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“Bohemian Beer Hall”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out German/Austrian Queens Cheap Eats Good

It was an Indian summer sort of day last week when we set off to see the Mets play the Marlins. We didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the night the Mets would clinch the NL East, the first time since 1988. But Shea Stadium would come later. First, we had a another journey to take. We were going to the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria for a late afternoon of beer and kielbasa.

The Bohemian Beer Hall, which dates back to the early 1900’s, is managed by the Bohemian Citizens Benevolent Society. I love that a Benevolent Society runs a beer hall. Perhaps that is the key to a civilized world. Get people together for beer and sausages and let them be, and they will be happy. Unfortunately, my introduction to the Beer Hall was far from benevolent. As we walked in, I was screened by a very serious security guard in full-on security guard uniform who checked my tote bag and made me leave my Poland Spring water outside. I am not sure if he was having flashbacks to working airport security, but apparently there’s also no water or gels are allowed in the Beer Hall. But once we got past Mr. LaGuardia, things got significantly more pleasant.

We stepped inside and dusty sunlight filtered in through the small glass block windows, giving the dark wood-paneled bar a flinty haze you might find in a black and white film. Being that the place is almost a hundred years old, it felt right. The place is decorated modestly with beer signs in Czech and English. The bar, a solid length of ebony wood, is topped with taps pouring about a dozen beers. A blond bar-keep smacks fat mugs under the taps and fills them with cold frothy heads. Opposite the bar you’ll find a few tall, stiff wooden booths, and a Big Buck Hunter video game (random). Downstairs there is a spacious dining room lined with light blond wood tables set up in rows in banquet style, as if a Bar Mitzvah or Communion might take place at any moment.

As I took in the scene, Craig ordered a Spaten Octoberfest (for him) and a Staropramen, a light lager (for me), and we headed outside to the garden, an Olympic-sized outdoor playground filled with picnic tables perfect for drinking beer by the pitcher and kielbasa by the yard. We took a seat at one of the picnic tables shaded by tall leafy trees, and drank our frosty mugs of beer, until the grill opened at 5:30. But things were not exactly running on time. By 6 o’clock our beers were drained and they were ... [more, click below]

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+ Christos Steakhouse   + Bohemian Beer Hall   + Eating Citi Field   

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