It’s a long weekend in Astoria, Queens! That means early dismissal and completely disconnecting from work! Saturday was a beautiful day with a rainy afternoon, spent in Brooklyn catching up with friends, which is the best way to spend Saturdays. Brunching in Brooklyn.
But Sunday was a spectacularly beautiful hot clear day! It was seriously the best weather for someone like me who thrives in the heat. Best of all, I love long holiday weekends in New York because EVERYONE goes home to their families. (I choose to visit my families on other days than the holidays to avoid traffic and overpriced tickets.) So that leaves me to a nicely deserted neighborhood with only the real locals. And being that it’s Queens, no tourists!
I had been wanting to try out Astoria Flea Market for awhile since its conception earlier in May. Alas, with what little time I had, it was delayed until now. It’s located on the 1 block that Kaufman Studios is located, next to Museum of Moving Images, which is a great museum with some great movie screenings, and often, you’ll be able to have a Q&A with a director/producer, etc.
I’m rather amazed that this street, which used to be open to the public to walk is suddenly gated. It rather saddened me that it’s gotten a bit corporate. But understandably, they want to bring film business into the Queens’ economy.
Let’s face it, I didn’t go to the flea market to actually check out antiques or artisan crafts. I have way too much stuff in my tiny apartment to want anymore. But it’s always nice to peruse through old stuff. I love looking at china and brass and little knick knacks.
Thus, my main goal at any flea market is to eat. Seriously, what better way to try out food than at random carts. Albeit, a bit pricey.
Since I entered through the back entrance, antiques greeted me but the first food stall I spotted was a gluten free crepe. It seemed too early for sugary! I opted for savory “bricks” at Brick Bar. Beef and mashed potato in a thin sheet that is deep fried. It’s like shepherd’s pie egg roll. So delicious atop a bed of olive oil salad.
Since it was still early, we tried out shrimp and grits at Clean Plate Co. Melted cajun butter and steel cut grits that’s like pureed potatoes, cooked in front of you. This tiny catering company served up a very delicious shrimp and grit, which I have to say, rivals Sugar Freak’s.
I had had the saffron risotto arancini from Arborio King at LIC Flea Market and was dying to have it again. But they didn’t start making it until after 1230pm so I ended getting their Breakfast Balls. Savory scrambled eggs within polenta and parmesan coated thickly with herbs and bread. It was the perfect blend of egg and salt for a hearty breakfast.
I was stuffed!
But I couldn’t leave without trying a sweet. Instead of gluten free crepe or gluten free Filipino bingsky dessert, I went straight for sugar. Homemade marshmallows by Mitchmallows. Banana marshmallow, strawberry and chocolate, and PB&J. I mean, how could you go wrong?
The best part was they made “designed” s’mores! Strawberry shortcake s’mores that tasted like fresh pop tarts. And BLT s’mores. Yup, bacon under a tomato marshallow, toasted, gooey, and dripping with chocolate.
Ah, the joy of eating out. It’s always wise to go to these eateries with a friend so you can get more, split the cost, split the dish, share the taste and enjoy the company.