In honor of my first JIA post and in celebration of a big submission I just made on a project, I decided to treat myself to a nice little afternoon around Astoria on Wednesday. It seems the stars were aligned for me, because everything came up roses.
I started with a wonderful yoga class at the new Giving Tree Yoga Studio (22-56 31st Street between 23rd Ave and Ditmars). Co-owners (and husband-wife duo) Anne-Margaret and Anthony have created a space that is at once yoga (and pilates) studio, community center, and massage studio. I could go on ad nauseam about how amazing their classes are, and what a delight it is to be part of their warm, nascent community, but I’ll let you find out for yourself. New students can try three classes for $25, and their mid-summer yoga and massage specials (available through the end of July) include a month of unlimited yoga classes for $80, an incredible deal.
I followed my bliss down the stairs and a few doors over to Mojave (22-36 31st Street), the southwestern restaurant I’d often passed with a shrug. I walked through their main restaurant area and was transported to Taos (seriously, it was a shock). Sitting in their charming garden area, complete with water fountain, I ordered the $11.95 prix fixe lunch and a side of guacamole. Now, I’ve kind of come to expect mediocrity from cheap prix fixe lunches, especially at 2:30 on a Wednesday afternoon. I was happily mistaken.
The menu included a tasty mini-margarita, and I chose the MotherRoad Roadhouse Chili (beef and pork braised in Dos XX beer and chile) and a spice-rubbed salmon sandwich on grilled sourdough with avocado, a southwestern aioli, and house-made potato chips. The chili was packed with tender pieces of meat and tomatoes that tasted like they’d recently been attached to a vine. The salmon was perfectly medium-rare and its accoutrements were all spot-on. As someone who fancies herself a guac artiste, theirs gets my whole-hearted stamp of approval: it was the perfect medium between smooth and chunky, with a kick of fresh lime.
In my sunny little garden paradise, I was tempted by the Invisible Rattlesnake (vanilla ice cream with D’Aristi Mayan honey, anisette, and crème de menthe), but got a hold of myself (and my distended abdomen), and took a raincheck. Mojave boasts 130 tequilas, happy hour specials ($5 wine, sangria, and house cocktails, and $3 beers) on weekdays from 4 – 7, and live music on Wednesday nights and during Sunday brunch. Yum.