The Foodista's Ultimate Astoria Meal

Astoria, New York, is a land of culinary opportunity. Sure, it might sound cliché, but just consider all that you can find within a few blocks of this culturally diverse neighborhood. Craving a fragrant rabbit tajine late in the evening? No problem. A nutty baklava to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check. Or maybe an ostrich burger? It's got that too.

Here, I've put together my ideal meal– a little smörgåsbord of some of my favorite Astoria food-things.

Appetizer. Hearty and flavorful, Ornella's duck meatballs transport your taste-buds to a happy place. Glazed in a fragrant orange reduction, these meatballs aren't your customary Italian red-sauce fare. The duck meat is intense and moist, seasoned with fresh herbs and filled with milky ricotta.

Entrée. Influenced by my Eastern European heritage, I love biting into something comforting and filling for my main course. Koliba's potato spaetzle with bryndza (sheep's milk cheese) with thick peasant-style bacon is my go-to. The tangy cheese clings to the spaetzle, and topped with the delicious smoky bacon, you've got yourself a perfect bite.

Drink. To wash all this goodness down, walk over to Sweet Afton for their expertly mixed cocktails. My favorite is the Sweet Tea, which is an awesome amalgamation of tea-infused vodka, honey-ginger syrup and lemon. Think Long Island Iced Tea raised to the nth level.

Dessert. You could easily argue ending a meal with something sweet is the best part, and Vesta's Baby Jesus Cake always delivers. A warm date cake with a sticky toffee sauce on top, each bite offers the most intense flavor combinations. And the side of homemade whipped cream is the proverbial cherry on top.