Warm-Up Special: Five Hearty Dishes in Astoria
The Arctic isn't through with us yet. With significant snowfall predicted for this Thursday night, it may be wise to continue packing on layers of protective winter blubber. Fortunately, multiethnic Astoria boasts warming, fatty foods from every corner of the globe to prepare you for a long hibernation.
Spaetzle at Koliba, 31-11 23rd Avenue, Astoria, 718-626-0430
After snowshoeing down 23rd Avenue, stop in this Czechoslovakian restaurant decked out with ski lodge décor. (It looks just like the Great Northern Hotel from Twin Peaks.) Goulash, schnitzel, and pirogies are all good bets, but the potato spaetzle with sheep cheese and bacon tastes like an especially decadent Eastern European riff on macaroni and cheese, and it's the fastest path to a food coma. Pair with a pint of Staropramen beer and drift away.
Tonkotsu ramen at Hinomaru, 33-18 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, 718-777-0228
In sub-freezing temperatures, healthy-ish miso ramen just won't do. So it's a good thing Hinomaru's offerings span the islands of Japan, including the richest variation on the noodle soup, Hakata's tonkotsu ramen. The broth requires simmering pork bones over long periods of time -- sometimes up to two to three days -- to yield a velvety, creamy base that is meant just for dipping noodles into. It is almost impossible not to sip in perilous quantities. Hinomaru's version comes pretty close to the real deal, without Ippudo's outrageous wait times.