Tag Archives: queens

Best thing I ever ate: Pachanga Patterson

Last night Pachanga Patterson was packed!  It’s rare to have to wait for a table on a Thursday night in Astoria, but that is what spectacular Mexican food will do for a neighborhood!  I wouldn’t even call it Mexican food, really, it’s more like “new-Mexican”, or just don’t put a label on it  and stuff it in your mouth instead.

The first time I went to Pachanga I got the mushroom tacos, which don’t sound like they would make you jump for joy, but they were the best non-fish, non-meat tacos I’ve ever had.  They must have a miracle marinade for the mushrooms, because they were super flavorful.

But this time, I ordered the Veggie Jenga.  At first I thought that Jenga was a word in Spanish that I didn’t learn in high school, but then the waitress explained to me that it’s called that because it’s layered and stacked up just like the block game.

Can you see a resemblance?

Image c/o We Heart Astoria

This creation is out of this world.  It’s one of those anytime meals that makes you eat way more than you anticipated.  When they first put it down in front of me I thought, “There’s no way I can eat all of this.”  Then 20 minutes later I was virtually licking my plate.  The picture above is from We Heart Astoria, since I forgot to bring my camera, but the plate that I got was piled a couple of inches higher with lettuce/cabbage.

I loved the sweet potato puree, which you don’t usually find in Mexican food.  I loved the avocado sauce.  I loved the generous crack of black pepper on top.  I loved the crispy corn tortilla from Tortilleria Nixtamal.  I loved the mild hot sauce that they put in a honey bear container.  Love, love, loved.

I also loved the $6 glass of Torrontes wine that I washed it down with.

Soon they will have brunch at Pachanga, where I can have this as my new favorite hangover food.

Pachanga Patterson
33–17 31st Ave., Astoria, NY


It’s happening! GF Cupcakes in Queens!

Queens is a bit slow to come around to having gluten free options in grocery stores and bakeries.  Mostly because most of the independently-owned shops are family operations that have been around forever, or focus on ethnic or regional specialties.

So, as excited as I was to see a new bakery pop up on Steinway, I was not expecting to see a sign in the window advertising gluten-free cupcake options!  We even joked around saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if they had some gluten free stuff?”  Well, they DO!

Who’s “they”?  Cream Bakery!

The only flavors that they had of the gluten free persuasion were vanilla with chocolate frosting, and chocolate with chocolate frosting.

I wasn’t really in the cupcake mood (I know… so sad).  But I’ll update this post when I try them!

Cream Bakery – 31-78 Steinway Street, Astoria NY 11103

R Train to Steinway Street

Product Plug – Foods By George

My local natural store in Astoria, Sai Organics, just started carrying a few products from Foods by George.  The company is based in Mahwah, NJ, so their products should start showing up in more stores in the area.

First on my list to try were the Cinnamon and Current English Muffins.

First of all, I was stunned by the low calorie count in these babies – only 220 for a HUGE muffin.  This thing is like two hockey pucks stuck together – only much more delicious and less hard and plastic.  They were $5.49 for four muffins, but sooooooo worth it!  They have the exact texture of English muffins, only BIGGER!

I’m sure these would be pretty simple to make, because they only have a few ingredients, but it’s the guar gum that gives them that great chewy bite.

I made some honey cinnamon butter and slathered it on a toasted muffin.  (2 T softened butter, 2 T honey, 1 tsp cinnamon).  I also tried one with peanut butter, and one with normal butter, and I’m thinking of putting cream cheese on the last one I have.

Sai Organics also started carrying their little personal-pan pizzas and pizza crusts.  I hope they get the crumb cake in though.


Stove – Astoria

I decided to start blogging about my Astoria-specific dining experiences on Why Leave Astoria? You can go to their website for my review and lots of other cool information on what goes on in my neighborhood!

Go Mets!

This Friday I took Nick to the Mets/Giants game at Citi Field.  Our pre-game meal was barbeque shrimp and creamy pasta salad.

BBQ shrimp and pasta salad

First, let me say that I was underwhelmed with the pasta salad.  It just wasn’t creamy enough – I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the vegetables, and a little underboard with the mayo, but it ended up tasting like your basic pasta salad.  Which isn’t bad, necessarily, just didn’t blow my mind.  Next time I’ll probably make grits or polenta fries to go with these shrimp, since they were scrumptious.

Creamy pasta salad with veggies

1 c. gluten free pasta

1 bell pepper, diced (I used half green and half red)

1/2 c. broccoli florets

1/4 c. diced red onion

1/4 c.  mayo

1/4 c. balsamic dressing (I used Wishbone)

1/2 c. five cheese shredded blend

salt and pepper

Boil the pasta until al dente, adding the vegetables in when there is about 3 minutes left.  Drain well and rinse under cold water.  Mix in mayo, dressing, cheese, and seasoning.  Chill until ready to serve.

Barbeque shrimp

A lot of shrimp

Cajun seasoning

Barbeque sauce (we use Naturally Delicious, which is the first bbq sauce I’ve found that’s gluten free)

Put 1-2 T. oil in a saute pan, sprinkle in cajun seasoning.  When the oil’s hot, put the shrimp in and cook 1-2 minutes.  Flip them over and brush each one with barbeque sauce.  Cook another 1-2 minutes.

After dinner we headed off to the game, where we sat in our seats for about 15 minutes before we went off in search of some snacks.  I knew that they had Redbridge beer at their Big Apple brew station, but for food we settled on some fries from Box Frites.  We went back and forth over the sauce to get the whole time we were in line, but settled on the chipotle ketchup.  My choice was the ballpark mayo, which I wish we would have gotten.

Box Frites with chipotle ketchup

After that we walked around the field level for awhile, when we came upon this shining mecca:


A whole gluten free stand!  Now, all that they serve at this stand are gluten free hotdogs, hamburgers, and Kozy Shack.  So, I wouldn’t want to eat anything here anyway (especially when there are Cracker Jacks, Carvel, and french fries that you can have).  Either way, pretty neat.