photo credit: Liz Clayman
Some restaurants aim for the stars, like John Glenn and Alan Shepard in the early days of NASA. Others just try a few new tricks, like a pilot doing a barrel roll. Beebe’s, on the other hand, sticks closer to the earth - and, as a result, it’s the sort of place where you can eat on a weeknight and have no regrets.
Beebe’s is a restaurant in the bottom of a small hotel in Long Island City, and, while it technically isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, it’s pretty adept at keeping you happy. Most things cost less than $20, the space looks like an Ikea showroom, and the soundtrack consists of some perfectly enjoyable songs that you could pump into an airport lounge or a parent-teacher conference. Think “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young, or anything ever written and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra.
The menu is equally crowd-pleasing, with things like pasta, a kale salad, and a few mains like steak and a chicken milanese. None of this food is going to make you want to start worshipping a deity made from your leftovers - but they’re all pretty solid, and the pizzas are great. They’re thin and crispy, and they come with toppings like hot honey, stracciatella, and other things that reach their full potential when placed on flat dough.
If it’s nice out, have a pizza on the back patio. There are plenty of tables, and, with all the planters and umbrellas, it feels kind of like the common area of a condo where everyone works in tech, owns a dog, and goes to bed at 9pm. And the best part is: it never gets too crowded.
You could get a table here tonight - and, if you live nearby and need something easy, you should. Beebe’s isn’t anything revolutionary, and it isn’t going to make you feel like you just witnessed the birth of a space program that will one day inspire such films as Apollo 13, Aliens, and Muppets from Space - but it’s safe and reliable, and sometimes that’s all you need.
As you can see, this pizza is covered in mushrooms. There’s also some smoked mozzarella and rosemary - but mostly what you taste is mushrooms. If you like those things, order this.
The Jimmy Forager is a little less heavy on the mushrooms, and it also has some good Italian sausage. Order one, and you’ll leave both full and happy.
Essentially a deluxe version of a pepperoni pizza, this one has both sausage and pepperoni, with some pickled chilis and hot honey on there to keep things interesting. We could eat this once a week.
With its two thin patties and American cheese, this burger tastes like something you’d eat in the backseat of a car after exiting a drive-through. It’s good, but not great - and you should just order a pizza.
Hopefully you have someone you can share these with. Otherwise, you’re stuck eating three large meatballs by yourself - because they should be on your table.
You could make this pretty easily for yourself at home. Although if you don’t feel like making your own pasta, feel free to order this inoffensive and perfectly fine plate of rigatoni.
This salad is both perfectly adequate and a little bit boring. But if you want some dark, leafy greens, it gets the job done.