A few weeks back, Dan and I attended a fun shin-dig at The Strand in honor of their big one year anniversary. It’s hard to believe this place has only been open for a year, as it seems to already be such a staple in the community. Its popularity doesn’t come without a price, as The Strand is known to be controversial in the nabe for its “merrymaking,” shall was say. All’s well that ends well, I think, as The Strand seems to enjoy a loyal following, serving some yummy eats at their party. Here were some of our foodie faves:
Pulled Pork – Saucy and delicious, the pulled pork totally delivered with some chunks of nicely marbled meat. I loved how juicy it was, and you didn’t even need a side or a piece of bread with it. Since I haven’t been here in quite a while, it was nice to observe the improvements they’ve made with their sauces.
Brisket – Dan and I enjoyed this generously marbled meat, which had a lovely char on the outside, but was also very moist on the inside. The meat fell apart easily and just like the pork, didn’t need much sauce as an accompaniment – we had the smoky baked beans for that.Baked Beans – Really a meal on its own, the baked beans came in a bowl of hearty goodness. Marbled with a few chunky pieces of beef, this tasty concoction reminded me a lot of a wintery stew. On a rainy, cold night such as the one we experienced, it was the perfect thing.
Chicharron (aka fried pork belly) – Saving the best for last, Dan and I marveled at the genius of these little porky bites. The texture was impeccable, as it was a little crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. The flavor combined everything delectable including sweet, salty, smoky, and a little spicy too. Umami was definitely reached here – oh, most definitely.
Since this was one big party, everyone was cheerful and hospitable, and we enjoyed good service at the counter as well as when seated. Even though it was super crowded, we scored good seats, as everyone was happy to share a common space, and rejoice together for this festive occasion.
Happy Birthday Strand – here’s to many more!
The Strand Smokehouse - 25-27 Broadway, Astoria NY 11106
N/Q Train to Broadway