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Queens Chronicle


Queens’ eateries provide delicious weekend options

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30 am

Brunch has grown from being a meal for the rich and famous to a more accessible and creative way to enjoy the sweetness of breakfast and the savoriness of lunch.

While it has become popular with young adults, particularly in Brooklyn, Queens has become home to a significant number of eateries that specialize in the weekend afternoon meal.

There are staples to the meal: mimosas, Bloody Marys, eggs Benedict and Nutella-filled, well, anything.

Each space does it their own way but there is always a sense of familiarity within each menu. At least the good ones.

Astoria is blanketed with small shops and restaurants, so naturally brunch spots were bound to pop up.

One such place is Sanford’s Restaurant, located at 30-13 Broadway. It is described on Yelp by residents as “one of the best brunch spots in Astoria,” and a “highly recommended spot for brunch.”

They call it “Absolut Brunch,” named for the vodka company. Unlike most brunch menus, this one is served Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The prix fixe allows diners an alcoholic mixed drink with one free refill and coffee. There are 20 or so dishes one can choose from as well, all for $16.

“I ordered the steak skillet with extra cheese because I’m a sucker for cheese and it was so amazing,” Yelp user Katrina B. of Manhattan said. “I washed it all down with their Blood Mary drinks and it was the perfect combo.”

Fan favorites include peanut butter banana pancakes, Nutella s’mores, waffles, and pancakes as well as the crab cakes Benedict.

Nearby at Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar, located at 21-02 30th Ave. in Astoria, there is a less vast yet surprisingly creative brunch menu.

Vesta serves brunch within the traditional time frame — Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you’re still feeling the affects from a wild Friday night, Vesta has a Hangover Pizza made with potatoes, pancetta, sausage, fried eggs and spicy tomato sauce.

“I really enjoyed brunch here,” Amit V. of Long Island City said on Yelp. “Went with my fiance and her parents. We ordered different items so we got to try most of the menu, really surprised how much I like their brunch pizza. I definitely would come back for brunch ...”

If pizza isn’t exactly what you’re looking for in the morning, Vesta also offers “A Warm Bankie” with fried eggs, creamy polenta, asparagus, mushrooms and truffle oil.

If you’re looking for something a bit different from the norm, Sugarfreak, located at 36-18 30 Ave. in Astoria, offers a quirky spin on Louisiana home-style cooking on its brunch menu.

The selection is large — bigger than many dinner menus — and tasty.

From bananas Foster, French toast, served with bacon or sausage, to the Po-Boy — a Louisiana French bread with Jimmy Dean sausage patties, fried eggs, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Tabasco mayo, Sugarfreak offers a fun experience with great food that won’t cost an arm and a leg either. Main dishes don’t go over $14 and the cooky cocktails, such as the sugar honey ice tea — made with Firefly iced tea vodka, mixed with lemony, honey goodness — Sugarfreak is for anyone looking for a unique spin on brunch.

“Brunch, this place ... five stars,” Katie E. of Manhattan wrote on Yelp. “There’s so much on the menu, I want to go back and try. The oysters are so cheap! We were staring at other people’s food as it came out — it all looked so good.”

The newly opened Crescent Grill, located at 38-40 Crescent St. in Dutch Kills, offers foodies a place to eat good food while taking in fine art.

The restaurant is part eatery, part gallery and offers a $25 brunch option on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which comes with an entree and sweet and savory selections for the table.

Crescent even offers a Bloody Mary with a piece of bacon in the glass.

“The food was absolutely delicious,” Giusy C. of Manhattan wrote on Yelp. “They brought us this little basket of pastries as a starter, so fresh and delectable!”

If Western Queens is too far for you, there are still plenty of places to brunch with your friends, family and loved ones.

Aged is an upscale steak and seafood restaurant located at 107-02 70 Road in Forest Hills that offers brunch for $15.65 with unlimited champagne.

The menu is traditional: organic egg omelets that you can create yourself, Angus beef burgers and vanilla pancakes, but traditional doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

Each item has a unique twist. For example, the sausage sandwich at Aged is made from lamb with sauteed onions, peppers and olives on a baguette.

“For under $20 you can’t go wrong with unlimited champagne with brunch,” Venice A. of Corona said. “This is my go to brunch spot.”

While some may not consider a diner to be a “brunch spot,” these eateries often offer dishes similar to some of the most popular restaurants at a much lower cost.

One of Queens’ most famous diners, Georgia Diner, offers brunch food and drink all day every day. So if you want to sleep in and not have to worry about making the 3 p.m. deadline most brunch restaurants set in place, a diner is a fantastic option.

Located at 86-55 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, Georgia Diner is accessible by three train lines: the E, M and R.

The menu is about the size of a lengthy children’s book, something many patrons are thankful for.

“This place is great,” Diana P. of Forest Hills wrote. “It’s super casual as it is a diner but offers an extensive menu to fulfill your cravings from breakfast/brunch to dinner/dessert.”

Welcome to the discussion.