A Home Run For Straw
Strawberry’s Sports Grill
42-15 235th St., Douglaston
CUISINE: Sports bar fare
HOURS: Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday-Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
CREDIT CARDS: All major
I should probably begin this review with the disclaimer that Darryl Strawberry is my all-time favorite athlete. That being said, I’d have no problem criticizing his restaurant if a criticism was warranted — but it’s not. Strawberry’s Sports Grill, like its namesake, continues to hit a home run each and every time I visit.
This particular occasion, a cold and crowded Friday night, saw the man himself in attendance, holding court at his round booth signing autographs and posing for pictures with patrons.
This is a sports bar, so when you walk into the establishment, the memorabilia from Strawberry’s career with the Mets and Yankees — not a lot of memories of him playing for the Dodgers and Giants — is everywhere. And so are the HDTVs, 16 to be exact.
The menu features what you’d expect from a sports bar, from chicken wings and burgers, to gigantic three-cheese nachos and beer (16 on draft). But the menu also strays from standard bar fare to offer entrees like filet mignon, salmon, crab cakes, fish tacos and BBQ brisket.
In my visits to Strawberry’s, I’ve had the nachos and I’ve had the “1969” burger with American cheese, onions and sauce, and I’ve even tried the “1986” lamb burger. On this night, I started with an appetizer of savory house-made meatballs with a dollop of ricotta, and boy, were they good.
For my entree, I went completely outside of my normal food zone, ordering the “1950,” a turkey burger with herb mayonnaise, avocado and radish sprouts. I’ve only had one other turkey burger in my life — at Mickey Mantle’s in Manhattan of all places — because I could not imagine it tasting the same as a ground beef burger. But this one did not disappoint. It was cooked just how I wanted it, a little crispy but with some pink. And instead of fries, I ordered my old elementary school favorite, tater tots.
The service is usually stellar and this night was no different. My friendly server engaged in conversation, which is important to me because I love to talk, was knowledgeable about the menu, and gets bonus points for recommending the meatball appetizer.
The restaurant is conveniently located right next to the Douglaston Long Island Rail Road station, and if you choose to drive, parking in the LIRR lot is only $3 with restaurant validation. It’s a great place to watch a game, hang out with friends and have a great time.
Like he did 335 times in his career, with his restaurant, Strawberry hits a home run.