Parrillada at El Chivoto d'Oro

Jackson Heights is well known for its Indian food, but I decided to try something out of the ordinary based on a suggestion made by a Uruguayan classmate, who said this steakhouse was as close as you could come to dining in Montevideo in New York City.   I was not disappointed.  At El Chivito d’Oro, a quaint hole in the wall in Jackson Heights that serves Uruguayan cuisine, we got our money’s worth.  I ordered the parrillada, an enormous serving of grilled skirt steak, short ribs, sausages, veal loin, and sweetbreads. My wife, a vegetarian, ordered the tortilla espanola.  The preparations far surpassed expectations for the price–you could feed a family of 5 here for under $30.  Worth noting: Uruguayan, Argentinean, and Chilean wines are available for under $20 a bottle.  You may want to tack on a fee for a nearby hotel to nap in.

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/t921

8402 37th Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 424-0600


Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

Spring is upon us and few things are better than enjoying the great outdoors.  Though NYC was once littered with hundreds of beer gardens, only one remains today: the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria.  The beer garden will host an Easter celebration this Sunday from 1-5, complete with an Easter egg hunt, egg painting, and live entertainment (polka bands routinely perform on the outdoor stage).  Whether you can make it this weekend or not, the Bohemian Beer Hall is both a good weather staple for locals and a NYC landmark.  I cannot recommended a visit enough.  Pitchers of Spaten, Staropramen, Hoegaarden, Czechvar, and Pilsner Urquell are an economical $14 and entrees start around $10 a person.  I recommend the Kielbasa and Pierogies.  What you can find here you won’t find anywhere else in New York, or Prague for that matter, is a table filled with a mix of old Greek and Eastern European men, hipsters, yuppies, and visitors from the other boroughs coming to see what all the buzz is about.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/23yCJ8

2919 24th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11102
(718) 274-4925

Arepa Mami

Arepa Mami at Arepas Cafe

If you’re looking for arepas near the Kaufman Astoria Studios and The Museum of the Moving Image, or you are on your way to a movie right around the corner, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more ideal locale than the Arepas Cafe, located off the 36th Avenue subway stop in Astoria.  Notable amongst the offerings are the Guayanese Tropical, an arepa filled with guayanese cheese, fried plantains, and avocado, and the Mami (see above), filled with roasted pork, cheese, and avocado.  The drinks are outstanding, in particular, the Pabelon de  Limon (brown-sugar lemonade),  and the Jugo de Parcha (passionfruit juice).

Despite the new-found popularity of Venezuelan cuisine amongst food lovers in the US, there are few places to find quality arepas in the New York Metropolitan Area.  While many rave about Caracas in the East Village, you’ll find much less of a wait at this authentic gem of a restaurant in Astoria.  And you’ll likely walk away having spent less than $10.

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/19XwF1

33-07 36th Ave
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 937-3835