Soho Café & Grill Has Healthy Food for Busy People
The menu declares: “Soho Café & Grill was designed as a tribute for the busy individual. A gourmet eatery where taste and nutrition are no longer sacrificed for convenience” and the restaurant on 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard fulfills its aspirations. Everything is fresh and healthy at this contemporary eatery in Astoria. It’s no accident that Soho is located just below a huge gym and fitness center, where thousands of health-conscious people end their workout with a healthy meal to take home or to eat in. Commuters en route to and from the subway also stop in at Soho for breakfast, lunch or dinner, seven days a week.
Alex Poulos and Peter Garidis have owned Soho Café & Grill for two years and worked hard to create a place where a busy person can eat quickly without sacrificing good nutrition. A mural depicting people dining at a café lends a European feeling. Relax on festively upholstered banquettes and dine at one of their 10 tables under chic lighting. Orders also can be picked up or delivered, at no extra charge.
Soho has a wide variety of fresh and healthy wraps, panini sandwiches, fresh tossed salads, entrees, fruit juices, smoothies, yogurt parfaits, protein shakes and more. Diners can also indulge in juicy burgers and Mediterranean sandwiches.
When we visited, the juice machine whirred as patrons chose carrots, spinach and apples and other fruits and vegetables to be loaded into the hopper. The juice that emanated was loaded with vitamins, many of which can help the body manage ailments such as arthritis and fatigue. A list of the health benefits of the juices is posted.
We tried some of the wraps that Soho is famous for. Thick slabs of seared tuna were wrapped in a large tortilla along with arugula, red and yellow peppers and ginger wasabi sauce, enough to satisfy even a hearty appetite ($6.95). A Sicilian wrap combines tender, grilled chicken with fresh mozzarella, romaine lettuce, roasted peppers and balsamic vinaigrette ($5.95). Turkey and roasted meats lay the foundations for other wraps, while grilled vegetable wraps and bean wraps satisfy those eschewing meat. In addition, all wraps and gourmet sandwiches come with a side order of black bean salad or tabouli, making a complete meal for under $7.
I tried a hot Panini consisting of grilled chicken, arugula, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes on thick, toasted ciabata bread. Known as the “Europa,” this sandwich left enough for another meal and is a real bargain at just $5.95. The “New Yorker” combines tender roast beef, Swiss cheese and caramelized red onions on hot pressed semolina bread. The “Tuscan” offers grilled seasonal vegetables on warm focaccia. For those unconcerned with calories, any sandwich can be ordered with a side of Soho’s famous steak cut, crisp, golden French fries. A number of gourmet sandwiches, melts and triple-decker sandwiches make for difficult decisions among so many choices. I’ll just have to keep coming back to try others.
Many diners opt for one of the fresh salads served in an oversized ceramic bowl. From behind the clean glass display, diners choose among romaine lettuce, spinach or mixed greens, then request any toppings they like. Carrots, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, beans, mushrooms, avocado, feta cheese, teriyaki chicken and raisins are just some of the options. A staff member tosses the salad with choice of dressing right before your eyes, ensuring that your salad is fresh and sanitary, unlike many open salad bars. Many of the dressings available are fat free or use extra virgin olive oil. Salads start at just $2.95 for a small serving and $3.95 for large.
Soho Café & Grill is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to midnight for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve traditional breakfast items such as farm fresh eggs and omelets, filled with veggies, meat or cheese, and fluffy pancakes, crisp waffles and French toast with real maple syrup. Egg white omelets are also available. Weekend brunch includes blueberry pancakes topped with crushed walnuts, bananas and maple syrup. For people on their way to work, any breakfast order or egg sandwich can me packed to go. Fresh baked muffins, including fat free and sugar free varieties, are available, as are little loaves of bread made with yogurt. A very popular breakfast item is the yogurt parfait, which alternates layers of low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and granola, all ready to go in a plastic cup.
There are many reasons to visit Soho Café & Grill—healthy, delicious food, low prices, fast, friendly service and a comfortable atmosphere. Credit cards are accepted. Visit any time of day or night for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a glass of fresh juice, a mango smoothie or a cup of frozen yogurt to beat the heat. Soho’s first concern is the customers and you’ll sense that each time you visit.
Soho Café & Grill
22-15 31st St.