Astoria, Long Island City, Restaurants
Jan 05, 2018

Food News Roundup, Early 2018 Edition

We’ve rounded up recent food news for your viewing and future eating pleasure.

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The Bonnie - Pastrami Reuben3 - photo credit Mike Di Tota

Photo credit Mike Di Tota

One of the new vegan dishes at Sweet Afton and The Bonnie.

Welcome to the first food news roundup of 2018. Here’s the collection of tidbits that have crossed our desks lately.

New Vegan Food at Sweet Afton and The Bonnie

The good folks at Sweet Afton and The Bonnie sent us this:

“Chef Nick Testa was inspired to evolve his menus with the times – we’re seeing so much demand for meatless dishes. At The Bonnie, he does a “Pastrami” Reuben made with house-smoked seitan pastrami, chickpea-based Russian dressing, cashew provolone, sauerkraut and pickles on marble rye. It’s BONKERS. He’s also doing a Vegan BLT with heirloom tomato, tempeh bacon, pickled jalapeños, vegan mayo, and a hash brown patty at brunch. At Sweet Afton, he just introduced the BBQ “Bacon Cheese Burger”: housemade patty made with sweet potato, portobello mushroom, black beans and seitan, topped with tempeh bacon, coconut “cheddar,” and all the fixins: barbecue sauce (made with vegan Worcestershire sauce!), lettuce, tomato, McClure’s pickles and red onion on a sourdough bun.”

30-09 34th Street, Astoria (Sweet Afton); 29-12 23rd Avenue, Astoria (The Bonnie)

An Update on Mothership Meat Company

Remember the news back in June 2016 (!) about Mothership Meat Company, a new ‘cue project from Josh Bowen? It’s still in process of putting it all together and they are hoping for an early spring opening. 27-20 40th Avenue, LIC

“Hey folks, as winter sets and we have to deal with endless bureaucratic mumbo jumbo, we just wanted y’all to know that we’re aiming for early spring as is the fashion for giant BBQ beer gardens. Sorry for all the delays but there will be a sunny day soon with mountains of slow smoked meat. Stay tuned in.”

Bureks in Astoria

We loved this article on Balkan bureks in NYC, with a focus on long-time Astoria mainstay, Djerdan. Let us know where your favorite bureks are in Astoria, down in the comments. 34-04A 31st Ave, Astoria

ICYMI: SweetChick Opening in Old Alobar Space

Dang, the closing of Alobar was a sad thing, but the opening of SweetChick in its place is not. Co-owned by Queensbridge native, Nasir “Nas” Jones, they offer up “what we like to call American cuisine with a Southern accent: rustic but modern American comfort food and twists on classic dishes and cocktails, plus home-baked desserts that will make you feel like a kid again.” Comfort food is huge in the US these days, and the Alobar space definitely has a cozy feel, so it’s all a great match. Look for them in February 2018. 46-42 Vernon Blvd, LIC

The Dutchess Update

The Dutchess – Bar and Resto Royale from The Dutchess folks is still waiting on the DOB and have hoped to open the first week in January. They are completely finished building, just waiting, and claim, “Will have one of the best food, craft beer and fancy wine menus in the neighborhood, both LIC & Astoria!” 32-04 38th Avenue, LIC

The Harlan Burger Is Ready at Mu Ramen

A day or so ago, Mu Ramen announced their new burger, “The Harlan.” It’s considered “an ‘Any time’ burger…before ramen, after ramen, instead of ramen.” It looks like they are making the buns for the burger, too.

“Indian-style Chipotle” DesiBowl Opening in LIC

LIC Tak reports on the coming arrival of DesiBowl on Vernon Blvd in LIC:

“The owner is Sabiha, who is currently a manager at OptimEyes Vision in LIC, and she told us to envision an Indian-style Chipotle, with burritos, tacos, rice bowls, paratha rolls, and Indian sandwiches, whereby the consumer chooses the rice, meat, toppings, etc. The restaurant will be spice-friendly as well as have a kid-friendly menu.”

An additional detail is that the space will be a bagel-cafe kind of thing mornings from 6-10:30am, offering paratha rolls, among others! 49-11 Vernon Blvd, LIC

The Astorian Is Open

The Astorian, a new gastropub we reported on back in July, had their soft opening and are offering some really delicious things—think Chicken Chorizo Benedict and Poutine with bacon. Check out their food menu, which is full of yum, as well as their beer menu. 28-50 31st Street, Astoria

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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