Grand Avenue in Maspeth is undergoing a culinary revolution. Two new restaurants had soft openings recently and feature cuisines that have never been offered locally. After visiting them I can guarantee that you’re going to want to check them out.
Affy’s Premium Grill
69-67 Grand Avenue
Chef: Afzal “Affy” Bhatti
When you walk into Affy’s, it’s hard to believe you are in the same space that formerly was the Fame Diner. The place has been modernized and the décor is sleek. There’s lots of neon and mirrors and the vibe is hip. So, how is the food? My husband and I dined there for lunch one Sunday and everything was prepared to our specifications. To start, we were served chips and salsa which had a unique and pleasant flavor. I ordered a steak sandwich cooked medium; the meat was tasty and succulent. Steve ordered Hawaiian style BBQ short ribs. He could not rave enough about them. I also ordered a “margarita” which tasted like a lime popsicle and was great. The restaurant is halal and does not plan to serve alcohol but welcomes you to bring your own. The service was good, and we’ll definitely be back for dinner. One thing to be prepared for: The bill comes with an automatic 15% gratuity included.
70-11 Grand Avenue
Chef: Shane Kim
Steve and I ate dinner at Driftwood on a different Sunday. They also do not have a liquor license yet, but the bar setup seems to indicate that may be happening at some point in the future. Not a big deal, we weren’t there for the booze. Their Blossom Honey Chrysanthemum drink hit the spot. We shared plates of BLT Rice and Pork Belly. The BLT Rice is out of this world. Our compliments to the chef for dreaming this one up. I can’t imagine going there in the future and not ordering this incredible appetizer! The Pork Belly comes with soft slices of meat plus a crispy fried piece, cucumber, rice, and peri-peri sauce, all of which you are supposed to assemble on a piece of romaine, lettuce wrap-style. The dish was delish, but the lettuce leaves were small and couldn’t hold much. So, we just used our forks. The entrée was a shared Royalty Seafood Boil in Sweet & Tangy Herb Sauce. This was a lot of food, all of which needed to be shelled. We were feeling full by that point and kind of lazy. What we nibbled on tasted great but we took most of that home. We skipped dessert, but I’d like to try the Sweet Potato Cake Roll one day which sounds like it’s right up my alley.
It’s great to have these two new restaurants as options on Grand along with already popular places like Patrizia’s, Connolly’s, and Good Eats. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the makings of a restaurant row!