2016-05-11 / Restaurant of the Week

Bubba’s Bistro Southern Cuisine

Bubba’s Bistro is one of the few restaurants in Western Queens offering French-Creole and Cajun cooking with a down-home Southern twist. Owner Nicolas Triantaphilides has a multi-cultural background himself; born in Astoria, of Greek and French parents, raised in France, and lived for many years in Marbella Spain, where he ran successful restaurants. His Astorian opus, on Ditmars Blvd. is a great place to hang out for lunch, dinner, or their great Happy Hour. Best of all, the service is friendly and the prices are great!

The eclectic interior has a very festive, old school “Mardi Gras” feel with comical, retro signage that will make you chuckle. Exposed brick walls hold chalk board menus boasting specials and their Wednesday Happy Hour special: $7 bowls of juicy mussels in your choice of seven different sauces. The folks next to us were chowing down on the saffron mussels and the aroma was just intoxicating. Meanwhile at the cozy bar, buddies were enjoying Happy Hour drinks such as the “ Woo,” Bubba’s Moonshine, and a classic “Hurricane” for just $5 from 4-7pm. There are great beers and wines to go along with the fabulous food. We started with two juicy, pan-fried crab cakes, perfectly seasoned, moist and flavorful, served with classic remoulade sauce ($10). Bubba’s mac and cheese is decadently delicious, served in a crisp triangle shell filled with creamy, cheese macaroni, cheddar cheese and bacon. Grandpa’s cheese and corn fritters are golden crisp and gently sweet, served with Jack Daniels sauce on the side ($7). Nick insisted we try the Caddy Wompous Nachos, a massive mound of crunchy chips topped with plump shrimp, pulled chicken, cheddar cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato and chipotle sauce ($12). A group of friends could easily share this fun appetizer at the bar or at the table along with their outrageous Blue Note chicken wings with your choice of BBQ, chili glaze, Buffalo, or ranch sauce.

Bubba’s Bistro salads can be a meal in themselves, especially when topped with grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or hanger steak. The Louisiana sunburst salad is tossed with mixed greens, dried cranberries, strawberries, almonds, feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette. There’s also a Country Greek salad and BBQ chicken salad with corn, cucumber, onions, black beans, and cheddar cheese.

There are many lunch and dinner entrees to choose among, from sandwiches called “Po’ Boys” to subs, juicy burgers, classic dishes and more, it can be hard to decide, so future trips are definitely in order.

The number one sandwich is the “Who Dat” filled with succulent pulled pork fried pickle, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and apple slaw on a hero roll. The Louisiana Po Boy is stuffed with fried shrimp, herbs, garlic, pickles, and lemon-dill sauce for a two-handed taste festival.

My enthusiastic companion enjoyed the classic seafood gumbo, a mélange of rice, plump shrimp, clams, calamari, mussels, chorizo sausage, roasted tomato, and saffron for a hearty, satisfying dish. My Cajun blackened cod fish was fresh, very flaky, and nicely seasoned with Cajun spices and served with creamy grits and grilled vegetables. Next time I’ll try Bubba’s Jambalaya or the grilled Atlantic salmon marinated in lime, chili, and tequila.

Bubba’s Bistro does a fantastic job of quesadillas and tacos, great for sharing, snacking, and pairing with drinks. The quesadillas are made on 18-inch tomato-basil tortillas topped with sour cream and pico de gallo. Inside, the “Danube” is filled with chorizo, Asiago cheese, artichoke hearts, and pesto. The “300” is filled with pulled chicken, peppers, onions, refried beans and cheddar cheese. A half dozen varieties of taco are on offer, such as the tilapia taco with flaky fish and lemon-dill mayo, or the citrus shrimp taco on a corn tortilla. Bubba’s burgers are extra special too, made with high quality beef, served on brioche buns with pomme frites (French fries). Try the Hangover burger, laden with bacon, jalapeño, sautéed onions and jack cheese, or the Crazy A$$ burger with kale, mozzarella, pesto and sun-dried tomato. Bubba’s famous BBQ ribs will have you licking your fingers and the pulled pork and fried chicken are southern comfort food at its best.

Whatever you order, save room for their clever desserts served in a mason jar. Choose among Nutella bread pudding, red velvet cake, Oreo cheesecake, banana pudding, peanut butter cheesecake and more. Plan on walking home after a meal at Bubba’s Bistro and an extra visit to the gym but it is so worth it.

Bubba’s Bistro is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. They’re open from noon until 11pm on weekdays. Saturday and Sunday brunch is on from 11am to 4pm, followed by dinner service. Stop in any night for Happy Hour and appetizers at the bar or a full meal. For down-home Southern comfort, delicious, unique, French-Creole and Cajun cooking all at very affordable prices, visit Bubba’s Bistro and bring a hearty appetite and a smile.

31-13A Ditmars Boulevard
Astoria  718.728.2227

www.bubbasbistroastoria.com

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