2006-04-19 / Restaurant of the Week

Anna's Place Is Home Of Good Home Cooking

For 31 years, Anna Walsh and her staff have welcomed guests to her "home of good home cooking" that's filled with a very warm, comfortable feeling as well as the promise of good food. The menu offers reliable American fare, including great steaks, poultry and fish, along with a bit of Bavaria, owing to the restaurant's past. Of course, Anna has added a touch of Ireland to reflect her native country as well. Overall, there is something for everyone and it's all freshly prepared.

The charming dcor features new carpeting, paintings of Irish country scenes on the walls and private booths for quiet dining. The spacious dining room in the rear can accommodate up to 50 people for a family party or business function. The room really fills up for Sunday brunch, served from noon to 3 p.m. The service could not be friendlier or more courteous, thanks to wait staffers like Ailish and Vera. Guests can pause at the inviting bar near the entrance, where the barman pours a frothy pint, for their favorite cocktails and conversation. In addition, some specialty martinis have been added, such as the trendy Cosmopolitan, luscious lemon drop and the French martini, with a splash of Chambord.

We sipped on drinks as we devoured golden crab cakes topped with crispy sweet potato "hay", fresh from the kitchen, There are other great appetizers, such as Anna's light, crispy potato skins, filled with bits of real bacon and cheddar cheese, crisp and garlicky baked stuffed clams and jumbo shrimp cocktail. All will whet your appetite for the tasty entrees. Each day, the chef prepares homemade soups, such as French onion, topped with bubbling hot cheese, clam chowder or potato leek, to name a few. Anna's legendary soup and salad bar is always full of the makings of wonderful salads, such as pickled beets, three bean salad, two kinds of potato salad and fresh greens. There's a tureen of hot, homemade soup for the taking. This soup and salad bar comes with every entre. A delicious selection of bread is brought to your table as well.

Although you can't go wrong with anything on Anna's regular menu, the nightly specials are often too irresistible to pass up. Roast loin of pork etoufee with mashed potatoes and grilled salmon stuffed with crabmeat were just two of the offerings on the evening we visited. I marveled at the flavor and texture of the pan seared sirloin steak that I ordered, done rare, as I requested. The shallot sauce and potato croquettes that came with it were just great.

The regular menu at Anna's Place features fresh fish and seafood, prime meats, chicken and pasta. Long Island duckling with black cherry sauce, Yankee pot roast with potato pancakes, roasted rack of lamb with a mustard and herb crust, and breaded or broiled pork chops are just a few of the items on the menu.

Some of the German dishes include tender Wiener Schnitzel, a pounded, lightly fried veal cutlet, and Jaeger Schnitzel, served with a creamy mushroom sauce. Smoked pork chops and roast loin of pork served with home style red cabbage and potatoes are also popular items.

Fresh salmon, flounder and sole are available every day and nightly fish specials are listed. Shrimp scampi, with its butter and garlic sauce, tastes great over linguine. Linguine with shrimp and seafood is another popular dish. Authentic fish and chips will please the kids or you can enjoy an order while at the bar.

Anna's Place is open for lunch as well, with hearty beef brisket sandwiches, hot open roast beef sandwiches, and their famous, juicy burgers, topped with cheese, bacon, onions or mushrooms. Pub classics such as shepherd's pie and of course, fish and chips, are great here.

Sundays offer a pleasant brunch, served from noon to 3 p.m. For just $15 you get a brunch cocktail, entre and coffee. Choose among fluffy omelets, eggs Benedict, and lemon chicken with prawns or thick cut French toast in cinnamon butter.

Karaoke nights are held every Thursday and Saturday with no cover charge. Karaoke is a blast, so warm up your vocal chords and sing a few songs with friends. Appetizers, burgers and sandwiches are always available at the bar.

A meal at Anna's Place, where the service is so very friendly and you're treated like family, is always a treat. Stop in seven days a week for lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch or drinks at the bar and bring your family and friends. For a home cooked meal at a warm, neighborhood spot, visit Anna's Place on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park, near lots of shopping and the subway for your convenience.

Anna's Place 97-11 Queens Blvd.

Rego Park 718-897-3035

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