I was born on the isle known as Manhattan and as anyone born outside of it will attest, Manhattanites are a special breed [note: “Special breed” is a euphemism for a string of expletives following the adjective “arrogant.”]. As a kid, I used to think Star Wars might have taken place in Queens because it seemed like a place located in a galaxy far, far away. Getting me to leave Manhattan used to be as difficult as convincing former Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano to hustle over to first base.
However, places like Mad Donkey helped pave the way for me to continue to explore the outer boroughs. Located in Long Island City, this neighborhood bar offers drinks, food, and a fun atmosphere. The bartenders are friendly but not pushy. Are you the kind of drinker that likes to talk to the person behind the bar? You’ll like this place. Do you prefer to enjoy your drink while reading your copy of the newspaper or watching the SportsCenter highlights? You’ll like this place, too.
I first found Mad Donkey while looking for a place to enjoy The 2010 World Cup. I wandered in, wearing my red Spain jersey. I took a seat and a man at the bar raised his glass in my direction; he was showing his support for La Furia Roja by wearing his own jersey. We watched Switzerland-Spain (the only loss Spain experienced that summer). Whether you want to watch the Yankee games or the upcoming World Cup matches, you’ll find Mad Donkey an ideal place to park yourself for a few hours and enjoy the spectacle in a friendly atmosphere.
Ensconced in a decor of stone, wood, and peanut shells (that’s right!), you can sit by the bar and enjoy all the major sporting events while listening to the great jukebox. Patrick, one of the bartenders, will play Miles Davis on Mondays for all those souls who need a little help easing into what could be a raucous week at work. There’s also a back room with its own televisions. One can reserve the space for events.
If you’re hungry, you can order yourself a delicious burger (the Jack Ass is a 12 oz. burger stuffed with mounds of cheddar or blue cheese) or a traditional shepherd’s pie (chopped beef with peas and carrots in gravy with a layer of mashed potatoes). If you just want some French fries, some nachos grandes, sliders, or monster wings, fear not! They have those, too!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try The Donkey Mess. It’s a layer of golden fries, a 6 oz. Juicy burger, mashed potatoes loaded with cheese and bacon, a huge quarter-pound hot dog dripping with chili, crispy fried onion rings, and topped off with a golden chicken finger.
You might want to wash that down with a Donkey Fish Bowl. It’s made from 3 different types of rum; pineapple, cranberry, and orange juices; a splash of 7-Up; and a few Swedish fish.
As you decide whether or not to indulge in this sumptuous feast, you’ll look up at the ceiling and notice a number of Polaroids. What did these souls do to merit gracing the hallowed interior of Mad Donkey? They singlehandedly completed one of three amazing feats: (1) they finished off an order of the Donkey Mess; (2) they drank two Donkey Fish Bowls; or (3) they drank one of each of the fourteen beers on tap.
Not feeling up to being a Mad Donkey celebrity just yet? You can still enjoy try its 151-infused cherries (2 for $5) or just enjoy the booze and good times that seem to be built-in to this place.
Mad scientist-level creations like the Donkey Mess and the Donkey Fish Bowl show that this place doesn’t skimp on ingredients. Drop by and have a pint and you’ll find out that there is also no shortage of fun.
– Alejandro Armenta
follow Alejandro at YouOnlyLiveTwiceNY.wordpress.com
32-07 36th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11106
N/Q train to 36th Ave.