But Mexican Barbecue is new idea, thought of by Dimitri Paloumbis, the 37-year-old owner of MEXIQ Kitchen and Draught, a relatively new spot in Astoria.
A man with 17 years of experience in the restaurant business, Paloumbis, along with three other partners, a chef consultant and a general manager, has enough experience to bring something fresh to the business and rake in customers, all with the main focus on a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine paired with draft beer.
According to Paloumbis, MEXIQ Kitchen and Draught is the only restaurant of its kind offering Mexican barbecue.
“We aim at bringing in the Mexican food and tradition to a community that is not used to having it,” Michael Genaro, the general manager said.
From tuna fish burritos ($17) to beef brisket ($16), the MEXIQ burger ($10) and a pulled pork torta ($10), every single dish is finalized with either a Spanish spice or an American barbecue carefully thought through with the best condiment quality
“We tried to get Queens what we thought it didn’t have it, a casual going out with great atmosphere and great food; we want people to come in 2-3 times a week.”
But it’s not just the food that attracts patrons.
The restaurant also offers a food pairing menu, where each week, consultant chef, John Van Sleet pairs entrees with a complimentary beer.
MEXIQ offers a large array of beer flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste.
The Ommegang Witte has 5.1 percent alcohol straight and a smooth taste. The Liefmans Cuvee-brut is a fruity flavored draft, which the owners say is mostly liked by women. The best-seller drafts are Modelo and Ithaca, both Mexican beers.
“Food and drink compliment each other, that’s why we’re trying to promote both,” Paloumbis said.
The bartenders are trained to guide their customers through a beer sampling discovery.
And for those beer connoisseurs, MEXIQ sells growlers, large 64 oz glass bottles that you can fill up with beer, take home, and bring back again.
Even though it’s a fusion, MEXIQ’s menu does not miss the traditional Mexican dishes, such as the Azteca or nortena quesadillas, tacos and devil corn. According to the staff, the flautas and baja tacos and fried chicken have lately been in high demand by customers.
The restaurant has been open for a year and half and has received an A grade by the New York City Department of Health, which has inspected them three times this year.
“For Astoria, MEXIQ is a gem. I love the marriage of Mexican cuisine with barbeque. It’s a great hybrid food,” said Sly Young, an Astoria resident who enjoys the restaurant so much, he even orders take out from them.
“The combination of spicy Mexican cuisine with a cold beer at 30th Avenue is what we needed,” said another patron, Desiree Mona.
MEXIQ is located at 37-11 30th Avenue. For more information, visit their website, or call 718-626-0333.