37-01 30th Avenue + Astoria + 718-777-7321 www.grandcafelounge.com
Grand Café Has Something For Everyone
T he clock in front of the Grand Café on 30th Avenue in Astoria serves as a reminder that any time is a good time to stop in at this comfortable, casual café, restaurant and lounge. This epitome of laid-back, café dining was brought to fruition by six friends: Stu, Teddy, Nick, Tony, John and Kirk, and since it
Grand Café has become a popular spot for diners of all ages. Grand Café offers casual fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner that is freshly prepared and beautifully presented. The menu features American cuisine with a European appeal. In addition, a full range of cocktails, wine and beer is served from the spectacular bar, which is backlit by a magnificent fish tank housing dozens of tropical fish. The interior invites you to relax, with cool slate floors, woven rattan bistro tables and chairs and a nice mix of music.
Whether you come for a steaming cappuccino and croissant in the morning or enjoy a three-course meal at dinner, the friendly staff will ensure a pleasant experience. Grand Café's weekend brunch is the talk of the town, and not to be missed. In warm weather, the glass doors open so diners can enjoy café life at its finest.
Start with a glass of wine or one of their specialty drinks such as a peach cosmopolitan, Brazilian caipirinhas, a margarita or other fresh fruit concoctions. At dinner or any time, try some of their fabulous appetizers, such as flaky phyllo spinach pie or cheese pie. Buffalo chicken wings come with a spicy sauce and creamy bleu cheese dressing and are perfect for sharing. My dining companion and I devoured Grand Café's signature light and crisp crab and shrimp spring rolls, served with house-made sweet and sour sauce. At $9 for six spring rolls, these would make a great snack any time. Quesadillas, soft tortillas filled with cheese, chicken or vegetables, are served with fresh guacamole and salsa. Crisp calamari rings and house-made chicken tenders with honey mustard offer plenty for sharing. Order the Grand Platter with a sampling of many appetizers for the whole table to share ($15), or a Grand Cheese Platter with a variety of cheeses and grapes.
Fresh salads can be an addition to your meal, or a meal in themselves. One variety features tossed tender greens and Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese and roasted peppers in one salad; Greek salads include feta cheese, onions and olives. Ask about the house made soup of the day.
Entrée dishes are served piping hot, with kudos for the skirt steak platter, cooked to order and served with either mashed potatoes, fries or vegetables and field greens ($15). The pan-seared salmon was fresh and juicy and cooked to perfection, according to my companion. A simply prepared, marinated grilled chicken breast is served with rice, vegetables and field greens for just $13, making Grand Café affordable for every budget. Penne alla vodka, lobster ravioli and pasta with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts all make wonderful choices for dinner or lunch.
At lunch time or any time, over a dozen wraps and Panini are available, such as the Mediterranean wrap with grilled chicken, roasted peppers and feta cheese, or the Havana Panini with roasted pork, turkey, cheese and pickles on ciabatta bread. Have your sandwich pressed on the grill for irresistible flavor and crunch on the outside, and melted cheese on the inside. Toast is filled with ham or turkey and choice of cheese for $7.75. The Grand Sirloin Burger, a hefty, two-handed burger specially ground from lean sirloin and cooked to order and served on a flaky brioche roll is juicy and delicious. You can top it off with Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado or mushrooms. It is served with your choice of field green salad or crisp shoestring French fries.
There's a very popular brunch on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The $11 fixed price includes a brunch cocktail and choice of eggs, omelets, fritattas, salads, their famous burger and more. Stop in for a weekday breakfast on your way to work of eggs or omelets on a roll to go, or savor some sweet French toast with ham, bacon or sausage.
Any time is a good time for Grand Café's tender crepes filled with bananas and Nutella, fresh fruit or savory ingredients such as ham and cheese. Desserts include European pastries, creamy cheesecake, house-made yogurt with honey and nuts and chocolate soufflé.
A private party room in the back of the café accommodates 55 people and boasts a separate bar, sound system and restrooms for your guests. Smoked glass partitions allow for complete privacy and the expert service ensures that your party will be a huge success.
Visit Grand Café any time for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night snack, or enjoy the sleek, comfortable bar and lounge for intimate conversation. The food and service are very good and the prices are affordable for all. Grand Café is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. weeknights and 3:30 a.m. weekends.