory is at 38-38 43rd Street in LIC; 718-707-3362.

Vine Wine is hosting a "special Saturday afternoon (4/19) tasting of delicious and fun Kosher wines just in time for Passover". 3-5 p.m. Vine Wine is at 12-09 Jackson Avenue; 718-433-2611.

And if you're looking for some fellowship for Passover, Chabad of Long Island City is holding a communal Passover seder at 8 p.m on Saturday. Please reserve early as space is limited! by contacting Rivka at 718-604-0066 or

Stars For Sydell reports: "I'll be having a trunk show at the wonderful Candy Plum on Saturday (4/19) from 1-4 p.m., featuring brand new designs for spring/summer '08. I've just finished a 3 month intensive jeweler's course, so I'm super proud of my new work. I hope some of you can stop by and say hello!" Candy Plum is at 30-98 36th Street in Astoria.

On Sunday from 12-5 p.m., stop by the Art-O-Mat to view An Unexpected Visitor: Landscape Sculpture & Drawings by Nigel Rollings. According to the site, it "includes drawings of landscape projects built or proposed, a contemporary garden structure, and will feature an installation of a Long Island City waterfront tableaux combining scientific projection and whimsy." Art-O-Mat is located at 46-46 Vernon Blvd.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Upside of Tax Day...

Image by of course FREE food! Dunkin' Donuts is giving away a free donut with a purchase of any hot coffee in honor of tax day. Get your sweet fix at Astoria's D&D locations near you.

Ditmars: 31-14 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105. 718.274.3011
43-22 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105. 718.932.7400

Astoria Blvd: 25-02 31st Street, Astoria, NY 11102. 718.726.6982
43-07 Astoria Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105. 718.267.8020

30th Avenue: 31-17 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11102. 718.956.3582

25-24 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106. 718.786.6825
34-01 Broadway, LIC, NY 11106. 718.278.4860

36th Avenue: 31-02 36th Avenue, LIC, NY 11106. 718.278.4860

Steinway: 30-43 Steinway Street, LIC, NY 11103. 718.721.7888

Northern Blvd: 42-02 Northern Blvd, LIC, NY 11101. 718.609.0723

21st Street: 33-26 21st Street, LIC, NY 11106. 718.728.3250

Enjoy your free donuts!

A preview of next month's promotion: Dunkin' Donuts will be giving away free iced coffee. More details to come...

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Sweetest Smelling Shop in Town

On my way to Dolce Italia Bakery this weekend, I noticed a quaint little soap shop on the corner of 36th Street and Ditmars called The Little Soap Shop--whadda ya know! While I've never noticed it before, its welcoming outdoor display of soaps and oils caught my eye.

I went in and immediately saw this place as something special. The founder and owner, Vivian Dritsas runs the shop. Her friendly manner and spunky personality immediately draw you in, peaking your curiosity about her products. She informed me that while the shop in Astoria is there for locals to peruse and shop at, the majority of her business takes place virtually through internet orders.

Vivian's earth friendly products are definitely worth bragging about--delicious smelling soy candles ($8), buttery-soft lip balm ($5), organic spa shower gel ($16) but of course the main show-stopper is her handmade soap made with minerals from the Dead Sea ($6-$10.50). From Egyptian Geranium to Mild Lavender and even soap that cures stinky feet, the Little Soap Shop satisfies your every soap need.

Take a walk over and smell the scents coming out of this sensational "soaperie."

The Little Soap Shop: 22-07B 36th Street, Astoria, NY 11105


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 10.04.08

Need a distraction from doing your taxes? Or some fun suggestions on how to spend your tax return? Check out what's happening in Astoria this weekend.

Tonight at 8 p.m., Flux Factory presents "The Best Flux Thursday Ever" (38-38 43rd St, LIC, 718-707-3362). This event is an extension of their weekly salon dinners where artists get together to talk about their various works. FREE and open to the public.

Friday night is Ladies Night at Lift Hair Studio (27-07 24th Ave, 718-728-5438). This trendy salon stays open later on Fridays in time to get your hair "did." Asia, Lift's gracious owner, offers complimentary wine and cheese with every visit. Appointments needed.

The Tour de Queens takes place on June 8 and we're giving you the chance to preregister now. This 20-mile bike tour goes through central and western Queens and begins and ends at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows. Click here for the registration form.

Hitting up H&R Block for your taxes? It just so happens that the 30th Avenue and 36th Street location is only a block away from the new Greek seafood restaurant Akti (34-19 30th Ave, 718-721-3530). Treat yourself to some delicious saganaki after you settle your bottom line.

And finally, don't miss the "Ultimate Shoulder Openers" class with Danielle Lee at the Yoga Room (32-32 Steinway, 718-274-0255). Increase your flexibility, improve your posture, and meet fellow yogis. This Sunday, April 13, 3:30-5:30, $35.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mano's Papaya - Coming Back!

I think that we were all sad when Astoria's beloved Mano's Papaya--cheap hot-dog and fresh juice haven--became a Bank of America. How lame and sad! But don't fret because Mano's is coming back, just ten blocks West on 30th Avenue and 30th street. I spied its new location yesterday and it looks like they'll be opening in a couple of months--we'll make sure to keep you posted.

Although the new location isn't as high profile as before, it's still in a vibrant, busy area across the street from Trade Fair and close to 7 Eleven.

I personally cannot wait until the new Mano's reopens--their fresh fruit smoothies, which could be customized are my favorite. The dogs are not bad either and you could get them for cheap--under $2. We'll see how prices are affected by this new location but we'll make sure to keep our eyes peeled and to keep you informed.

Mano's Papaya: 30-15 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11102

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Shoulder Work at The Yoga Room

This weekend, The Yoga Room is offering an interesting session. Check it out:

Shoulders are the key to unlocking the doors of your heart. Experience new levels of freedom and self-expression by learning healthy shoulder alignment and heart opening techniques in a full spectrum of poses with emphasis on backbends. This uplifting workshop will guide you through a joyful blossoming of the heart with ease and grace.

Sunday, April 13, 2008
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
$30 by April 10, 2008
$35 after April 10, 2008
32-32 Steinway St., Astoria, NY

Please call 718-274-0255 to pre-register. If you are planning to come on the day of the workshop please call for availability.

The Yoga Room
32-32 Steinway St.
Astoria, New York 11103
(718) 274-0255

4 is a Lucky Number

Ya' know 4 is a lucky number. You can play pool with 4 quarters. Pizza Hut cuts their personal pan pizzas into 4. Not counting my thumb, I have fingers on each hand. Harry Potter won the Tri-wizard Tournament in the 4th book...

Today, Astorians, is a big and exciting event in the life of Joey in Astoria. This is the day when our staff goes from 3 to 4! That's right, you heard it here first. The Fabulous Foodista is now one of us! I'm not sure how we ever ate without her!

Please give Foodista a hearty JIA welcome!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Parks And Greek Officials Unveil Statue At Athens Square Park

This happened this past weekend at Athens Square Park (30th Ave and 30th Street). Did anyone catch it? Definitely worth checking out the new statue. Here's the Press Release I received today:

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Greek officials and members of the Athens Square Inc. celebrated the unveiling of the latest edition to Athens Square Park – a bronze bust of Aristotle, a famous Greek philosopher. The statue was a gift from the Halkidiki people to the City of New York.

“The Parks Department is proud and honored to display the bust of Aristotle from the generous people of Halkidiki and made possible by Athens Square Inc.,” said Commissioner Benepe. “In the spirit of Aristotle’s words, ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance,’ this sculpture is a little piece of Greece to our parks.

The Aristotle bust was sculpted by George V. Tsaras of Greece and is a gift from the people of Halkidiki, a peninsula in the Greek region of Macedonia, to the City. Since the 1980s, the Athens Square Inc. has been bringing Greek culture to Athens Square Park by adding a meeting place designed to look like a Greek amphitheatre. The square features three other sculptures including three granite Doric columns that replicate classical Greek architecture, statues of the Greek icons philosopher Socrates, and the Greek goddess of heroic endeavors Athena, which was given to the park from the City of Athens, Greece.

Athens Square Park is named after the capital city of modern Greece where literature, art, science and philosophy once flourished. In 1963, Parks and the Board of Education acquired the one-acre-site for a playground for the school P.S. 17. In 1990, $1 million dollars was allocated for capital reconstruction of the park to create a meeting place for the many Greek residents who populate the area in Astoria.

Since 1967, collaborations with art organizations and artists have produced more than 1,000 public art displays in New York City parks. Parks & Recreation’s public art program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. With more than 1,300 works, including more than 300 sculptures, New York City parks are the largest municipal outdoor art museum in the United States.

Astoria in MUG

Each weekday I receive the Manhattan Users Guide in my email box. Today's was called Egyptian Dossier. Even before I scrolled down to the Food area of the NL, I thought, "I bet Astoria's gonna be in this." Lo and behold, it is! Here's what they had to say:
In Astoria's Little Cairo section along Steinway, there's no one quite like Ali El Sayed, the beloved chief, cook, and bottle washer at Kabab Cafe, 25-12 Steinway [25th Ave.] 718.728.9858, except maybe his brother, Moustafa, who runs Mombar, 25-22 Steinway [25th Ave.] 718.726.2356. Ali cooks northern, Alexandria-style Egyptian; at Mombar, it's southern Egyptian.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wine Tasting at Bistro 33

I received this in my mailbox this morning. Wish it was on a Friday, though - it can be hard to recover from all that wine in order to go back to work on a Friday morning!

Join us Thursday, April 17 to taste a selection of wines from around the world and help choose some new additions to our wine list. The evening will include 4 flights (12 wines) paired with four courses of food

Flight 1
Rose wines

Flight 2
Rhone Blends

Flight 3
Sauvignon Blanc

Flight 4
Chenin Blanc

Call or email for reservations
Seatings at 7 pm or 9 pm
$65 per person

1933 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 721-1933

Friday, April 04, 2008

Astoria Loves Red Velvet

What's with the Red Velvet love? And by Red Velvet we mean cupcakes--of course.

Judging from the signs I've seen in storefronts on 30th Avenue, "We sell Red Velvet cupcakes", "Red Velvet cupcakes available here," there's certainly a demand for these spongy sensations. It struck me as interesting that this very American dessert is desired in our very ethnic neighborhood. What you usually find in bakeries in Astoria is flaky Balkava, creamy Napoleans or luxurious Cannoli--but Red Velvet? I personally love this dessert and scoped out the best places that carry it. And because it's such a rare treat in Astoria, it certainly goes for a premium. The below bakeries make Red Velvet quite well and to keep things more interesting, we even added a home baker extraordinaire into the mix.

Terrizzi Pasticceria - An authentic Italian bakery owned by pastry chef Joseph Anthony Polito. He's known for his elaborate cakes (especially wedding cakes) and has prepared his treats for public figures such as Michael Jackson and Colin Powell. Terrizzi sells Red Velvet cupcakes for $2.00 each. 35-14 30th Avenue. 718.726.9698

Frank's Bakery - Another Italian bakery (one of two Frank's in the 'hood), which offers various types of breads and pastries--my favorite is their olive bread. They sell Red Velvet cupcakes for a whopping $2.95 each. 36-02 30th Avenue. 718.726.7813

Martha's Country Bakery - By far the most designer, Manhattan-like bakery in Astoria. You can easily compare it to Billy's or Magnolia but I think Martha's is much better. The cupcake variety is enormous--Oreo to Carrot Cake to Red Velvet! You can get Red Velvet in cupcake form for $2 each or in various cake sizes: 5 inch cake $10.95, 7 inch cake $22, 8 inch cake $25. 36-21 Ditmars Blvd. 718.545.9737

Baked Goodness by Shaya Elcock - A local foodie and baker extraordinaire, Shaya Elcock is not only a talented treats-maker she's an entrepreneur in the making. Her company Baked Goodness is just the beginning to her lifelong dream of owning a bakery. Shaya makes a mean Red Velvet cupcake for a bargain price of $1.65 each. You can contact her directly to order: 219.510.3923 or

Hope that we've satisfied your sweet tooth!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 03.04.08

Tonight SITE's (35-11 34th Ave) having a party. Come out and celebrate this adorable shops 1 year anniversary with DJ's, wine, artists and specials. Festivities are going on from 7pm -10pm.

Friday night yuck it up at the new Mezzo Comedy Club (33rd St @ Ditmars - yes, it is Mezzo Mezzo). Matt Taylor, the manager and funny man himself says "We are the first and only full-time professional comedy club NOT in Manhattan." Enough to get you there? If you RSVP to, you can avoid the $10 cover too. This week get there by 8:30 p.m. to be entertained by Jesse Joyce.

Grab a pal and head to Fatty's (25-01 Ditmars) to check out their new menu and charge it! The gang has hit the big one and are now plastic friendly! No need to run to the ATM ahead of time anymore.

Il Bambino (34-08 31st Ave) has finished getting prettied up so if you're in the area, check out the cute new "paddle wall" and of course grab some soup or a sammy!

Our fabulous Foodista weighed in on the new Angelo & Sons Bakery (22-09 Astoria Blvd.) Definitely improved all around; go for the Linzer and stay for a "themed" sandwich.

And call me crazy, but this sounds AWESOME! Albeit it's LIC and all, but still, not far for us :)