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Ratings: 7 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
3.1/5 rDev -12.2%
My fiance and I have been here twice now, and the later visit was much more pleasant than the first.
Handful of regional drafts and a cask offering, reasonably fresh.
Burgers are out of sight and the fried McClures pickles are top notch.
First server we had was more interested in making friends at the bar than doing her job. Our second trip, the Irish dame who waited on us, was pretty on top of things.
The crowd, well they will tell you they're cool. I want to like this place, but they make it hard for me to. That burger makes it hard for me to stay away.
On a side note, their cocktails are damn tasty.
04-15-2011 03:27:24 | More by PGHeppJr
3.93/5 rDev +11.3%
Some time ago, Phil & I went in search of good beer in Queens and failed miserably. We were then laughed at by Scott upon our return to Brooklyn and made to promise that we'd never again go looking for beer in Queens, and with good reason. But things have changed for the better these last few years, and beer has even picked up some in the lesser cool boroughs, as they are. This Saturday exploration finds the meter fed for an hour forty, and me hobbling down 34th wondering exactly what an Afton is...
In from the light to adjustment, pause and move forth. A singlewide storefront, it's a good looking place; lots of brick and wood, I do like. Panel windows up front next to the Mugslike vestibule entrance doorway. Mostly white walls with a wood trim, the rear wall done with a bricked up window gated (effective in keeping out vampires) and another cut through with shelved candles, it's aesthetically pleasing. Cross beams overhead attached by riveted plates, and slat rows above (very sharp), duct work partially exposed, and cement floors. Drop cone lamps up front, baby track spots back some and mounted bare bulb singles lighting.
Question mark shaped concrete topped bar to the left seating 14. The barback wall holding a beaten 3 panel mirror piece, with small intermingled candleage amidst booze tiered and shelved below. Further down, a slight bottle collection shelved atop jarred McClure pickles displayed over another tiered booze piece, and glassware shelved below. Tap list printed in colored chalk on a blackboard on the end.
Medium table, larger table, smaller table from the front windows running back towards the bar. 3 sturdy wood hightops on the far wall adjacent to the bar with shared leather benching and outer stools. Bar counter space everywhere along the wall those tables aren't and a single corner table down around the backside bar to the rear. Little hallway to the rear with some service area action (I can see jarred pickles and kitchenings), and there's seating back there, too.
A 10 tap box on the counter, a single solo tap to the left side, and a handpump to the right. Very local (Kelso Nut Brown & Pils, Captain Lawrence Freshchester Pale Ale), regional (Lake Placid Ubu Ale, Ommegang Witte, Fire Island Red Wagon IPA), beyond (Abita Amber), and way beyond (Guinness, Bitburger Pils, Palm, Chimay Tripel). And Blue Point Rye on the handpump (listed on the menu as such but on the tap board as Sixpoint Rye, which is a whole 'nother thing completely). I started with the cask Blue Point Rye, and then that the Kelso Pils I'm liking the shit out of just now. Citizen Witzel had the Lake Placid Ubu and the Kelso Nut Brown, the beers were clean and fresh. Also a handful of bottles not entertained, as um... well, they're crap really (Peroni, Red Stripe, Pacifico, Amstel Light, Miller High Life, Modelo Especiale Can, Magners) save the one redeemer (Saison Dupont).
Still don't know what an Afton is although I'm pretty sure it's a small spiky mammal. What makes it sweet is the marinade. Anyway, it's a warm & inviting place with a cordial staff. The bar patrons all local, I'd be too if I lived here. Interesting music, not too bad at all and there's something very Wilcoesque happening now as was earlier. Saw some very handsome burgers passing by. If I wasn't running low on meter time and Witzel hadn't arrived all pork chopped, I might have entertained. And did I mention that the beer was in good shape? Well, it was. Solid place, Scott might even approve...
06-24-2010 17:38:50 | More by slander
3.85/5 rDev +9.1%
I've been meaning to check this place out for some time now, and I was finally able to stop by for brunch the other day. It was noon on a Sunday and it was deader than disco, which was fine by me because I heard the place can really get packed.
The beer selection was decent and everything I had was fresh and at the right temperature. I would have liked to see a little more variety, though. They do have cask (I believe the only one in the hood) and you can't go wrong with that!
I ordered what basically was a complete Irish breakfast...on a roll. I didn't understand the roll part. All the components on the plate were tasty and it would have been fine on its own as an Irish breakfast. As a sandwich, however, it was a little sloppy to eat.
On a positive note, the fried pickles are fantastic! I ordered a side of them and they were as filling as the meal! I used to live in the South and I'm a big fan of fried pickles, but I've never had them like this. They are fried in a fluffy tempura style batter and they look a little like hush puppies. Served with a dipping sauce on the side, you won't be able to resist polishing off the basket (now, if only someone would do green tomatoes 'round these parts)!
The staff was great. I sat at the bar and ate, as I typically do, and the bartender was very friendly and conversational. The atmosphere is nice as well. Reclaimed wood (I'm told), exposed brick, and a nice, warm vibe. The place kind of feels like a trip back to the days of old...back when bars were bars. I always like that. No fluff. I also took a gander at the patio in the back and it was small but nice.
In an area still fraught with "club-like" joints, it's nice to know there's an oasis where I can just sit back, enjoy a cold one, and savor those magical pickles!
04-08-2010 14:40:20 | More by fastnbulbous
3.65/5 rDev +3.4%
The space is beautiful. If you ove reclaimed wood and Edison bulbs - this is the place for you. The music is good, not too loud and the place is pretty quiet at 4pm when it first opens. Get there at 9pm and you can barely fit through the door! They do have a very small outdoor seating area that is open during the warmer months. Once inside, you can easily forget that you are in Queens - it has a very Williamsburg-esque feel. Definitely a great looking place to sit and have a pint.
Temperature control is excellent. Cask beer was iffy when I first started going there. Staff seemed a bit afraid of the hand pump - it malfunctioned - there were issues. I had 2 Brothers Cain & Abel on cask - great offering! Their seasonal was a Pumpkin ale - yes it was October.
Their selection is okay. Abita and Kelso tasted basically the same. Kelso being the more interesting of the two. It seemed a little lager-heavy, which is fine, but if you are in the mood for an IPA - not too many choices are offered. It's a good beginning, but I would like to see more than one rotating tap. Cask rotates too, obviously.
The food looks good and they are definitely proud of the menu.
I hope they keep improving as my neighborhood needs a good beer bar.
02-02-2010 15:45:52 | More by DawnL
3.93/5 rDev +11.3%
Nice little bar in Astoria. I've been here a few times now.
Place has about 8-10 taps and a small selection of bottles (mostly stuff like corona and magners). Most of which do not change (ommegang hennepin, guinness, captain lawrence pale ale, kelso pils and nut brown, bitburger...), but they do have a tap that is for the beer of the month. When I was there in early December it was Lake Placid's Ubu ale. Which is nice as I don't really don't see it around on tap.
The bar gets "a bit pricey" rating because every beer I ordered was $6. That is a bit pricey..but anyway on to the food
The menu is small, but filled with some nice options. They seem to pride themselves on using local products like cheese from murray's, pickles from brooklyn, etc.
I had the mac n' cheese (using 3 varities of cheese) and the cheeseburger here and both were good.
Besides beer they have in house infused liquor. My friend ordered the hot cherry margarita (made with habanero infused tequilla) and it was surprisngly good though quite spicy.
As for the layout of the bar. The place is kind of cozy. A wood bar is on the left side as you enter. The walls are brick and the lighting was mostly from the Christmas tree in the corner and candles around the place.
The last time I went was on a Wednesday night and it was pretty much full (not standing room only like Manhattan beer bars, but not really a table available either).
The bartenders and waitresses were very friendly each time I went. The waitress offered a sample when she noticed me trying to read the last tap from our table (which ended up being the ubu). A sample is always appreciated.
Mostly a young crowd, but I didn't notice any rowdy people there. There is music playing, but it isn't real loud and allowed for us to talk (or maybe I felt that way because it was my type of music)
Definitely a good addition to the neighborhood. A place to grab a good beer and some good food.
12-30-2009 20:09:52 | More by shaebs99
Sweet Afton in Astoria (Queens), NY
- out of 100 based on 7 ratings.