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Despite the rainy, chilly weather, quite a few people came out for our monthly food field trip, this time to the infamous Czech beer hall, Bohemian, in Astoria, Queens. Such troopers! On top of the miserable weather, I think all of us had been stuck on the N train, or waiting for the N train, for at least 30 minutes. It took me nearly two hours to get there from Brooklyn! UGH. The MTA needs to seriously get their shit together.

Beer gardens are funner in the sun- duh. But Bohemian is known for getting really rowdy, really fratty, and really hard to find anywhere to sit. It can be a nightmare. But the rain totally emptied out the backyard, and they put up a tent, so the bad weather was sort of a blessing in disguise. Isn't it unfathomable that such a huge place devoted to drinking exists in NYC?

You order your beers inside, yes you can get yourself a huge beer stein, and get your Bavarian beers on. The place is awesome- cheap European beers ($14 pitchers!) and cheap, really satisfying, hearty Eastern European food (average price of a dish was around $13).

There's a little food station that is self-serve, which is where you can get grilled items like burgers and sausages. There's Troy ordering his kielbasa below- you see him?

For all the stuff on their expansive menu, you've gotta order with a server. There was only one server for the entire backyard! We felt so bad for her, she was running from one end of the yard to the other, it was crazy. Anyway, here's what everyone thought of their meals:

I shared both the sausage/sauerkraut and goulash with Troy and was really happy with the selection. The fries on the side were the only uninteresting part of the meal. The sauerkraut was delicious and the kilbasa quite tasty. The goulash was excellent too, prepared with double cream and sweet paprika. Im not even sure if it was beef or pork but it disappeard quickly from the plate!

Was a memorable rainy day event and we had fun. Thought of course the beer selections complemented the meal and our moods!

Returning to the garden for the first time since last year, I was looking forward to revisiting the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, which has since, sadly, been replaced by a Veggie Burger.

A vegetarian, I appreciated that the burger was chock full of vegetables and not cooked on the same grill as the sausage.

But alas--It was deep fried! Thus, the crispy surface of the burger was like oil to the water of the juicy vegetable innards, as though there was a wall between my teeth and the good stuff.

While I wouldn't say avoid the Veggie Burger (we vegetarians have to take what we can get sometimes!), I would say pile on the mustard, kraut and horseradish--and petition for last year's Portobello on Rye!

The chicken schnitzel was pretty good. The breading was light, not greasy, and the meat was moist, tender, and not overly seasoned.


My memory is failing me a bit, but I had the pierogi, which was delicious, as was the sauerkraut. The pork schnitzel? Eh. Ours was tough, dry, and overcooked. Shirley's chicken schnitzel put ours to shame, even her potatoes were cooked better. But I have no complaints about the beer! Or the prices.


The roast pork was... very dry, as the photo suggests. I like generally Latin American roast pork better, as it has plenty of garlic and oil to augment the juices of the meat... or Chinese roast pork, where the sheer fat content of the meat keeps it from drying out.

The Beer Gardens' rendition was still decent, but the "dumplings" (actually thick slices of moist pale white dough, more like Chinese mantou) and gravy were the best part. The goulash and sausages, pierogis, and chicken schnitzel all seemed great, though.


My potato pancakes were perfectly round, crispy on outside and melty on the inside, a douse of pepper wouldn't have hurt, but nearly perfect once the apple sauce and sour cream were slathered on top.

Here's Judson's kielbasa (he ordered his from the menu, whereas Troy and Corey got their's from the self-serve shack). The sausage was cut up really intricately- it was really pretty/ creepy.

Thanks everyone for coming out!!! Ironically, it really was a nice way to spend a lazy, rainy Sunday.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

29-19 24th Ave.
nr. 29th Ave.
Queens, NY
T: 718.274.4925

Please join us for our next Umamiventure! Join the Umami Mart
FACEBOOK group to stay updated on these monthly trips, where we burrow deep into the crevices of NYC for unique, cheap eats.

Past Umamiventures include:
Dinosaur BBQ - 4/08
Puerto Alegre (The SF Edition) - 3/08
Pacificana - 02/08
Jackson Diner - 01/08
Sripraphai Restaurant - 11/07
Taste of Jackson Heights - 10/07
Red Hook Ball Fields - 06/07
Ocean Jewel Restaurant - 06/07
Column: Umamiventure


  • oh, i dream of those potato pancakes sometimes! i haven’t found better ones anywhere else.

    erin on

  • i got food poisoning the night before!! i was puking all morning before crawling out to Astoria, it was miserable. possibly even more miserable that i couldn’t order anything cause my stomach was doing backflips the whole time. i’ll shamefully admit that i nibbled… and had a cup of beer… Shirley’s chicken schnitzel was definitely the best!

    kayoko on

  • What did you eat, Kayoko? I don’t see a subhead for you in this post.

    akuban on

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