Monday, November 10, 2008

The JIA Crew Goes to Koliba

Last week my colleagues Meg, Sooz and I went to my favorite restaurant in Astoria--Koliba. I'm slightly biased in my preference for it because it reminds me of my home country of Slovakia. For those of you who may not know, Koliba specializes in Slovak and Czech homestyle dishes. That means lots of dumplings, sauces, meat and of course beer!

We had a great experience here and I was delighted that the girls loved it as much as I did. Although Koliba is nothing fancy, the food is among the most comforting, filling and flavorful in Astoria--and it's sort of a hidden treasure, as not many people think to check it out.

Here is some of the amazingness that we sampled:

Potato Spaetzle with Cheese and Bacon ($14.50) - I usually splurge and get this dish almost every time. The cheese is a creamy sheep's cheese that just melts in your mouth upon contact. The spaetzle or potato-based dumplings are a step above gnocchi and the bacon is super thick, crispy and chewy! My favorite part of the bacon is that it feels substantial instead of the thin strips that I'm used to eating at other restaurants. The portion (pictured above) is way too large for one person but it's nice to split it in half with your dining companions or to take some home for tomorrow's lunch.

Potato Spaetzle with Sauerkraut and Bacon ($11.75) - This was Meg's dish and it was also very tasty. The spaetzle were the same as mine and the sauerkraut was seasoned well with lots of pepper. Bacon was also used but it was a lot different than the one on my dish--Meg's was more chewy than crispy and it was pinker, looking like thick-sliced Canadian bacon. Meg took almost half of her portion home too and at the price that you see above, this was once again a great deal.

Pork Schnitzel in Potato Pancake Batter ($14.75) - Sooz just couldn't resist this delicious-sounding dish. I've never had it before myself and when I saw that it came served with plenty of sweet red cabbage, I knew that I'd have to get it next time. The pork schnitzel was enormous and the portion actually included two pieces--one of which is nestled under this big one that you see above. The batter was fantastic, crispy, thick and a little sweet too. The meat that lied underneath was light and not too thick, making it was easy to cut into and eat. Meg and I both took forkfuls of the delightful sweet cabbage, which happens to be my favorite Slovak side-dish. This plate was definitely a home run, judging by Sooz' happy face.

Everytime that I go to Koliba it's never crowded and last week was no exception. We were the only people that dined at a table, as everyone else sat at the bar chatting. Needless to say, our waitress wasn't very busy. She was friendly and brought everything to us relatively quickly. We had to signal to her to get the check but once we did, it came in minutes--nothing to complain about.

So...go ahead and try Koliba! If you like good food and aren't afraid of a couple of calories here and there, you'll love it.

Koliba - 31-11 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)


Anonymous said...

I love that delicacies perfect for my appetite.

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