2002-05-29 / Restaurant of the Week

Restaurant Of The Week

By Teresa Barile

Of The Week

It's always a pleasure to visit Anna's Place on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park, where the lovely Anna Walsh and her staff greet each and every customer with a warm welcome smile. Enjoy a drink at the lively bar, where a very happy Happy Hour takes place daily from 4 to 7 p.m..Free hors d'oeuvres are served at that time and every Thursday night is karaoke night, which has turned into a big hit. Bring your voice and some bravado for a fun time on Thursdays. Saturday nights feature live bands by Irish pop groups and the whole crowd joins in for an evening of fun. A lovely private room that accommodates as many as 60 people is an ideal setting for a shower, graduation or other special event. Whether it’s a lunch, brunch or dinner party, the food and service are always top-notch.

There's always something new on the menu which presents American and Continental fare, all prepared fresh and served with a smile by Joyce and Roger, who really make you feel at home. A few years ago, Anna's Place was a German restaurant, and so some of the German favorites that made the restaurant famous are still on hand and as good as ever. Some of the house favorites (and mine) include Anna's schnitzel, a thin and tender breaded veal cutlet, topped with a rich mushroom sauce ($15.95). The Hungarian beef goulash is a mammoth-sized portion of slow-cooked chunks of beef in a tangy sauce, served with buttered noodles and carrots. The sauerbraten served with delectable red cabbage and potatoes makes you feel as if you're in the Black Forest.

The chef has introduced some enticing specials, including hearty osso buco, a hefty veal shank in a wonderful reduction. Cornish hen appears as a special with delicious cornbread stuffing and the roast loin of pork, accompanied by sauerkraut and Anna's famous potato croquettes is tender and tasty ($15.95).

In addition to the generous portions of homestyle cooking, all entrees include a trip to Anna's wonderful soup and salad bar. I can't get enough of their German potato salad, the mixed bean salad and the pickled beets. Tangy cucumber salad and a Mediterranean tomato salad are tasty and refreshing. Homemade soups, including potato cucumber or tomato rice, are popular with the steady clientele.

Menu entrees include an array of prime steaks, such as the shell steak au poivre, with black peppercorns, or Irish whisky steak, which is one of my favorites. This thick, juicy steak is grilled to your liking and topped with a mound of crispy, frizzled onions and surrounded by a pool of smooth whisky sauce. The marinated skirt steak, a new item, cuts like butter. Blackened Cajun chicken and Louisiana shrimp are spicy favorites, both are prepared very well and are beautifully presented. A chicken and baby back rib combo, smothered in tangy barbecue sauce includes unlimited trips to the salad bar for the low price of $14.95. Fish lovers will enjoy the fresh salmon filet with orange-ginger sauce.

Complete your meal with a steaming Irish coffee or the house specialty, which is spiked with Kahlua, Tia Maria, and Grand Marnier. The homemade apple strudel is flaky and delicious, and there are other desserts such as black forest cake, hazelnut tart or chocolate mousse cake, so try to save room for at least one of them.

If lighter fare is what you're after, or for lunch any day of the week, try Anna's famous burger, topped with sautéed onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheese ($7.95). Beer-battered fish and chips is an Irish favorite, as is the homemade shepherd's pie. On my next visit I'd like to try the steak tidbits on toasted garlic bread with a side order of crispy French fries. Lots of these lighter items are available on a special bar menu, which also includes hot wings and jalapeno poppers, perfect for sharing with friends.

Sunday brunch is cozy and comfortable, and best of all, affordable. For just $12.95, you'll get a complimentary cocktail and your choice of omelets, French toast, pancakes, salads and more.

There's parking at Sears, a short block away, and the V, G and R trains are on the corner for easy access. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and the bar stays open until 3 a.m. The service is fast and friendly, thanks to Roger and Joyce, and Anna's smile will surely brighten your day. Visit Anna's Place soon for homestyle cooking in a warm and friendly setting. Don't forget Thursday, karaoke night!

Anna's Place

97-11 Queens Blvd.

Rego Park


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