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Dining Out: BK Sweeney’s Station Saloon just what you’d expect, with some surprises

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BK Sweeney's Station Saloon

42-15 235 St., Douglaston

225-1866

Down by the station in Douglaston where the Weeping Beech and F. Scott's used to be, B K Sweeney's Station Saloon opened last November.

There actually is a Mr. Sweeney. And there are other such establishments in Garden City and Bethpage, in Boston, and if you're tripping to Ireland, in Watervile.

The look is just the way you'd imagine a chic saloon down by the station to be: old fashioned hexagonal black and tile floor, a gaggle of hanging lamps with clear glass shades, polished wood, white tin ceiling, a glass divider the length of the bar, black and white checker cloths.

But this is 2001 and there's a touch of sports bar, with Joe Namath photos, 17 televisions, and by the bar, a few electronic games.

The menu for lunch, supper, brunch and late-night snacks is heavy on comfort food as well as today's trendy fare destined to become tomorrow's comfort food.

Our supper began with a sampling of appetizers, the quesadilla - a just OK quesadilla that was enhanced with sour cream and salsa served in little white ramekins, Doesn't wings and ribs sound like the ultimate? The wings arranged on slivered iceberg were absolute perfection with celery sticks and carrot slices (feathered at one end) and a glorious blue-cheese dip served alongside on a small plate. The ribs were under a thick, gloppy sauce, a distinct disappointment for me. Go for the whole order of wings.

Sandwiches for both of us. Hers, a half-inch thick sirloin steak, cut in half-inch slices and reassembled on a French roll with fries and pickle. Mine, a burger (Monday is burger night). The poncho burger was a just right amount of beans and was beneath the thinnest slice of Monterey Jack, also just right. . It was delicious. So was the pickle, and oh, those fries! Terrific! Eat them sizzling hot or they'll be just another ho-hum order of fries.

Homemade chocolate mousse was the dessert of the day - a low-key chocolate which intensifies when topped with a few spoonfuls of black coffee.

On a solo lunch the next day, I tried the crabmeat Rangoon, fabulous deep fried-crab dumplings, tender-crisp with an ultra horseradish dipping sauce. The slivered iceberg base is a nice foil. Sweeney's chicken pot pie is handsome - a large, round, shallow baking dish with a great-tasting pie crust topping. The white cream sauce with a few peas, carrots and green beans and moist tidbits of chicken breast is too good not to lick the casserole clean (or at least half, if you contemplate doggy-bagging). Caution: soup or salad comes with all the house specialties, Be sure and indicate which when you order, your server may never ask. Tiramisu, one more time. My take-home dessert was charlotte tiramisu. Charlotte means ladyfingers around two coffee-soaked layers and all the goodies that make tiramisu tiramisu.

There is a luncheon club - six times and the seventh is on Sweeney.

I really must go for brunch some Sunday. Even on a gray day, the checkered dining area is bright and cheerful, especially the rear garden patio room. The wait staff is delightfully perky. Like at any good saloon there's a wonderful selection of sandwiches from French dip to Reuben and the day's wraps. And there are those house special comfort foods from pot roast, sauerbraten and chicken pot pie to steaks and pastas. Salads? Consider: crispy calimari; pepper-crusted tuna steak; sirloin steak and portobello mushroom. There are burgers. How about a Danish burger with blue cheese and bacon?

Overall: As my dining companion said when she bit into her grilled steak sandwich, "This is a good place to know."

THE BOTTOM LINE

A good place to know. Attractive, old-fashioned saloon plus 17 TVs.. Garden patio room. American comfort food plus trendy items. Sandwiches and late-night snacks. Perky service.

CHEF'S CHOICE

Crabmeat Rangoon (lightly fried dumplings filled with an Oriental crab stuffing and served with a spiky horseradish dipping sauce)...$7.95

Wing and Rib Sampler (a portion of BBQ ribs with a half-order of Buffalo wings served with celery and blue cheese dressing)....$7.95

16 ounces NY Cut Shell Steak...$18.95

Thai Chicken Wrap (diced chicken, Asian slaw, yellow rice, scallions, peanut sauce)...$9.95 Sauerbraten (beef marinated in red wine, vinegar and assorted spices, served with red cabbage, potato pancakes and applesauce)...$11.95

Rigatoni Primervera with Shrimp (rigatoni with shrimp, julienne vegetables in garlic white sauce)..,$13.95

Charlotte Tiramisu...$4.50

Key Lime Pie...$4.00

Food: American. Some comfort, some trendy

Setting: Chic saloon and 17 TVs. Garden patio room

Service: Perky

Hours. L & D, 7 days. Brunch Sun

Location: At Douglaston Parkway, at the station

Parking: Lot opposite. Reduced rates

Reservations: Yes

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