Like my beloved Pão de Queijo, Duzan on Steinway Street is another excellent Astoria restaurant that deserves a lot more attention than it receives. This Palestinian restaurant serves up fresh, delicious Middle Eastern staples and stands out impressively amidst all of the truly great Middle Eastern fare that can be found around our neighborhood. Below are my favorite dishes and recommendations, and I encourage you to add Duzan to your personal Astoria food maps!
For non-vegetarians, if you order one thing on the menu at Duzan, let it be the Chicken Shawarma Sandwich (picture below). This is hands-down my favorite shawarma sandwich in all of Astoria–and the best I have tried in New York. The star of this sandwich is the chicken itself: warm, tender, perfectly spiced and–like everything at Duzan–freshly made. An ample serving of this terrific chicken is shoveled into a freshly baked pita along with red cabbage, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, tahini, and a multi-spice hot sauce that adds great heat and incredible depth of flavor to this outstanding sandwich.
Duzan is also home to my favorite hummus in Astoria, the Hummus Abu Ghosh (pictured below). Exquisitely textured silky smooth hummus is topped with olive oil and roasted-to-order garlic and pine nuts, resulting in one of the most flavorful hummus dishes I have had in New York. At $6.95, the Hummus Abu Ghosh is worth every penny because the portion is enormous–and perfect for sharing!
Another favorite dish at Duzan, which, like the hummus, has the added benefit of appealing to both vegetarians and omnivores, is their falafel. Whether you order the sandwich or the platter, you’ll encounter fried-to-order falafel that is crispy–but never greasy–on the outside and moist and flavorful on this inside. I prefer to dine in at Duzan when I order the falafel, ensuring that none of the excellent crispness is lost in the travel time of delivery.
Duzan does a brisk take-out business, however, since everything is made fresh and replenished often, the wait time for delivery can be up to an hour or more. It’s important to factor this into your experience of Duzan: their customer service is great, but they simply won’t compromise on taste or ingredients in order to rush you your dinner in 20 minutes. With this in mind, I order delivery from Duzan pretty frequently, but also enjoy dining-in where you can see the owner toasting pine nuts for your Hummus Abu Ghosh and blending their fresh, flavorful sauces before your eyes.
Duzan, 2411 Steinway Street, Astoria NY