2006-10-11 / Restaurant of the Week

Lite Bites On Steinway Offers Much More Than Snacks

31-91 Steinway Street, Astoria (Corner of Broadway) 718.728.1133
by Teresa Barile

Steinway Days is a great time to boast about a gem of an eatery called Lite Bites. Though the name suggests snacks and light fare, Lite Bites offers complete meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This neat and tidy restaurant, with its charming atrium dining area that looks out onto the bustling intersection of Steinway Street and Broadway, is a perfect place to stop for a snack or meal, whether and entrees from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

          Breakfast, which is served all day, includes a full array of omelets filled with fresh vegetables, cheese and ham, served on their pretty dishes, or piled onto freshly baked bread to go-a great way to start your day. The South Beach omelet consists of four egg whites, vegetables and low fat cheese, served on a whole grain croissant for a light and satisfying breakfast. There are handy breakfast wraps too, ideal for those on the run. Sit and enjoy a stack of fluffy pancakes, crisp waffles or a bowl of hot oatmeal topped with fresh fruit.

For lunch or dinner, try one of their signature sandwiches, such as the Euro, piled with Black Forest ham, Brie cheese, Roma tomatoes and honey mustard ($6.95). Balsamic chicken is layered with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, arugula and fresh mozzarella. A popular sandwich called "Krash" includes Cajun roasted chicken, sliced avocado, spicy chipotle peppers and herb mayonnaise for multi-layered flavor. Flour tortillas wraps are filled with Thai style chicken, smoked salmon or tuna nicoise. Pair any of these fabulous sandwiches or wraps with a cup of their home style soups, made fresh each day. I loved the Italian wedding soup, full of pastina, tiny meatballs and spinach in a hearty broth. Vegetarian lentil, chicken noodle, or lobster bisque are just some of the varieties in rotation.

Oven pressed Panini are warm and delicious. Kudos to the Cuban sandwich, made with roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. The New Yorker is full of tender roast beef, jack cheese, caramelized onions and Russian dressing. This sandwich will keep you going for hours on end. The open-faced Reuben, made with sauerkraut and melted Swiss and either pastrami or corned beef, is super. All of these hot sandwiches are served with cole slaw and pickles. For $1.75 more, you can add Lite Bites' irresistible thick-cut steak fries or addictive curly fries with special seasoning.

On the lighter side, there are bountiful salads, such as the Greek salad, with dolmades, feta cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes, or the Caesar salad, served with or without sliced chicken breast on top and your choice of dressing. If you prefer, the crew at Lite Bites will construct your own salad with anything you like from their salad station. Light and flaky quiches of broccoli and cheddar, spinach and mushroom, or classic Lorraine with ham and Gruyere cheese are also available.

Dinner entrees include pasta and hot platters such as roast beef, sliced turkey with gravy, fresh garlic mashed potatoes and roasted corn or salmon with sautéed vegetables. Juicy burgers always fit the bill and can be topped with any or all of your favorite items. Next time I'll try the crisp, melted quesadillas, filled with cheese and steak, chicken or shrimp.

Fresh fruit smoothies are cool and refreshing. At the other end of the scale, you can indulge in a generous serving of super creamy cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, carrot cake, caramel mousse cake or rice pudding. Don't forget to order a cup of delicious coffee.

The service at Lite Bites is fast and friendly. Orders seem to fly out the door, with no charge for delivery to home or office. Allow Lite Bites to prepare stunning sandwich platters and salads for your next office meeting or party at home. The prices are great and you can't beat the freshness and flavor.

Join the Gazette in saluting Steinway Days and all Steinway Street merchants with a stop at Lite Bites for much, much more than just a light bite.

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