This time of year I love to be outside, well, I love to be outside whenever I can, weather permitting! I was thinking today of my favorite two places in Astoria, which were a few short blocks from our apartment: Elias Corner For Fish and The Bohemian Beer Garden.
Elias Corner is a greek restaurant (no surprise if you know Astoria) where you need to go for fresh, simple fish. They do not have a menu, and everything is grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano. As you walk in, your fish choices are displayed in the cooler by the kitchen. We always started with the greek salad, with feta, cucumber, tomato, red onion, oil and vinegar and oregano. I always got a kick of how the grocery stores in Astoria always had a choice of 6 different feta cheeses, who knew?! We always ordered a side of those heavenly, yellow, fried potatos, and sometimes a side of sauteed dandelion greens. The fish comes whole, and you need to just dig in, watch for the bones, and enjoy!
Now on to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. This is the last true outdoor beer garden in New York City. The building is actually a youth hostel for Czech visitors. They have a kitchen with a menu that consists of cheese, sausages, burgers etc. The bar is dark and non-descript, but once you go through the back door into the garden, you feel like you are in another place entirely. The enclosed garden is more of a very small park, with rows and rows of picnic tables, trees, and a stage for the concerts they hold on the weekends. We spent many a Saturday afternoon and happy hours, with our cold mugs of Spaten, just chatting the time away. http://www.bohemianhall.com/home.htm