Thursday, July 22, 2010

Porchetta's Chef Gives Astoria Restaurant Recos

New York’s annual cheap eats list made its way on to newsstands this week, much to the delight of budget-conscious foodies citywide. This year’s trends include fried chicken, meatballs, dan dan noodles, and tortillas.

Astor Bake Shop
was the only Astoria spot to made the list for its combo burger shop and bakery set up. Luckily, Sara Jenkins (the chef-owner of Porchetta and consulting chef at Veloce Pizzeria) gave the magazine her money-saving food picks in the neighborhood.

19-06 Ditmars Blvd., nr. 19th St. 718.545.4554
My favorite Greek restaurant. The little zucchini fritters ($7) and tomato fritters ($7.50) are amazing.

Rosario’s Deli
22-55 31st St., nr. Ditmars Blvd. 718.728.2920
Amazing cheese, sandwiches, pizza, and bread. He has only one kind of slice (Neapolitan), and it’s really good ($2).

Mediterranean Foods
23-18 31st St., nr. 23rd Ave. 718.721.0221
This shop has all the great prepared foods like taramosalata, a classic Greek dip with salted cod roe ($3.85/lb).

Naseem Meat Market & Grocery
25-65 Steinway St., nr. 28th Ave. 718.777.7032
They make the best merguez ($3.99/lb). Also: really good Moroccan preserved lemons ($3.99/lb).

30-07 34th St., nr. 30th Ave. 718.626.4440
I particularly like the fried-bok-choy appetizer ($3) at this Indian restaurant. Also, the apricot-lamb curry ($12).

Petey’s Burger
30-17 30th Ave., nr. 31st St. 718.267.6300
It’s kind of In-N-Out inspired. I do delivery and get the double cheese with sauce and extra-crispy fries ($9.01).

Cedars Meat House
41-08 30th Ave., nr. 41st St. 718.606.1244
Their shish tawook sandwich ($3.50) is the closest thing to the grilled-chicken sandwich in Beirut.

25-78 Steinway St., nr. 28th Ave. 718.777.7676
A pastry shop that makes classic Middle Eastern sweets: phyllo-and-nut pastries, baklava ($1.50, or $12/lb).

So Foodista fans, what do you think of Chef Jenkins’ list? What are your favorite Astoria cheap eats?

Excerpted from
New York Magazine.

By Nicole K.


  1. Oof. I disagree with some of those. Parrot Market on Ditmars near 31st St. beats Mediterranean Foods' by a shot for superior olives, Turkish breads, dried fruits and nuts galore, European chocolates, and awesome staff.

    Michael and Angelo's Pizza needs a mention for its "special pie" with red onion, sliced sausage, peppers, and more under a bubbling layer of mozzarella.

    Newcomer this year Bare Burger has won my heart with $9 and $10 burgers made from organic meat, especially the lamb burger on a golden brioche bun, topped with dill yogurt.

  2. I like a lot of these options and some of them I don't know - such as Cedar's and also Naseem. I'm curious to try them for sure.

    And in terms of your picks - they sound great!

    I need Michael & Angelo's in my life! BareBurger totally rules and Parrot Market has some of the best dates. Thanks for your 2 cents - much appreciated.

  3. Pretty unimpressed. The choices were either obvious or uninspired. Only thing I really respect on the list is Cedar. But the Pita Prince truck on broadway might be just as good, if not better, Lebanese food.

  4. To each his own, but I think there's some really great places on there. Seva, Rosarios..come on!! They rule!

  5. I have to agree - when I saw the list in NY Mag article I was a bit saddened by their choices.

    Agnanti for best Greek? Sounds like she just ask the Greek-heads in the area, not that it's a bad place, but definitely not my favorite.

    Seva - okay I love Seva

    Mediterranean Foods? It's not even a restaurant :( Of course there's cheap eats. Bah. Same goes for Naseem Meat Market.

    Petey's? Really? A burger joint? ::sigh:: What about all the delicious ethnic food?! Pasha, Uku, Mombar!

    And Laziza? Please.. not the best bakery in town.

    Ahhhh feels good to vent! Glad you wrote about it Judes and no bad karma towards you - just towards Sara's poor picks. haha

  6. No offense taken Margs. Actually, Nicole posted this. I have to say that I agree with some options and not others but there is no wrong answer. One person's delicious gem could be another's dud. Everything is subjective and everyone is entitled to agree or disagree. It's a free country - especially on this blog :)



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