Monday, July 14, 2014
Fun World Cup Experience at Marketa
Yesterday's big World Cup final warranted enjoying it and celebrating in public. There's a few places I had in mind to get that true spirit and atmosphere that only a diverse crowd in Astoria can bring, Studio Square Beer Garden being one of them. In the end, Dan and I found ourselves strolling down 30th Avenue and settled comfortably at Marketa.
Never actually having been to Marketa, I've observed it from the outside a bit as well as kept my eye on their social media presence. I have to be honest in that what actually got us through the door is that it wasn't completely packed yesterday, unlike some of its neighbors.
Following suit with other popular eateries and bars on this heavily trafficked block, Marketa offers everything they do, plus convenience and hospitality to boot. I like the varied set-up of the main dining room including different sized tables up front, in the back and also in their charming backyard. The entire space has very much of a loft vibe, as there's more room upstairs, with a bar presumably, but I didn't go and check it out myself.
Since we were there to just cheer on the teams and have mostly cocktails, we situated ourselves at the spacious bar, which also had access to a big screen TV. We liked this spot since it didn't feel cramped and was conducive to being chatty and social.
Food and Drinks:
During our visit, Marketa was still serving brunch, which is in effect til about 4 p.m. on weekends. We weren't much in the mood for it, as we hosted brunch at our place earlier that day, but wanted something smallish to nibble on.
Short Rib Hash - Dan selected this little side, which was actually pretty hefty in size and just as filling. Topped with braised short rib that was juicy, succulent and full of flavor, it was a perfect way to keep us satiated and also at attention in between cocktails. The hash that sat underneath the short ribs was also flavorful - on the well done side and sautéed with veggies such as onions and red peppers.
White Sangria - A tall glass of white sangria was the perfect refreshment during yesterday's humid weather. I liked that it was fruity but not overly sweet and also topped with plenty of fresh fruit such as sliced apples and oranges. Our bartender served it up with a little wooden spear that allowed you to neatly fish out all the fruity goodness - instead of just relying on your fingers.
Other Drinks - I noticed a few other interesting non-alcoholic drink options that I didn't have the pleasure of trying yet but that I'd be back for. Including items such as a Nutella latte (frozen or iced), frozen hot chocolate, a java chip frappe and various smoothie options, consider it when you need a little refreshment.
Service and Cost:
I'm happy to say we enjoyed great service at Marketa, as our bartender was attentive, thoughtful but also knew when to leave us be. She mixed a mean cocktail and did a great job of juggling different requests during this very busy sporting event.
Costs are moderate to almost reasonable for the progressively more expensive 30th Avenue cafes. Our drinks (three in total) and our hash set us back about $24 ($28 with tax and tip).
Marketa - 37-17 30th Avenue, Astoria NY 11103
N/Q Train to 30th Avenue