Astoria Buzz and Hum: January 2014

Along with the boom and bust, end-of-days weather cycles we’ve been locked in, on the whole, January has been a pretty exciting month in Astoria. Some of my favorite bonafide stories and one potentially exciting, yet heretofore unsubstantiated rumor follow!

Freddy's Famous Chicken and Rice

Freddy’s Famous Chicken and Rice

First came the news, in a seemingly inconspicuous post to Facebook by Fares Zeideia, aka Freddy, proprietor extraordinaire of Astoria’s beloved King of Falafel and Shawarma on Tuesday, January 7th. The post read simply: “This combo platter was the winner at the vendy and this how i will serve the food when i open up the restaurant.”  By the end of the day this future restaurant – which Freddy hopes will be in Astoria – was covered by DNAinfo, Grub Street, and numerous other media outlets and blogs. The following day, Serious Eats penned a great substantive post Testing the King of Falafel’s Frozen Falafel Mix at Home. Both the frozen ready to use falafel mix and ready to eat falafel are available at local markets, including the C-Town that sits next door to the King’s original cart at Broadway and 30th Street.

Freddy's frozen falafel and frozen falafel mix - on sale now!

Freddy’s frozen falafel and frozen falafel mix – on sale now!

Then came the move, a mere two doors down, of Broadway Natural health store (and home of one of NYC’s cutest, most rascally shop cats). What’s interesting about this relocation is that my neighbor, who owns a few buildings in the area – though not the buildings in question – says that the move is to make way for a much needed Sanford’s expansion. Truth or rumor, Astoria? The huddled masses waiting on the brunch line in this aforementioned wacky winter weather are hoping this proves true!

And last night I spied an announcement on Twitter that two big names, Astoria’s Bohemian Beer Hall and Grand Rapids Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company (which has impressive distribution inroads in Astoria) are joining forces for an epic beer dinner at Bohemian Hall on January 24th. Tickets are $79 each, which includes an open bar pre-dinner reception featuring four different Founders’ brews, followed by a four-course dinner with Founders beer pairings. Sounds like a steal to me. You can email events@bohemianhall.com for tickets!

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