Place: Strawberry’s Sports Grill
Neighborhood: Douglaston, Queens, 42-15 235th St.
The scoop: Strawberry’s seems like a random place to brunch, but I was in Bayside looking for a place not too far away. The restaurant/bar is located in the next town over, Douglaston. Literally steps from the LIRR train station, Strawberry’s — owned by former Mets and Yankees player Darryl Strawberry — is a fairly large space with three dining rooms and a large bar in the front. Memorabilia and pictures from his playing days and from various New York teams hang on the walls, and the ceiling of the back room is covered in team flags, which was pretty cool. Strawberry’s offers a brunch buffet with one mimosa or bloody Mary for $15.95. The buffet wasn’t served in the main dining area where everyone was eating, but in another room off to the side. There were a lot more options on the online menu than there were offered at the actual buffet (there was no omelette station or egg dish). In fact, they had more lunch than breakfast items. Even though they had numerous servers and not that many patrons, the service was just OK.
Bottoms up: We both opted for a mimosa. David didn’t like it; I thought it tasted all right — nothing to write home about. Since the drink’s color was a darker shade, it leads me to believe that there was more OJ than champagne in the cocktail. I ended up drinking mine and most of his.
Chew on this:
Where do I begin? This should have been a red flag: The food looked like it had been sitting out awhile. Based on when brunch began and when we arrived, I’d say probably for two hours. And no one else in the restaurant was brunching. Even though there were burners heating up the trays of food, every item I tried was cold. The only thing that was hot were the tongs, on which I burned my hand. The buffet may be all you can eat, but after one bite, you don’t want any more.
Here’s a brief rundown of each buffet item:
Tater tots: Soggy and greasy
Biscuit: Dry, not soft and flaky as are most biscuits
Bacon: Decent; David thought it was too well done
Sausage: Typical sausage links, probably frozen
Fruit: Fruit was fresh
Mini croissant: The best thing at the buffet; buttery
Mac & cheese: Overly cheesy
Waffle: Very cold and hard. Syrup was not provided
Sausage gravy: Extremely thick, unappetizing
Home fries: We didn’t actually try these because they were sitting in a bed of oil in the tray
Egg omelette / With American cheese and tomato
Our server seemed surprised there was no omelette station and offered to have our egg dishes made in the kitchen. (I don’t know how you wouldn’t know if someone was next to the buffet making omelettes, but I’m actually scared to know what their idea of an omelette station is.) It was a shame that they didn’t have the two ingredients I wanted in my omelette — mozzarella and green peppers. As you can see, the omelette contained a lot of cheese, some of which wasn’t melted. I added pepper and ketchup, and the dish still didn’t even taste average. I make better omelettes at home.
The final bite: I wasn’t expecting a gourmet brunch at Strawberry’s, but I did expect the food to be edible. I did like the decor, and I’m sure this grill has better bar food (it didn’t get four stars on Yelp for nothing), but do yourself a favor and do not come here for brunch.
Reviewed by: Stephanie