I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Sweet Afton ever since they opened. As a general rule, any bar that offers outdoor seating and caters to the hipster crowd is often overflowing with praise, whether it’s warranted or not. I was in no hurry to try this place because I figured it would be exactly what I imagined it to be; a bunch of young scenesters sipping over priced microbrews and eating overpriced novelty foods (such as fried pickles) while referencing some obscure facts about the neighborhood or their record collection they bought for 50¢ at some garage sale upstate… Oh wait, that was me. But… am I wrong? Though a pleasant place to have a drink, Sweet Afton presents a typical hipster scene in a typical hipster setting, a sight that is becoming more popular in the neighborhood as the early onset of gentrification sets in. Sweet Afton has a substantial range of draft beers to choose from for an average price of about $6, including Guinness, Red Wagon IPA, Abita Amber, Palm, Chimay Triple, Kelso Nut Brown Lager and Ommegang Witte. They also have a surprise beer of the month and a few traditional cocktails and some house specials.
Aside from the great choice of drinks, I was excited to try the food, apparently it was voted the best bar food in Astoria. I ordered the grilled cheese, toasted on pullman bread (a fancy word for regular white bread) made with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions and served with pickles and whole grain mustard. The sandwich was tasty, but I could have ordered the same sandwich at the nearby diner made with artificial Kraft slices with a side of fries and it would have tasted just as good, for a fraction of the price. Next on my plate, fried pickles. I had eaten fried pickles once before, they didn’t do much for me. Personally, I’m not a fan of the fried pickle, but diners who favor the sour delicacy will find Sweet Afton’s pickles to be on the top of the pickle pedestal. A spicy crunchy pickle is nestled in the middle of a warm and fluffy outer breading. For just a few bucks ,you will receive an entire basket of these little critters. Aside from my harsh depiction of the place, overall I did enjoy the ambiance at Sweet Afton, although I was there before the after work crowd sauntered into the bar. It can get pretty noisy during the evening hours as they are often crowded. The service was extremely warm and friendly and is enough reason to make a return visit to try their overpriced burger. Sweet Afton has beers on tap and outdoor seating for summer drinking.
Sweet Afton 30-09 34th St Astoria, NY 718-777-2570