2016-09-07 / Restaurant of the Week

The Buccaneer Diner

The Buccaneer Diner has been a fixture on Astoria Blvd. in Jackson Heights since 1976 and has been welcoming locals, Mets fans, passengers at La Guardia, and livery drivers for 40 years. The chefs at the Buccaneer Diner make nearly everything served from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients. The gregarious owner, Costa Alexiou, chooses his own fish and seafood from the market, selects and cuts his own meat fresh to order and even grinds his own beef for their famous Buccaneer Burgers. Everything is made with pride and love, and beautifully presented in grand portions by a friendly staff led by Johnny, who knows everyone by name.

The Buccaneer Diner is a great place for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime snack, as they are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Each night, there are at least a dozen dinner specials, starting at $13.95 including soup or salad, potato and vegetable. Johnny mixes up signature cocktails including mojitos, banana daiquiris, Bay Breezes, wine and beer to compliment your meal.

We started with the special Caribbean coconut shrimp, crunchy and golden outside, tender and juicy inside with a zesty dipping sauce. Dinner specials included a whole, stuffed, 1.5-pound lobster filled with crab meat stuffing and garlic butter sauce ($18.95). At that price, you can indulge any time you like, and try a cup of their home made Manhattan clam chowder full of fresh clams and big chunks of vegetables in a light tomato broth. The chicken noodle soup tastes like mom’s and there’s a basket of fresh challah bread (made on site) to soak it all up. A crunchy salad is another choice, or try the classic Greek salad with slabs of creamy feta cheese. Both lamb chops and baked shoulder of lamb were on the menu, along with chicken scarpariello and penne with shrimp and chicken.

Fish is king at the Buccaneer Diner, where you’ll find only the freshest available, prepared in dozens of ways. I ordered the classic fillet of sole wrapped around a mound of fresh spinach and feta cheese, then perfectly broiled to a golden finish, served with lemon wedges, a baked potato and sweet corn. There was plenty left for dinner the next night where the freshness remained. They’re famous for the Fisherman’s Platter, an enormous affair that includes stuffed shrimp, sea scallops, stuffed fillet of sole, a lobster tail along with a baked tomato, choice of potato and vegetable for $27.95. Grilled or stuffed salmon or tilapia makes for a lighter meal, while the whole fish of the day is a feast for the eyes and the palate.

Buccaneer serves excellent sautée dishes such as chicken or veal marsala, piccata or francese. Their pasta dishes rival those found in fancy Italian restaurants, such as pasta Da Vinci with shrimp and mushrooms, and fettuccine Alfredo. The charcoal grill renders NY sirloin steak, filet mignon, and juicy pork chops to pair with your favorite side dishes and an ice cold beer. From the Greek corner, try the chicken souvlaki, gyro platter or sandwich, or homemade spinach pie with salad.

At lunchtime or anytime, The Buccaneer signature burger is a two-handed number made with hand-ground, juicy beef topped with sweet, caramelized onions, or any of your favorite toppings. Dozens of sandwiches, wraps, and salads grace the lunch menu, and breakfast is served 24 hours a day. Choose among omelets, eggs Benedict, fluffy French toast made with their own homemade challah bread or a stack of pancakes with butter and syrup. House made muffins, danish, and buttered rolls with cups of hot, delicious coffee can be wrapped up to go. The place is packed on Saturdays and Sundays with the breakfast brigades coming and going with families in tow.

The Buccaneer Diner proudly makes all its own baked goods, which makes dessert a ‘must’. Their cheesecake is legendary, as is their carrot cake, lemon coconut cake, chocolate layer cake, strawberry shortcake, creamy rice pudding and chocolate pudding.

The Buccaneer Diner is conveniently located on Astoria Blvd., just off the Grand Central Parkway and down the road from LaGuardia Airport. It’s an ideal place to eat before or after a Met game or your flight, and there’s plenty of free parking. Arrange your next private party or business luncheon at the Buccaneer, or choose off-premises catering. The catering menu is on the website so leave it to the experts. The Buccaneer Diner is a classic! You can visit 24/7 as there’s always something delicious cooking and baking. Congratulations on 40 years in business!

93-01 Astoria Boulevard
Jackson Heights  718.457.6803

www.buccaneerdiner.com

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