Last Tuesday, May 20, marked a meaty victory for Queens. A Queensie took home the burger crown in the Burger Battle of the Boroughs. The Burger Battle was actually the gravy, that special sauce -- whatever you want to call it -- of the 7th annual Cuisine of Queens and Beyond event, hosted by Dish du Jour Magazine.
It was a fantastic night, one filled with an unending supply of food and contagious positive energy. Smiles and laughter came from all corners of the large banquet room at the well-marbled catering hall Astoria World Manor. A pack of enthusiastic (and hungry) locals came not just for the burgers, but to sample international cuisine from over 50 local restaurants. They even got to meet famous food mavens -- like the awesome Kelly Choi -- and spot reality stars from Bravo's Top Chef.
The Burger Battle was the highlight, and the winner of the four-borough meat fight (Staten Island was...forgotten), was Long Island City's very own Harry's at Water Taxi Beach. The crowd was thrilled and Harry himself was there to wear the burger crown in all its full glory.
Here are some more restaurant standouts from the Cuisine of Queens and Beyond:
Arepas Café (33-07 36th Ave, Astoria, 718-937-3835) - This small Venezuelan café on 36th Avenue serves up some serious eats. The chicken arepas were out of this world and enhanced so well by the cilantro and garlic sauce. Arepas also offered sweet, fried plantains, rice and beans, and shredded pork -- hearty, yet delicate on the senses.
Benjamas Taste of Thai (34-16 Broadway, Astoria, 718-932-8826) - Although it's one of the lesser-known Thai places in Astoria, it shouldn't be missed. The veggie eggrolls are sensational, with a thick crust that isn't greasy and a delicious inside that boasts fresh, steaming veggies.
Art-O-Polis (23-18 31st St, Astoria, 718-728-8484) - An authentic Greek pastry shop, it was easy to miss at the event, as it was tucked away in a corner of the atrium. The baklava was exceptional: crunchy dough, nutty filling, and no trace of sogginess.
Photo (c) and words by Judith Klein of the Foodista blog
More photos after the jump:
King Harry with Dish du Jour publisher Fran Grace
The incomparable Kelly Choi needs no introduction
Former Top Chef contestants Dave Martin, Andrea Beaman, and LeeAnne Wong with Fran GracePhotos (c) Dish du Jour Magazine