Bonfire Grill, Forest Hills

As soon as you walk up the steps at Forest Hills subway stop, you realize you’ve arrived to a new world. Could this really be part of Queens? you might wonder. Forest Hills boasts an adorable, quaint village with high-end retail shops on Austin Street and a bevy of decent restaurants reaching every corner of the neighborhood.

Last night, we tried to get into 5 Burro, a Mexican joint. The place was packed and seemingly uncomfortable so we ditched 5 Burro and went a few doors down to the Bonfire Grill, an American food restaurant that touts its friendliness in its motto written on the website: “Enter a stranger, leave as a friend.” I didn’t make any friends at Bonfire Grill, and, despite my lack of social acumen, I thought the food was pretty good.

Outside, I skimmed the menu, which is packed with salads, appetizers, entrees, and sandwiches. I peered inside to see if there were available tables; there were tables and a bustling bar so we entered.

According to its website, Bonfire Grill  “strives for the perfect balance between intimate and fun, casual and upscale.” The ambiance encouraged warm feelings and the staff members were helpful and accommodating. I’m not sure I’d term the restaurant “fun” or “upscale,” but it’s definitely relaxing.

We began our meal with Bonfire Tapas. Served with three small pieces of French bread, the tapas featured fried goat cheese (yum!) and caramelized onions (even better!).

I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich, chock full of avocado, swiss cheese, and chipotle mayonnaise on a huge hoagie roll. For a grilled chicken sandwich, it was definitely delectable, but was too big so I only ate half of it. French fries accompanied the sandwich. My pictures didn’t turn out well, so, sorry to just have boring text.

My dining partner ordered the short rib sandwich, which was “slow cooked” and delivered on a multigrain roll. It tasted great.

If you’re in Forest Hills on a Saturday night and seeking decent food, try Bonfire Grill. Don’t trust Yelp to guide you to a “better” restaurant in the area. As an aside, I can’t tell you how wrong Yelp was in helping us find a GOOD Mexican restaurant in San Diego. Of all places, you’d think we’d be inundated with delicious fajitas and tacos. We weren’t, thanks to Yelp.

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