The Sandwich Bar
Astoria, Queens, New York
The Sandwich Bar in Astoria, Queens (a 5 minute walk from the Ditmars Blvd stop on the N/Q ) has quickly become one of our favorite go-to restaurants for lunch, dinner, and happy hour. With their convenient location, tasty food, and self-proclaimed “rustic ambiance,” it’s hard to resist. We have been there countless times in the past year, and we’ll tell you why.
The Sandwich Bar serves exactly what you’d think: sandwiches. But they don’t only sell sandwiches. They have an excellent brunch menu (Oreo pancakes, anyone?), affordable starters, juicy burgers, and perfect fresh-cut fries. They also have gluten-free bread ($2.50 extra) and vegetarian options such as a Roasted Eggplant baguette and Melted Mozzarella or Eggplant pressed sandwiches. As their name suggests, they also have a full bar that serves a handful of unique cocktails as well as a number of locally sourced craft beers on tap, which the bar staff is very knowledgeable about. We recommend trying a pint of their Ithaca Flower Power IPA, from upstate New York. Check out their full menu here and follow them on Instagram to see pictures of their delicious food at thesandwichbarny.
On top of having great food and a great list of menu options, The Sandwich Bar has a great atmosphere. It’s pretty well-sized for a New York restaurant, and has outdoor seating in the warmer months, as well as seating at the bar. It’s clean, well lit, and inviting, and while there are usually quite a few customers, there’s never been a wait.
The service here is quick and to the point. The wait staff and bartenders are friendly, patient, and helpful. Every item on the menu is numbered, which makes it incredibly easy for you, the staff, and the kitchen to get the food out onto the table as soon as possible.
Now, on to the food.
Our personal favorites are the Mac & Pepper Jack Bites ($7.25), Fresh Cut Fries ($3.75), Flame-Broiled Burger (with bacon, cheddar, lettuce, and tomato – $8.45), and the pressed Braised Brisket Grilled Cheese ($8.75). Truthfully though, all of their pressed sandwiches are amazing. They come on massive slices of hand cut, rustic white bread, which has an impressively crispy crust and a light, chewy center. Among them, the Braised Brisket Grilled Cheese is the real star, and the reason we go back again and again. The brisket is juicy and seasoned to perfection and the spicy mayo and cheddar cheese add the perfect balance of creaminess as well as a kick that makes this one of the best sandwiches we’ve had to date. If you like the classic flavor of buffalo chicken wings then their Roasted Pulled Buffalo Chicken sandwich ($8.75) is another winner, complete with cheddar cheese and buttermilk ranch dressing.
Unfortunately, while they do offer delivery, sometimes the sandwiches don’t fare so well after traveling, arriving soggy and not up to the standard of the food served in the restaurant. Check this place out in person!
The most important note about their drinks: Happy Hour here is from 4pm-7pm every day of the week. That’s right, there’s Happy Hour on the weekend. They’ve got some pretty good specials, too. $4 Draft Beers, $5 Select Wine, $6 Select Cocktails, $4 Select Shots, $1 Sliders (BBQ Pulled Pork, Buffalo Chicken, or Mini-Burger Sliders), and $0.50/Piece BBQ or Buffalo Wings. Their Summer in Astoria cocktail (Jameson, Peach Schnapps, Sour Mix, Mint Leaf) has quite a bit of whiskey, but the Happy Hour version is a bit different. It’s made with Jack Daniels instead of Jameson, which gives it more of a bourbon-y flavor, and the mint leaf seems to be forgotten. Keep in mind the happy hour versions may be tweaked a bit, but they’re still good and worth the price!
All in all, if you’re looking for an awesome, casual brunch, lunch, happy hour, or dinner spot, The Sandwich Bar is an ideal pick. Give them a shot and let us know what you think!
Post by Brittany DeSalvo and Kyle Horn. Photos by Brittany DeSalvo (burger picture) and from TheSandwichBarNY.com.