Restaurant: Queens Comfort
Brunch is as popular in Astoria as anywhere else in the city. And while there are a bevy of places to go to on Sunday mornings, few places elicit lines of people standing outside in sub-freezing weather on Sunday mornings like Queens Comfort. Located on the corner of 30th Avenue and Steinway Street, the restaurant serves American comfort food in an eccentric, yet exceptionally welcoming and friendly setting.
The front window display of the restaurant is an appropriate teaser of the restaurant’s quirkiness, with a odd assortment of dolls and toys on display–included an E.T doll with a Santa hat! Walk inside the restaurant and you will be treated to a miscellany of toys, dolls, goofy pictures, and framed pictures; an eclectic array of toys sit on shelves in one corner; one wall is shrouded in frames holding pictures of a bunch of different people–many of which are babies; at the back wall a movie is playing on a projector screen; in addition to the front window display, the outside wall of the restaurant features goofy drawings.
George, one of the employees and long-time friend of the restaurant owner explains that the toys came from him and the owner Donny. Montana (the baker) and George associate much of the fun, creative vibes of the restaurant to Donny, also an artist and former filmmaker. George recalls when Donny came in one day and said, “I think I want to customer’s pictures on the walls”–hence all the pictures on the wall.
All in all, despite the eccentricities, there is also a strong undertone of friendliness and comfort. George and Montana describe the place as “informal and homey”. They believe a great deal of that is due to the friendship among the staff, something that is very tangible. Montana also mentioned the baby and customer pictures on the walls as something that the customers loved–something that “made them feel a part it.”
Queens Comfort also has two resident DJ’s–the restaurant’s first customers–who play on the weekends. In fact, many of the people who work with Queens Comfort, including their resident artists, their DJ, and numerous other employees started off as customers who loved the place.
Between the live DJ, and the delicious menu, brunch is definitely the time to check out Queens Comfort. However, make sure you go early, because the lines get long fast!
Walk past El Basuero anytime in the warm summer months and your gaze will inexorably be drawn inside. The heavily decorated, festive bar and restaurant opens its sliding, all-glass windows in the summer months and the upbeat sounds of music resonate from within, giving the place a very tropical vibe. Moreover, on the weekend if there’s an important soccer match going on, be sure to expect a rowdy, animated and packed crowd.
During World Cup 2014 El Basuero was our go-to place in Astoria. Amidst the cacophony of cheers and jeers, and conglomeration of flags and jerseys of this Colombian restaurant, you would have thought that you are on the beaches of Colombia, watching the World Cup with the kind of zest for “futbol” that is exclusive to South America.
El Basuero is located right outside the Steinway Street station. It is typically packed on the weekends, especially when there is “futbol” to be watched!