BOAST’s Spring Soirée 2017

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By popular demand, we are happy to bring you BOAST: Best of Astoria’s Spring Soirée, happening on Sunday, March 26, 7:30–10:30pm! We’re stoked that the location, Sek’end Sun, is a multiple BOAST winner (Best Bar for Atmosphere, Best Bar for Trivia Night, Best Happy Hour and Best Date Spot). We’ll provide light snacks, along with the live music until 8pm. Enjoy Happy Hour drink prices through the entire event ($2 off draft beer, wine, and well liquor drinks). Following the live music, we’ll have a more structured segment for getting to know people you don’t already know. Then we’ll have time at the end to chill and hang out with new and old friends. It will be $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. You can get tickets with this link. And you can RSVP on Facebook with this link.

We hope to see you there!

Spring is around the corner,
The BOAST Team


An Astoria Mystery

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Does anyone know why there are no ads at Astoria subway stations? There haven’t been any since the end of 2016. If you know, comment on this post, email hello@boast.nyc, or fill out the Contact form. We want to solve this mystery!


Astoria Brewhouse Has Closed

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We are sad to report that former BOAST winner Astoria Brewhouse has closed. Its last day open was Super Bowl Sunday on February 5, and this was confirmed by someone who works at the sister location, Broadway Station. We heard rumors that the building was bought out, or that it was being leased to someone else.

We had some great times at the Astoria Brewhouse for Trivia, stand-up comedy, Happy Hour, hangouts with friends, watching sports, and eating tasty food. (The food wasn’t just good bar food, but it was good food in general.) The space was terrific, with the area in the back, and the location could not have been better (steps from the 30th Ave. subway stop). We will certainly miss it.


Valentine’s Day Specials at Kurry Qulture

(From Kurry Qulture)

valentinesKurry Qulture is offering a $40/pp four course Valentine pre-fixe complete with candlelight and chocolate truffles. The menu balances diner favorites, such as a “Home Style Chicken Curry”, along with dishes featuring known aphrodisiacs, such as “Salmon Tikka” and “Masala Arvi”, with taro root made tangy with dried mango powder.

At the bar, Bo will be mixing up a “Lover’s Chocolate Martini” in addition to some of our potent favorites, including Thirstiest Avenue–with Anejo Tequila, Lillet Rose,and chocolate bitters.

Cuisine from the land of the Kama Sutra knows how to pleasure the mind and soul through all five senses, making Kurry Qulture a Valentine’s dining destination!

Reservations are available online at kurryqulture.com or by calling 718-672-1212.

ABOUT KURRY QULTURE
Located on the bustling 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, Kurry Qulture elevates the Indian dining experience with surprising-creative cuisine and attentive service in a chic yet casual ambience. Owner, Sonny Solomon, brings over 15 years of experience at some of NYC’s most notable fine dining establishments. Since opening in November, 2015, Kurry Qulture has won the title of “Best Indian Restaurant in Queens: 2017” from Best of Boro and is noted in the 2017 Michelin Guide. In addition, Kurry Qulture has been featured in numerous publications including Eater NY, Boro Magazine, Epoch Times, AM NY and by several local foodie bloggers. Five star online reviews rave about the cuisine and attentive commitment to the experience of every guest.


Review of Tikka Roll House

I sat down at the new Tikka Roll House this past week with a craving for good Indian cuisine. I was not disappointed. It’s been open for a few months now, and I’ve been curious as to how their rolls were, since I had never had this type of dish. I first decided to try a good old fashioned samosa. I ordered the Aloo Gobi Samosas, and they were delicious. Crispy enough on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside. Along with the samosas, I was given a fried lentil bread appetizer with three dipping sauces. These come complimentary, and the sauces were delicious. A tamarind sauce, a sweet onion sauce, and a spicy cilantro option. I made sure to try each sauce with my samosas, and with the Anda Burji Roll. The roll was tasty as well. It had an inner fried egg rolled inside, and it made the chicken and veggies taste even better. I had never eaten an Indian-style roll before, and it was almost like a mixture between a wrap and a burrito. I loved it though. For my main dish, I asked for the traditional Chicken Tikka Masala, which I have tried at other establishments in Astoria. My server Irfan told me that their Masala was the best in Astoria. After trying it, I am very inclined to agree. It was a thick, creamy, and savory masala sauce. I could tell that it was made just for my order, where other restaurants might seem to have a large stock of it that they make in bulk. I was also given Murgh Vindaloo chicken to try. It was spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. The Vindaloo also came with soft potatoes in the sauce along with the chicken. The rice was a good-size portion, and it also came with a small salad in the same bowl. Next up, they gave me the Gulab Jamun, which are fried milk balls in a sugary clear syrup. They were very good. It came with two of the milk balls, and a good portion of the syrup for dipping. Lastly, they gave me a mixture of small confection candy mixed with fennel and other seeds. It was a nice little extra dessert to end the meal. Overall, I left stuffed and very happy that there is another quality Indian place in the heart of Astoria. They deliver and seem to do pickup orders as well. The decor is funny and interesting, with old Bollywood posters hanging on the walls. The service was timely and everyone was very pleasant. I will definitely return.

Tikka Roll House, 34-14 30th Ave, (718) 255-1085, tikkaindiangrill.com


Blink Fitness Launches New Ad Campaign with REAL Members, NOT Models

(From Blink Fitness)

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Blink Fitness, the premium-quality, value-based gym, is kicking off the New Year with the launch of its 2017 ad campaign featuring 16 of Blink’s very own gym members—not models. While the rest of the fitness industry touts images of six-pack abs and lofty weight-loss goals, Blink is redefining aspiration by showcasing the real, diverse range of people who derive joy and confidence from exercise. From Celestino, who regained the ability to walk again at Blink, to Amy, a working mother of three, who maintains her health—and sanity—by making time for fitness, each and every member in the campaign exudes self-confidence with their own unique inspirations for feeling good and getting healthy.

One out of the 16 gym members was from the Queens area representing Blink Roosevelt!

The final members were selected following a brand-wide casting call via social media (a first for a gym) and an audition in front of a panel of influential “casting agents.” The panel included body-positivity advocates and Blink members Dascha Polanco, known for her role as Dayanara Diaz on Orange is the New Black, former NFL punter Steve Weatherford, and Blink Fitness personal trainer Sabine Milien. To audition, the members shared their fitness journeys and explained why they believe feeling good is the new looking good.

The goal of the 2017 campaign is to challenge industry norms and expand on Blink’s unique Mood Above Muscle™ philosophy, which celebrates the positive emotions you get from working out, not just the physical benefits. A survey commissioned by Blink Fitness and conducted online by Harris Poll last month showed the following sentiments, which illustrates that Blink is onto something greater.

• Roughly 8 out of 10 Americans (82%) say their relationship with their body could be improved
• Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they find it discouraging to work towards unrealistic body images they see in the media.
• Almost 9 in 10 Americans (89%) who currently work out at a gym feel more confident about themselves when they leave the gym than when they first walk in.

Check out a sneak peak video for the Blink casting call here!


Classes for Aspiring Writers at QED

Mike Sacks

Mike Sacks

There’s a debate that always seems to crop up amongst aspiring writers these days: Should you get an MFA, or move to NYC? The answer is usually inconclusive. But when people like prominent humor writer and Vanity Fair editor Mike Sacks offer classes for $40 a pop at QED in Astoria, it seems the NYC faction is starting to win out.

A few weeks ago I attended his class “Want to Write for Print? Sh*t You Gotta Know,” a two-hour session focused on writing humor and getting it published in print magazines. There were five other students in the class, some from Astoria, but others had traveled from further away—one guy even said he’d made the trek all the way from Crown Heights in Brooklyn. In the snow. Clearly, for him, this was sh*t you’ve really gotta know.

Sacks gave us invaluable advice, not only by providing tips on humor writing itself, but also by suggesting print and online magazines to submit to (like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and FunnyOrDie.com), as well as listing names and email addresses of specific editors. He really made an effort to get to know each of us, talked a lot about the art of networking, and encouraged everyone to exchange emails and keep in touch. He even gave us his own contact info, so that we could reach out if we thought of any more questions. Which is risky, since for all he knows one of us might start emailing him obsessively. Most writers and writing teachers wouldn’t want to take that chance, but Sacks clearly wants to help new writers get ahead—no MFA required.

Sad you missed out on this class? Don’t be! Sacks will be holding another session at QED on March 13, 2017. Sign up here.

And check out these other QED classes for writers and comedians in early 2017:

Stephanie Grossman


BOAST Winners (Dec. 2016) by the Numbers

Number of categories in each section:
EAT: 17
DRINK: 11
DO & SEE: 11

Number of winners by location:
Astoria-Ditmars Blvd (N/W): 30
30th Ave (N/W): 18
Steinway St (M/R): 15
Broadway (N/W): 13
31st Ave: 7
Astoria Blvd (N/W): 6
Long Island City: 5
36th Ave (N/W): 4

Winners with multiple locations in Astoria:
Astoria Bier & Cheese: 2
Bareburger: 2
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company: 2
Create: 2
New York City Bagel & Coffee House: 2
Starbucks: 5

Number of unique winners:
90

Winners in multiple categories:
4: The Astor Room (1st place-3, 2nd place-1)
4: Sek’end Sun (2nd-2, 3rd-2)
3: Mosaic Craft Beer, Cocktail & Wine Bar (1st-1, 3rd-2)
3: The Queens Kickshaw (2nd-1, 3rd-2)
3: William Hallet (2nd-1, 3rd-2)
2: Jujube Tree (1st-2)
2: Martha’s Country Bakery (1st-2)
2: Q.E.D. (1st-2)
2: Sanfords (1st-2)
2: Sunswick 35/35 (1st-2)
2: 60 Beans (1st-1, 2nd-1)
2: Grand Cafe (1st-1, 2nd-1)
2: Museum of the Moving Image (1st-1, 2nd-2)
2: Bareburger (2nd-2)
2: Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery (2nd-2)
2: New York City Bagel & Coffee House (2nd-1, 3rd-1)
2: Zbar Astoria (2nd-1, 3rd-1)
2: Create (3rd-1, Write-in)


BOAST results (Dec. 2016) have been published!

As the Q train (to start going up 2nd Avenue on Jan. 1!) has been replaced by the W train in Astoria, so too have the results on this site. There are also new photos in the slideshows at the tops of the pages, and new Featured BOAST Locations as well.

There were a number of close calls and ties from this survey, so we had to do first-hand research to determine who should make it onto the site. We would like to thank those who came along with us as we did this research, and we want to thank everyone who filled out the survey. (Congratulations to those who won a prize.)

Please check out the EAT, DRINK, DO & SEE, and LOCATION pages to get detailed information about all the businesses and locations, but if you would like a list of the winners in one place, see this post.

Finally, we like hearing from you. Agree or disagree about the results? Have comments about the site or social media channels? Want to contribute writing or photography? Email hello@boast.nyc.


List of BOAST winners (Dec. 2016)

List of BOAST: Best of Astoria winners (December 2016)

EAT
Best American:
1. Sanfords
2. The Queens Kickshaw
3. William Hallet

Best Bakery
1. Martha’s Country Bakery
2. Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery
3. Leli’s Bakery

Best Brunch
1. Sanfords
2. Grand Cafe
3. (tie) Gastroteca Astoria
3. (tie) William Hallet

Best Budget
1. King of Falafel & Shawarma
2. Arepas Cafe
3. St. James Deli

Best Burger
1. Burger Club
2. Bareburger
3. Sweet Afton (more…)