While it's obvious that I primarily focus on the in-dining scene in and out of Astoria, today I wanted to shine a light on some of my favorite take-out joints in the nabe. You know...for days and nights that are so oppressively cold that you can't even make the short trip to the corner deli. And this winter, it looks like we'll be getting a lot more of those.
Here are my top three take-out places that always deliver (literally and figuratively).
Seva - Not only is Seva a delicious option for dining-in, it's sometimes even better for take out because you get twice the amount of food than at the restaurant. I'm not kidding. Their $13.50 3-course delivery special is a fantastic value, for which you can get 2 large veggie or chicken samosas, a chicken, lamb, curry or veggie meal with rice and an Indian dessert such as a Mango Lassi or a Kheer (sweet rice pudding). A group of five of us ordered it last week, getting 2 delivery specials, an extra entree and an order of the rosemary nan, and were were all pleasantly full. Another cool thing is that delivery can be done completely online, which is super helpful--especially since they give you an estimated delivery time. 30-07 34th Street, Astoria. 718.626.4440
Balkh Shish Kabab House - Another one of my all-time favorites, Balkh is also generous with delivery portions, and the food is absolutely scrumptious. If ordering for two, be conservative because it's easy to over-order. Dan and I usually go for Morgh Kabob and Chicken Kabob combination meal (pictured above). This hefty meal comes with both white and dark chicken meat and Balkh's special house sauce, which is out of this world good. But not only is the chicken filling, it comes on a bed of long grain brown rice and a sweet carrot raisin salad, which almost tastes like dessert. This all for a mere $12. 23-10 31st Street, Astoria. 718.721.5020
Pita Pan - One of Dan's beloved take-out joints (and mine too!) Pita Pan is a fun, tasty and healthy way to go. We usually go for the souvlaki sticks, which come with tangy tzatziki and also the falafel sandwich. Portions aren't huge but just the perfect size, and because Pita Pan is relatively inexpensive, a $20 - $30 order can feed up to 5 people. I haven't had the pizza yet, but Dan tells me it's solid. 37-15 30th Avenue, Astoria. 718.204.1633
Hope you get to try these - and please chime in with your favorite take-out joints.