Venture into Queens to see an authentic beer garden, a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, at 29-19 24th Avenue in Astoria, (718) 274-4925, www.bohemianhall.com, was built in 1910, when hundreds of beer gardens dotted the city, serving immigrant Czechs and Slovaks. The beer is plentiful and the food - goulash, bread dumplings, kielbasa - is just right for the setting. The owners are planning a music festival (jazz and some Czech and Slovak folk) on Aug. 22, from 3 to 9 p.m. Tickets, $7.
A fantastic idea. We couldn't agree more. But, no need to wait until the end of the month. We took advantage of a sunny summer afternnoon and went out this weekend. A huge, shady garden with rows of picnic benches was a perfect setting for a variety of clientele -- old, young, hipsters, families, all out enjoying the beer, the food, and the outdoors. Be warned, the food is on the heavy side, but if your stomach can handle it, go for it.
See Tien's pictures of the kielbasa, the pork cutlet "praha," and the palachinka.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, at 29-19 24th Avenue in Astoria, (718) 274-4925