2017-12-06 / Restaurant of the Week

The Strand Smokehouse

The Strand Smoke House sweeps you away to simpler times when life was slower, the food was better, the booze was boozier, and the music was made for dancing. The Strand Smoke House literally stands out with its unique façade, set back from the sidewalk on Broadway, and decked with picnic tables. The unique, barn-like space has massive wooden tables which allow for group dining and communal dining with your neighbors. This self-service restaurant is the passion of Tommy Vasilis who wanted to offer casual dining for friends and families featuring high quality meats, poultry, and homemade sides. On Friday, Saturday nights there’s live country/ bluegrass music, and Sunday afternoons feature a fantastic bluegrass band from 2-5pm. Put on your dancing boots and let loose!

The bar buzzes with “Moontails” made with moonshine spirits that will start and clean your engine. These are seriously good drinks made with natural fruit juices and herbs like the Kentucky lemonade made with homemade cucumber lemonade, ginger, and fresh lemon. “Kansas is Falling” and “Dang Winter” are also excellent Moontails served in a Mason jar. Will, the friendly barman, also pours over a dozen craft beers including Barking Dog, Allagash White, Anchor Porter, and Lagunitas IPA.

Meanwhile, the huge smoker runs 24/7 and is loaded with top quality brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, baby back ribs, chicken, kielbasa, and maple bourbon bacon. They’re all listed on the chalkboard menu along with any daily specialties from the smoker. The Strand Smokehouse chefs start with a special, house recipe dry rub for 48 hours before going into the smoker. After many hours, the meat is so tender and succulent, it simply falls off the bone. The short ribs of beef spend a hefty 16 hours in the smoker and are anything but ‘short.’ These massive, Fred Flintstone-sized short ribs will tip over your table if you’re not careful.

The “self-serve” menu allows you to choose as much as you want of several meats including fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, succulent short ribs, and the brisket which is my personal favorite. There’s also juicy chicken, pulled pork, made from the shoulder, crispy-skin kielbasa, and decadent maple bacon, all charged by the pound and hand cut right in front of you, so just say “when.” After the meats, choose your favorite sides which includes a hunk of cornbread, Mexican grilled corn, awesome mac ‘n cheese, bbq beans, crunchy cole slaw, sweet potato fries, house made pickles or a garden salad, just for irony I suppose.

Bring your oversized tray to any table and enjoy with friends along with pulled pork nachos for sharing. There’s a variety of sauces, and plenty of paper towels at your disposal. Order one of the desserts of the day to sweeten things up when you’re done, and then get ready to hit the dance floor.

The Strand Smokehouse is open seven days a week from 4pm weekdays and 12 noon on weekends. Visit on Tuesdays for Trivia night and don’t forget live music Friday and Saturday nights as well as Bluegrass Sundays. The Strand is like a trip back to a simpler time where everything is better. Bring your biggest appetite and your dancing boots to the Strand Smokehouse.

25-27 Broadway  Astoria


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