In February, I wrote about Olde Prague Tavern, a new bar that opened in the old Zlata Praha location on 31st Street, that has quickly become one of my favorite watering holes in Astoria. Featuring a comfortable, communal design, crisp Czech beers on tap, and a great jukebox, Olde Prague already hit on a winning formula. This week the good folks at We Heart Astoria announced that Olde Prague had recently opened their kitchen and is now serving food. After a visit tonight, I am excited to report that the new menu makes this already welcome new addition to Astoria even better.
The new menu features a creative mix of Czech-inspired dishes and more traditional pub foods. Pierogies are on the menu, of course, and you can order either the potato and cheese or mushroom and sauerkraut variety, and then specify if you would like your selection sauteed with bacon and onion, chorizo and garlic, or cheese. I was highly tempted to try this, but settled instead on a dish called Kielbasa, Chorizo and Cheese that was listed with the caveat “That’s it, just really delectable.” Chunks of sweet, smoky kielbasa and spicy, rich chorizo are paired with savory, salty cubes of grilled domestic halloumi cheese that most resemble paneer in appearance and texture. All of this is thrown in a bowl with a semi-spicy sauce and two large toast points to soak it all up with. This is a brilliant dish, a stick to your ribs, meat-lovers paradise, that is simple and delicious.
Wanting to explore their more traditional bar fare, I also ordered the french fries with chipotle mayo. The lightly crisped thick-cut fries and rich homemade mayo elevate the standard pub grub, and are eminently shareable with friends across one of Olde Prague’s indoor picnic tables. They also offer The O.P.T. Burger, which I was too full to sample, but looks poised to become the tavern’s signature dish. An 8oz (plus) burger with kielbasa, sauerkraut, mustard, and a soft-ripened cheese sounds like it could become a contender in a neighborhood that is bursting at the seams with good burgers. Olde Prague’s always helpful bartender, Roman, let me know that The Birdie has been a big hit with diners so far too. This sandwich features grilled chicken, the aforementioned soft-ripened cheese, caramelized onions and cranberry mustard on a baguette, and sounds well worth a try.
There are also some additional new developments at Old Prague that are worth sharing. They have started an Open Mic Night on Tuesdays from 8 to midnight, and Saturday night is Band Night with live music starting at midnight and rocking on till close. As if all that isn’t enough, Old Prague installed a dart board and hopes to attract dart aficionados and even competitions in the near future. Give Olde Prague a try, Astoria, and while you are there, don’t skip dinner: their menu is a compelling new addition to our neighborhood’s outstanding fare.
Olde Prague Tavern – 28-48 31st Street, Astoria, NY
Olde Prague’s Kitchen is closed on Mondays