2006-02-15 / Restaurant of the Week

Sanford’s Restaurant

30-13 Broadway Astoria  718-932-9569 Order online at www.eatin.com

Sanford’s Restaurant has been in the same location on Broadway for nearly 75 years, but constantly adapts to the changing desires and trends of the community it serves.

Brothers Chris and Gus Karalekas work tirelessly to offer the finest quality food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch, all at very reasonable prices. The interior is updated regularly to create a new atmosphere for the many loyal customers and the wine and beer list is always being improved. For example, recently, we enjoyed a half bottle of Penfolds Shiraz, perfect for two. A better variety of fine, imported beers from Belgium is not available anywhere else in the neighborhood.

The blackboard outside lures diners with nightly specials such as braised short ribs and sesame crusted tuna. The regular menu offers some very popular appetizers, such as Sanford’s warm spinach and artichoke dip that arrives bubbling hot with a mound of tortilla chips to scoop it up. Vegetarian curry samosas are new on the menu. These crispy triangles of pastry are filled with vegetables and mild spices and are perfect for sharing. Butternut squash ravioli are home style, tender pillows of pasta filled with the sweet squash and topped with almond sage cream sauce. Freshly cut chicken fingers get a Japanese twist when breaded with crispy pancko crumbs. Asian style coconut shrimp, dipped in toasted sesame sauce are just great. Next time i’ll try the Maryland crab cakes with mango salsa.

Sanford’s does a great job with fresh salads, too. One of the most popular is the pecan crusted chicken salad, served over organic greens with dried cranberries, almonds, apples and sesame-ginger dressing ($9.95). Sanford’s is proud to welcome their new executive chef, Jesus Bonilla, who comes with years of experience at one of Manhattan’s finest seafood restaurants. No wonder the pecan crusted yellowfin tuna is so good, crunchy on the outside and just barely cooked in the middle, as it should be, served with baby spinach, herbed potatoes and wasabi sauce for just $16.95. You’d pay twice that in other restaurants. Grilled Alaskan halibut and Cajun spiced tilapia are other popular choices. Even the fish and chips served with sweet potato fries are specially made.

Sanford’s has great pasta dishes, such as creamy risotto, toothsome Italian Arborio rice, cooked slowly with three kinds of mushrooms or with shrimp, asparagus and saffron for just $15.95. Tender ravioli stuffed with lump crabmeat

or Portobello mushrooms and mozzarella are $13.95. Fettuccine carbonara is made with S smoked bacon and a touch of cream ($12.95).

A thick, juicy, 20-ounce Certified Angus steak can be cooked to your liking. Served with seasoned fries, it’s just $20.95. Steak au poivre is coated in black peppercorns and served with a red wine reduction. The grilled skirt steak is just great, too. Grilled crispy duck breast served with jasmine rice and Asian sauce was recently added to the menu.

In addition to the great food and reasonable prices, every course served by the friendly, polite wait staff is beautifully presented on hand-painted dishes. For dessert, or any time you want a delicious snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ve got to try Sanford’s unique dessert, Banana Xangos. A creamy cheesecake filling and chunks of banana wrapped in flaky pastry, topped with cinnamon sugar is served on a beautiful dish with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce. Other choices include caramel apple pie, key lime tart and crème brulee. The coffee is great, too.

Lunchtime offers many delicious options, especially Sanford’s new, home style focaccia sandwiches, piled high with choice of roasted vegetables, chicken breast or fresh mozzarella and tomato. A variety of wraps stuffed with barbecued chicken, vegetables or lobster salad also satisfies a big appetite. All focaccia sandwiches and wraps are served with soup or salad and French fries or sweet potato fries. Don’t forget the juicy burgers with a variety of toppings, veggie or turkey burgers.

Come in for breakfast on your way to work and choose among fresh omelets, egg sandwiches, muffins, bagels and more. There’s a fabulous weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The $10 prix fixe menu includes a brunch cocktail, juice, coffee, home fries and an entrée, choices for which can include eggs Benedict, banana-chocolate chip pancakes, Florentine frittata, salads or their much-requested Western brunch quesadilla with guacamole and sour cream.

Sanford’s Restaurant serves upscale cuisine at neighborhood prices in a pleasant, friendly setting seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Stop in any time for a great breakfast to stay or to go or a healthy lunch, served quickly. They will deliver to your home or office for free from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sanford’s is two doors down from the Broadway stop of the N train, so stop in on your way to or from work for a fabulous meal. Sanford’s also offers full-service catering offpremises.

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