Tonight I had the good fortune to join friends at Queens Comfort, the new comfort food restaurant in Astoria. Overall, it was a great experience – excellent, flavorful food, attentive staff, and a comfortable atmosphere. We were quite a large group – 13 people – so we arranged a prix fixe with them. All the food was served family style, which added to the homey atmosphere and vibe there.
Queens Comfort in the old Blue Restaurant space on 30th Ave just east of Steinway. To be honest, I never made it to Blue when it was open, so I have nothing to compare the new space with. That being said, I found the room to be quite nice – simple and straightforward, with seating around the wall on the left side of the room, and a long table down the middle (that’s where we sat).
The food we had tonight was delicious, and very much what I think of as comfort food: sweet potatoes in hash form, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, chicken wings, fried green tomatoes, brisket, and coffee cake.
We started with that plate of sweet potatoes, which had good flavor (though I would have preferred them cooked a tiny bit longer, as I like my root vegetables a little softer and more caramelized). Following that were the fried green tomatoes served with a creamy buttermilk-ranch dressing, which I thought was a perfect combination. I loved their texture, too – crispy on the outside, and fork-tender on the inside (just the way I like them!).
After that came the impressive pan of macaroni and cheese. It was terrific – a good balance between pasta and cheese, rich and creamy, and so savory, mmm… The chicken wings came out next and I was very happy with how moist the chicken was, covered in salty crispy fried chicken skin.
Biscuits came out next – a choice of cheddar-scallion, plain, and maple bacon, and they were gorgeous, about an inch and a half tall. Maple butter and red pepper jam was available as an accompaniment. I loved the red pepper jam! Its comfortable level of spiciness complemented the fluffy biscuit perfectly. The maple butter was extraordinary in its consistency, as if it were an extremely smooth maple custard.
We got a breather of about 20 minutes, and then the brisket made it to the table. It was sliced and served with a creamy horseradish sauce and a Stumptown barbecue sauce (which contains tomato and coffee). I loved the smoky flavor combined with the barbecue sauce – at one point I got a whiff of the smoke from the smoker and remarked how it smelled like summer camping. A nice contrast to the crazy monsoon that was going on outside.
We finished with coffee cake – I liked the substantial streusel on the top, and found myself thinking this coffee cake tasted a bit like the cake I used to get at The Homemade Cafe, my beloved neighborhood breakfast/lunch joint from my days in Berkeley, CA. It was a fun way to end the meal.
Coffee (Stumptown!) and OJ were also provided, and we mixed the juice with sparkling wine to make mimosas. Currently it’s BYOB until they get their liquor license. Mexican Coke was available, as was sweet tea (which wasn’t super sweet).
I absolutely loved my meal and can’t wait to go back. In particular, next visit I want to try the BLfgT sandwich (fried green tomato, butter lettuce, bacon, mayo) – be still my heart! The bananas foster french toast sounds pretty good, too.
40-09 30th Avenue, Astoria
Monday – Closed; Tuesday – Thursday 10am-10pm; Friday – 10am-11pm
Saturday – 10am-4pm Dinner – 6pm-12am; Sunday Brunch – 10am-4pm
NB: hours may be a little variable these days. Specials and updates to their hours can be found via their twitter account: @QueensComfortNY