Lost in the Sauce: Five Astoria Spots to Grab a Bite with Mouth-Watering Sauce
By Brandon Romagnoli
When you go out to eat, sometimes the meal itself isn’t the best part; if there’s a quality sauce involved, that can make all the difference and take your taste buds on a flavorful journey. When I find a restaurant that offers a good, game-changing sauce, that meal is forever seared into my brain. These five local spots have done exactly that, and if you give them a shot, I’m sure they’ll do the same for you, too.
Tahina/White Sauce. Claiming the top spot for Falafel and Shawarma in Astoria is no small feat. With tons of competition in the area, this not-so-hidden gem made sure to have food trucks stationed throughout the entire neighborhood. When I first tried their Chicken Platter with tahina sauce, I almost cried…tears of joy. Tahina is the traditional name for this well-known, Middle Eastern condiment, but most New Yorkers call this topping “white sauce.” It rolls off both the tongue and taste buds easier if you ask me. The sauce is derived from sesame and is paired with lemon juice and garlic, giving it a nutty yet acidic flavor. Try this once on any dish at King of Falafel and you’ll be hooked for life.
30-15 broadway Ave. | 718.340.8068
Chipotle Mayo. Somehow the food industry found a way to make mayo interesting: just add some spice to it! Mayo alone is typically considered a boring condiment by some, but the chipotle mayo from KX Burger & Beyond can take any of their meals to the next level. I recommend the Big Bang Burger: 8oz of top-quality beef served on a red velvet brioche bun with Monterey jack cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms, avocado, green leaf and chipotle mayo. As Guy Fieri would say, this burger and sauce combo will take you on a trip to flavor town.
29-04 Ditmars blvd. | 646.606.4835
Teriyaki Sauce. Teriyaki sauce is a classic component to many Japanese dishes, adding a sweet and umami taste to any meat dish and packing a powerful punch. If you ask me, this sauce pairs best with Watawa’s Beef Negimaki. Now if you’ve never tried beef negimaki before, you’ve been missing out, my friend. This classic, Japanese appetizer consists of top-shelf broiled beef drenched in teriyaki sauce and rolled with scallions. Trust me – you’ll thank me later.
33-10 Ditmars blvd. | 718.545.9596
Mole Sauce. With so many sauces to explore in the world, it may slip our minds that Mexican cuisine is known for some of the very best. I’m sure your mind automatically went to hot sauce first, but Mole sauce is arguably the most flavorful that Mexican dishes have to offer. Classic Mole sauce is a dark brown color and consists of chili pepper, nuts and spices like black pepper and cinnamon, sometimes even pumpkin seed or fruit, offering just a hint of sweetness, unlike most hot sauces out there. If you want to experience this unique sauce, Ruta Oaxaca’s Enchilada Mole is the dish for you. It comes with chicken, Mole sauce, queso fresco, crema, onions, cilantro and is even GLuTEN FREE!
35-03 broadway Ave. | 929.349.1228
Duck Sauce. Duck sauce is one of the standard sauces that can be used on pretty much any Chinese, Japanese or Thai dish. If you had Chinese takeout growing up, you always made sure to ask for extra duck sauce on the side for egg rolls. Duck sauce is a sweet sauce derived from plums, apricots, pineapples or peaches and added to sugar, vinegar, ginger and chili peppers. At Ddee Thai, the duck sauce pairs well with almost all of their appetizers, especially the Crab Cheese Puffs. This classic app consists of imitation crab meat with cream cheese in a crispy wonton. Top it off with a duck sauce drizzle and I guarantee you’ll be back for more.
42-06 30th Ave. | 718.626.1222