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Archive for July 2012

Astoria’s 5-star reviews: 7/21-7/28

Congratulations to everybody who got 5-star reviews on Yelp this week.

This week, we observe Yelpers with strong feelings about bagels, Indian food, and a beloved vet. PLUS: Votes for favorite mojitos, yoga classes, and a nice place to grab a drink where “the music isn’t blasting so you can actually have goood conversation.”

7/21/12 Astoria Bagel Shop & Deli 28-12 Ditmars

“The staff is efficient in getting the long morning line satisfied, and once you get to know these classic NYers, real sweethearts. I’ve traveled the world searching for the perfect bagel and found it here.”

7//21/12/ William Hallet 36-10 30th Ave

“Hands down my fave bar in Astoria. Their cocktail list never fails and the food is fantastic, as well, if you feel like having dinner. Love coming in after work to have the bourbon martini.

7/22/12 Lots O Bagels 30-05 Broadway

“Best bagels in Astoria. Been ordering from them for years they deliver fast and the staff is great… I highly recommend, go in or order coffee and a bagel for delivery.”

Ovelia interior, via ovelia-ny.com

7/22/12 Ovelia 34-01 30th Ave

“The brunch foods have a subtle Greek-inspired twist to them, which is a nice change from typical brunch fare (how many weeks in a row can you have eggs benedict?) The ambrosia sangria is delicious and refreshing, and their mojitos are some of the best I’ve ever had.”

7/22/12 Trattoria L’incontro 21-76 31st St

7/22/12 Mundo Café & Restaurant 31-18 Broadway

“Ultimately, I cannot do these offerings adequate justice. Everything I tried was delicious. As a biracial kid/hybridized human—food like this is extra special to me. Perhaps my Levantine roots had me transfixed over simultaneously nostalgic and new tastes; but with food this good, this real, this unique-yet-common, you are bound to have your own special experience.”

THREE 5-stars: 7/22, 7/25, and 7/27/12 Via Trenta Osteria & Wine Bar 36-19 30th Ave

7/24/12 Astoria Veterinary Group 23-54 Steinway

“I started going to AVG around three years ago.  I moved to Astoria from Manhattan and was very attached to my vet there, but the trip in was just too complicated–for me and the cat. I chose AVG based on the reviews here, and I’m very glad I did. Henry’s getting quality veterinary care, it’s much closer to home and it’s considerably less expensive.  I am so happy I found them.”

7/26/12 Butcher Bar 37-08 30th Ave

“Butcher Bar’s concept is great, I can bring my own beers sit down in the backyard and relax, while i wait for a rib eye steak, which i just chose myself from the butcher case. on top of all this awesomeness, the girls are beautiful and each of them is so sweet, kind and helpful.”

7/24/12 Dawa Threading Salon 31-08 30th Ave

7/23/12 Gandhi 34-14 30th Ave

“Absolute go to place for me for my Indian food cravings! And, I have been a loyal customer for nine years, as long as I have lived in Astoria… Everything I have had has been fantastic, the service is incredible, the portions fairly generous (I usually have leftovers).. And where else can you get an amazing, three course dinner for only $12???”

7/23/12 Mosaic Café & Lounge 25-19 24th Ave

7/23/12 Samossa Bites 34-11 Crescent St

“It’s tiny but has this Mushroom Methi dish that is impossible to find anywhere else and is so, so good! It actually inspired my boyfriend, who doesn’t cook much, to try to make it for our Valentine’s Day dinner!!:)”

L’Artiste dishes, via lartisterestaurant.com

7/25/12 L’Artiste 42-20 31st Ave

“Went here for a Groupon and they warmly honored it. They didn’t feel like I was taking advantage of them or something like other places. I had the vegetable sandwich which was actually very good and filling. Their bunch menu at the restaurant is much bigger than the website’s menu. The atmosphere was nice as it had aesthetic designs of Paris… not tacky, just enough.”

****Review of the Week”****

7/25 New York Pao de Queijo 31-90 30th St by Eric S. of Brooklyn, NY

“As a decedent of Chilean parents, I take pride in two particular things, Chile has the best wine in South America, and no one makes better sandwich style foods than we do. Enter New York Pão de Queijo. I would gladly lick a sidewalk in Bronx, or worse Brooklyn, to get a free sandwich here. I have come to realize from eavesdropping and talking to people in Brooklyn, that they have no idea how good the food is in Queens (take your pick from the numerous neighborhoods) and my first recommendation to the ignorant is Pão de Queijo….”

TWO 5-stars 7/24 and 7/26/12 Pachanga Patterson 33-17 31st Ave

TWO 5-stars 7/23 and 7/26 Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli 33-12 23rd Ave

7/24/12 Super El Noa Noa 36-21 Steinway

“Good Spanish music (bachata, cumbia, reggaeton, salsa and dance). Ladies free on fridays.
Check out their website before you go to see if they are having any special events.”

7/24/12 Sweet Afton 30-09 34th St

“Yummie burgers :)) Good for meeting new people and is also a good low key hang out for a group of friends.  The music isn’t blasting so you can actually have goood conversation. Sheesh! – finally!  :)”

7/25/12 Anthea Center 34-01 45th St 2nd Fl

7/25/12 Mustapha Bourara MD 24-27 Steinway

7/26 Fatima’s Halal Chinese Restaurant 25-25 Broadway

7/26/12 Viya 32-15 Broadway

Five for Friday

A random roundup of tweets, posts, and/or interesting goings-on in Astoria social media:

1. Twitter, FB// Sorriso Salumeria is running a contest to increase its followers & fans.

2. Twitter, blog// Queens Comfort gets some Queens Love, Bradley Hawks-style.

I’m not sure when Bradley Hawks left for his Hawaiian holiday, or when he returned, but I figured it out when I followed this tweet from @QNSLUV…

and lo and behold ….

Astoria’s premier foodie/fotog is back!

[Go ahead, I know you want to: Here’s the whole post, over on QUEENS LOVE.]

3. Funniest Twitter, Instagram// @DiWineBar gets comment-card love. 

Go to Twitter yourself if you want to see the Instagram of the card; what I thought was awesome was DiWine’s brief-but-intriguing tweet:

4. Twitter, Facebook// @Bohemian Beer Garden announces Czech and Slovak classes 

5. And… // @cubicle57blog‘s got something in the works!

I never met her personally, but I follow Beckie Stravers (aka cubicle57blog) on Twitter, as do a lot of Astoria tweeps:

Even under construction, Make Your Media Social is charming. (Or as my husband might say— because he’s not from around here—”wicked charming!”) I’m not sure what she does in her cubicle on the Upper West Side, but the girl’s a natural-born writer and has a very easy way with social media. I’m thinking she could persuade even the most curmudgeonly anti-social Astoria small business owner to get with the program, digitally. (No pressure, Beckie!) Check out her progress on the new site here:  Make Your Media Social — Social Media Training and Consultation.

Astoria’s 5-star reviews: 7/14-7/21

Congratulations to everybody who got 5-star reviews on Yelp this week.

Find out who got not one, not two, but four 5-star reviews… Who should change the name of their wine bar to include the word “heaven”… and which bakery ought to be as known for their coffee as for their baked goods.

The park in early spring, via AstoriaSocialMedia.com

7/16/12 Astoria Park 19-00 Hoyt Ave N

“Since i still can’t afford my own, this is my backyard. I love this place and the people who go there. i always have a good time with my sweetheart. I like watch the skateboarders, or the cars on the strip or the boats on the East River while eating a delicious huge sandwich from Sal, Kris and Charlie’s deli. It is just a great place to chill in all seasons when you don’t want to schlep 50 mile across the state for some greenery or a water view.”

7/1612 Berry Fresh Farm 43-26 Ditmars

“I love this place. Nice shopping center with parking. Great prices & product selection. Good produce, fresh seafood & deli department. nice selection of fresh raviolis — love raviolis! the meat department has some interesting cuts and butchery is high quality.”

7/16/12 DiWine 41-15 31st Ave

“Diwine heaven should be the real name. Been here a couple times and I’m in love with it. The decor is simply welcoming, the cement walls are very cool and so are the drapes around the booths, makes dinner feel so much more intimate. The wine selection is not the biggest but it deff is more than enough and most bottles are only $32 which is amazingly cheap ! they have fresh cheeses and meats which are awesome ! but my favorite things were the skirt stake skewers that are served with a chimichurri sauce and the truffle mac and cheese! They’re both small portions but big enough to fall in love with.”

7/17/12 Animal Clinic of Long Island City 32-01 36 Ave

TWO: 7/17 and 7/18 Aida’s Realty Corporation 43-04 30th Ave

“Aida worked hard to get me a place at a great price and the end result was successful. My friends and I are now living in Astoria with a great landlord and Aida was a huge help. Highly recommend if you’re trying to get an apartment fast!”

“I can’t disagree more with the reviews I’ve found here. Aida was pleasant and showed me a number of apartments on short notice. Though I ultimately decided not to go with any of the ones she showed me, she had many to offer and I could not have asked for a better guide to the neighborhood.”

Gian Piero coffee, via Yelp

7/18/12 Gian Piero Bakery 44-17 30th Ave

“Aside from their ridiculously good pastries–
When I want a caffeinated beverage done properly, I go here. If you like your coffee/latte etc. on the strong side, try this place.”

FOUR: 7/14, 7/18, 7/20 and 7/21/12 Sorriso Italian Pork Store 44-16 30th Ave

“I just bought some prosciutto. WOW! Just WOW! I also got their home-made sopressata, amazing. And these pepper pretzel thingys! I’m now in love with this place… And the service is so great! Very nice people who work there. They gave us samples for everything we were about to order. YUM!”

“Best Mozzarella I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating!  Great sandwiches!”

“This place is the real deal. The people who work there are super friendly and will likely force samples onto you, like the Italian grandmother you never had. The meats and cheeses are delicious, obviously, but the premade things in the display cases are also really great.”

“The best fresh mozzarella and sopressata in NYC.  Super friendly and helpful staff.”

7/18/12 Steinway Auto Parts Astoria 22-25 Steinway

“looking for an inline fuel filter and it was $4, autozone quoted it at $15, great deal.”

7/20/12 Medical Pedicure 14-22 33rd Ave

“Used to See Marcela when she was working out of a Soho Medical Spa  - she is wonderful!  Makes your feet feel like new and cannot even compare how she cleans up your feet to the local pedicure you may get at the nail salon.   So excited that she will now be available for home visits!”

7/20/12 Don Coqui 28-18 31st St

“I’ve been here for the nightclub. The food looks good but I have not tried it yet.

It’s great to have a club in Astoria that people come to from other areas for.  On Thursdays, they’ve got pretty decent latin music and dancing.  There are all levels of dancing from people who nod there heads and watch to people that have performed on stage before.
Drinks are a little pricey but there’s no cover on Thurs, so I’m cool with it.  Definitely worth stopping by.”

TWO: 7/15 and 7/20/12 Mundo Café & Restaurant 31-18 Broadway

“Having been open for 7 years now, I had not even heard of this place, nor saw it while walking hundreds of times down Broadway. However I am so glad that I now know where it is. It is tucked away on 32nd just off Broadway so it is a little harder to find.”

“I love going to Mundo for tapas and drinks. The food is incredible and the atmosphere is very relaxed. A great escape from the chaos of Broadway!”

Sal, Kris, and Charlie’s Deli, via Yelp

TWO: 7/14 and 7/16/12 Sal, Kris and Charlie’s Deli 33-12 23r Ave

“This place ROCKS!!!. Had your mixed Italian meats on a roll versus hero (similar to the photo) and let me tell you, one of the best sandwiches you will every have.  Make sure you bring cash as they do not except debit/credit. But hey, more then worth a quick ATM stop.”

“omg!!!!! i love this place!! gigantic sandwich from the sandwich gods!! worth the wait. feels like a NY from an older better time!!! hope this place stays as long as i live!”

Sunday social: 5-star reviews!

Congratulations to everybody who got Yelp’s highest honor for the week 7/7 to 7/14.

This week, Yelpers are celebrating Astoria’s best, including best shrimp toast, best chicken and best place to get hookah supplies. Extra applause for HinoMaru (two 5-star reviews) and Bareburger (three!) And a big “Well done!” to one of our newer restaurants, Donato’s Italian Bistro, which got its FIRST 5-star Yelp review.

Photo via LinnRestaurant.com

7/7/12 Linn 29-13 Broadway

“Have been to Linn’s twice in the past 2 months and the place is absolutely amazing. If you’re focused on the freshness of the fish and the flavor of the food, then this may be one of the best places in New York.”

7/7/12 Manners Motors 35-05 45th St.

7/7/12 Don Coqui 28-18 31st St.

“The drinks are overpriced but hey they were well worth it. We walked around and found a decent area away for the crazy wild college girls lol. We loved the music the location is immensely big and the bartenders are super friendly.
”

7/7/12 Astoria Soundworks Rehearsals Ltd 38-01 23rd Ave

“Great place, great prices, excellent staff, great common areas, good gear.”

7/7/12 Locale 33-02 34th Ave

7/7/12 New Enrico’s Car Service 32-09 37th St

“Friendly and on time, a little early actually. $33 from Astoria to JFK, and I called 20 minutes before I wanted the car. Granted, it was Wednesday around 2pm. I’d suggest always asking for a quote to avoid any problems.”

7/8/12 O’Hanlon’s Bar 22-57 31st St

“What can I say that everyone else hasn’t said?  It’s a fun dive with friendly bartenders.  Prices are cheap and it’s lively.”

7/8/12 Dragon Gate Chinese Cuisine 19-44 37th St

“Best shrimp toast of all the chinese places i’ve tried in the area. They actually used panko bread crumbs.

Off the beaten path so everything is just a bit cheaper. lower overhead for being in a plaza.”

7/8/12 Millennium Physical Therapy 30-63 38th St

“I had a Total Knee Replacement and after my home therapy ended I chose Millennium for my out patient therapy… The staff is friendly, the therapists are great and very eager to answer any questions and give me feedback on my progress. The facility is clean, modern and very nicely decorated. I am planning surgery on my other knee next year and will certainly return to Millennium.”

7/8/12 El Rey Del Taco Truck 33-01 30th Ave

7/9/12 Cohen’s Fashion Optical 30-95 Steinway

“The doctor who gave me an eye exam was very polite and knowledgeable and explained everything about my eyes and contacts. It is very hard to put contacts in your eye for the very first time but the person who showed me how to do it made everyhing so much easier, she is the best! ”

Photo via OnTheNileCafe.com

7/9/12 On the Nile Café 33-09 36th Ave

“Tried lots of more menu items on second trip.  Best chicken I have ever eaten of any variety. This place rocks!”

7/9/12 A Class Realty 32-32 Steinway 2A

7/9/12 Nile Gourmet Deli 25-12 Steinway

“Best place in the city to get hookah supplies. Has a great selection of Al Fahker Shisha. The bags of natural coals are only $1. Also conveniently close to all the Astoria Hookah Bars.”

7/9/12 Big Apple Barbecue & Fireplace 18-31 42nd St

“Fantastic place to buy grills, wood chips, BBQ sauce, grilling cookbooks, etc. They also sell pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens. I got my new gas grill delivered the next day, with free delivery and set up!”

7/9/12 Donato’s Italian Bistro 34-02 Broadway [NEW establishment; first 5-star]

“Beautiful place, great atmosphere. We rec’d a complimentary glass of the house red. 
We were a party of five with 3 kids. We were quickly sat and warmly greeted by the owner (I presume). Being 90+ outside, they had decent AC. It was comfortable.
The chicken Marsala was fabulous. I enjoyed it a great deal. My bride had the stuffed shells with bolognese sauce. The sauce was a little smoky, but good. 

Pricing was very reasonable for the location and ambience.
 Agree with previous reviewers, one of, if not THE best, tiramisu I’ve ever had! It was actually refreshing on such a warm day! In fact, it pushed me to 5 stars instead of 4!
”

TWO 5-star reviews 7/9 and 7/11/12 HinoMaru 33-18 Ditmars

7/10/12 DiWine 41-15 31st Ave

“I like how their wine list was organized by locations and I went with a Riesling because I was craving something fruity, refreshing and summery.
 Not only does this wine bar only serve wine though, they also carry a great selection of beers, whiskey and infused cocktails that all looked really promising :)

7/10/12 Queens Comfort 40-09 30th Ave

“Obviously it’s not health food but I think the name kind of implies that. Of all the new businesses on 30 Ave in the past couple of years this is probably my favorite.”

7/11/12 Via Trenta Osteria & Wine Bar 36-19 30th Ave

7/11/12 Moon S Lee Evolution Martial Arts 43-08 Broadway

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally find a workout where I am eager to go to. Tonight was only my second class and I left drenched in my own sweat. Ew. Gross. I know. But I highly recommend this fine MMA, Kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do establishment! Get ready. Master James will whip you in to shape!”

7/12/12 Angel Spa 32-84 Steinway

7/12/12 Yellow Bird Auto Diagnostic Center 20-02 29th St

“My car over heated and i asked Sammy to replace the water pump. He did a perfect job and has more than reasonable prices. He is such a genuinely nice/honest person! I do pdr work and used to work in the Auto body field so i really appreciate how honest he is. I see customers come in and out and they are all treated VERY WELL.”

THREE 5-star reviews 7/7, 7/8 and 7/14/12 Bareburger 33-21 31st Ave

Beecher’s Fault// Fan Photo Fridays

So happy to welcome Beecher’s Fault to my Twitter feed today. Because I’m nosy (and interested in all social media platforms), I checked out their FB page as well—and I really liked (and wanted to share) this cool way they drum up fan engagement: Fan Photo Fridays.

The latest winner (+friend) in Beecher’s Fault’s FAN PHOTO FRIDAY

Every week they send the shout out to their winner—not canned copy; it’s customized for each fan—along with a “how-to” for newbies:

Here’s How It Works: Every Friday, we will announce a new winner of our UPCOMING ALBUM entitled MISBEHAVIOR signed by Ken, Ben, and Eric from Beecher’s Fault. The CD will be mailed out the night before it is released to the public.

Here’s How To Enter: Email us a picture of you rocking our Beecher’s Fault T-Shirt to info@beechersfault.com and you are automatically entered to win!

Don’t Have a BF Shirt? You can purchase them at:www.beechersfault.com/store or at any of our shows.

By the way: I’m not young, hip, or particularly at all savvy about the local music scene, but I checked out their single, “Misbehavior,” on YouTube. I like! Sounds great, and the video itself is awesome. (Kudos to A.D. Joseph DeDalto.) Next Astoria venue: The Quays, July 20. (Check out their site for more particulars.)

Beecher’s Fault// Digital profile

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Twitter: 1,721 following • 335 followers

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