Alpha Astoria

2 german girls review greek cafes in Astoria Queens

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ovelia Day and Night -- 30th Ave and 34th St

As with many of the establishments reviewed in this blog, there is some question about if Ovelia is a café or a restaurant. On the café side of the argument they serve frappes ($3.50) and had no problem with Brianna nursing one for an hour while waiting for Amy to get done watching All My Children or whatever it is she does to while away the summer wasting our tax dollars. On the restaurant side their menu is distinctly dinner focused. It also seems possible that frappes are only available to those in the know (aka all of you) as Amy did not see them offered on the actual menu. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter (see: Locale) we just review whatever eatery we happen to be at regardless of if it truly qualifies as a Greek Café. Ovelia is at least close enough to shut up all of the readers still pissed off that we reviewed Crescent and Vine.

Ovelia has gone out on a limb with their choice frappe glass choosing to go with a footed hurricane instead of the standard issue wavy tumbler – kudos to you Ovelia for not being afraid to be a rebel (though, obviously, you'll never ever be any good). The frappe itself was only ok – the frothy bit at the top with all of the yummy yummy sugar that makes the beverage worth drinking refused to stir into the watery coffee base perhaps because the two were kept apart by a weird white layer (probably milk, don’t think about it too much). This led to much stirring in vain and alternating too sweet/too bitter mouthfuls.

After Brianna had finished her frappe, Amy finally arrived and the real reviewing could begin. We noticed a strange Greek Café decorating aesthetic that Ovelia works hard to live up to. The general goal seems to be a homage to the girls of reality TV much like they are boring pretty (every part of them perfectly emulating our society's beauty ideals and yet somehow the whole package never resulting in anything special) the cafes seem to be striving for institutionally modern. The whole look feels like Walmart does Frank Lloyd Wright. Looking around, we counted… brace yourselves… six (6) different types of lighting fixtures. Directly above our heads were hanging lamps that had napkins dangling from them as diffusers. Towards the back there were hanging lamps with different napkins that were more translucent. Above the bar were adorable lights that looked like perhaps they were cut from bud vases- pretty. And then, spaced seemingly at random throughout the cafe were at least three different types of track lighting. Despite all of the lights, it just didn’t seem all that well lit. Not that it was dark, but it was decidedly romantic (we almost made out like 4 times). Against the far wall was a jungle of sorts created by a large gathering of plants, and emphasized by leafy wallpaper. Then finally, in the back of the café is a raised area where there is additional seating. This raised area was home to three vases containing flame tornados. If you live in the Astoria area you should personally thank the owner of Ovelia for restraining these evil tools of Satan in glass prisons protecting your home from a fiery death. We can only hope that the sprites and demons who roam this fair land do not creep into the café late one night and release upon us these cyclones of death.

The cafe has two unisex bathrooms each with large VERY heavy tempered glass doors which may be see through in the right light (which, obviously this place should have – but it doesn't). The bathrooms themselves are strangely fancy with sinks carved from boulders and a number of high tech appliances ready to automatically do their electronic thing for you. We had to wonder (for at least 30 minutes, in fact, the majority of our dinner conversation centered on the bathroom topic – classy, we know) exactly why a café would spend so much money on a fancy loo. Is this at all likely to create a buzz about the place – was anyone out there on the fence about this establishment but now totally scheduling a visit due to the promise of an awesome peeing experience?

We had decided on a trio of mezze instead of an actual meal. After much discussion, it was settled that we would get grilled calamari in a tomato and wine sauce ($11), zucchini croquettes ($9) and garlic potato dip ($6). The garlic and potato dip as well as the calamari both had Greek names, but we didn’t write them down, and therefore feel no need to even try to post them here (see header re: NOT Greek, know next to nothing about Greek food, culture, language, etc). The calamari was very tender, though Amy found it dry at
times. The sauce was good, but somewhat bland- it could have used more spice. Brianna found the croquettes to be the stand out of the evening. They were light (despite being deep fried) and fresh tasting, and the dipping marinara was a nice compliment. Neither of us was particularly impressed by the potato dip—Brianna was convinced that it was made out of raw potato and Amy found the garlic overpowering. However, the very nice and attentive in a non-pressure-y way waitress offered us extra (warm) pita bread after we finished our first batch, and we gratefully accepted. Brianna also ordered the house sakitini ($8) which included sake, muddled cucumber and sugar and was fabulously refreshing. In a nod to her Mormon sisters (Free Margene!) Amy refused all caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. After inquiring about the large glass jar on the window sill behind the bar we found out that the best drink of the house is likely the Ovelia sikatini which contains fig infused brandy made on site. Just as we assumed our night was drawing to a close, we got a really nice surprise—the (again, very nice) waitress asked if we would be interested in dessert—on the house. The answer is OF COURSE we want free dessert (whew- maybe writing this blog is finally beginning to pay off). A note to our regular readership: we suggest you take a moment here to thank Zeus that this review is not paragraphs and paragraphs of us screeching “OH MY GOD!!!! WE GOT FREE STUFF!!!” Unfortunately, we don’t think that Alpha Astoria is so famous that the Greek Cafes of Astoria are on a lookout for us. It’s much more likely that a) they noticed us taking pictures and writing notes, and decided it’s better to be safe and offer free shit than get a poor review in the New York Times (do *you* know what their reviewer looks like? I think not.) or b) they give free desserts to everyone and we are not special at all. The dessert (to get back to reviewing) was the Round Things Soaked in Honey that we reviewed way back in the day at Athens Café. We liked them a lot at Ovelia—they were much less dense than the Honey Soaked Round Things we’ve had in the past, and there was a lot less honey and they had a sprinkling of cinnamon which made them deliciously reminiscent of fried dough products that you would get at carnivals and fairs. So, in addition to being FREE they were also quite good, and brought back happy memories.

The patronage at Ovelia was younger than that at other cafes and notably less Greek. There was also no smoking, which though a state law, is not always one that is honored at Astorian establishments. The mostly female (and quite attractive) wait-staff was primarily of Greek descent (as far as we could tell) and our waitress looked surprisingly like Justine Bateman (the internet claims the name is Saxon in origin so, sadly, Justine is likely not Greek). The (also attractive) table-staff was mainly Hispanic. Ultimately, everyone in the restaurant, including us of course, was damn good looking.

Food: 3.5
Service: 4.5
Ambiance: 3
Staff Attractiveness: 4.5
Patron Attractiveness: 4.5

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Crescent and Vine -- Ditmars and Crescent

Hey remember when we claimed we were back but then we didn’t actually post anything for over a month? Good times. On with the Cafeing! And yes, in our world, cafe is a verb.

This is the Outback Steak House of blogs (No rules. Just right. Not at all representative of the culture our product is based on.). In that spirit we have chosen to review not one of the remaining Greek Cafes on our list but instead focus on the newest Astoria bar, Crescent and Vine. I assure all readers that this was a difficult decision as we had originally planned to go to Cavo where there may be a tree growing out of the wall but we were eventually won over by the proximity of Crescent and Vine to Brianna’s apartment (Like everything in Astoria, the bar is far away from Amy’s apartment since she has recently relocated to fancy new digs in Jackson Heights. This move in no way effects her willingness to bestow uneducated judgment on eating establishments in Astoria. On that note, allegedly Mr. Amy is going to start his own blog about street-vendors in Jackson Heights. We'll keep you updated). Also, Crescent and Vine promised us booze.

At first this place felt very hip. While we felt totally Greek enough to be there (first time ever) we did risk being escorted out for being “too old,” “too lame,” "tragically unhip," and “not wearing any retro 70s clothing items.” Once we settled into our seats -- located in the front on a raised stage, right by the windows, as is appropriate for VIPs like us– and spent a good 10mins surveying the room we realized that the other patrons were actually an eclectic mix of 24 year old hipsters and 45 year old guys pregnant with beer baby triplets. Turns out we were young enough and hot enough to be sitting in the best seats in the house. Score! We gave the bar +5 for that nice surprise, though this observation did make judging "patron attractiveness" rather complicated (see below).

The bartender manning the bottles when we arrived was attentive and friendly, it also helped that (at least in the dim light) he was adorable. After sitting down we were repeatedly checked on by a guy in a beret who was also helpful and nice (though the beret made it all but impossible to call him cute -- seriously, who wears a beret?). It took us a good 30 minutes to confirm that he was a bar employee and not just an overly interested customer. We got our menu from the bar, and placed our order at the bar, and the food was delivered quickly and nicely to our table. All the employees were incredibly attentive and helpful, which may have been a "first week open- yay!" kind of service, but hopefully they will be able to maintain.

Both of us have been in a wine club for a year and half now so you’d think we’d be well versed in judging wines, but the club focuses more on getting drunk and gossiping than actually learning about wine, so you’d be wrong. That said, Crescent and Vine totally delivered on the getting drunk and gossiping portion of the evening – we were quite successful at both. We started the evening with two glasses of red wine though for a place with “vine” in its name Crescent and Vine has very few wines on the menu. We’re hoping that they have some sort of interesting monthly rotation scheme planned but even if they don’t Brianna could drink the Angeline Pinot Noir every night for the rest of her life (well, if she could afford it, the wine is a pricey $11/glass. For that money she could buy a bottle of cheap champagne and drink in her underwear at home while watching The Girls Next Door like God intended). Amy had the DM Guscon Malbac, a variety of wine she is wholly unfamiliar with. It smelled good, and kind of oaky, and drank very smoothly, though didn't have many distingushing flavors. So it was easy to drink (good!), but didn't taste like much (bad). If you're looking to get drunk without flavor, Malbac seems to be the way to go. Or else, Amy has a very undistingished palate, which she fully admits is possible. We tried to order a second round of the Pinot Noir but obviously other patrons had noticed that Brianna was drinking it and the subsequent rush to follow her lead resulted in the bar running out of this wine. We instead took the bartenders recommendation on reds and ended up paying $14/glass for a wine whose name we forgot to write down. Though the wines were pricey, you got a little more than a glass out of each of them because they were decanted into a small carafe. It turns out to be around 2 properly filled wine glasses or 1 1/4 bar filled wine glasses.

For "dinner", we ordered a bunch of salted pork products and cheese – in a nod to our heart health the good people at Crescent and Vine gave us some free apples slices with our order which we laughed at between burps. Our plate of fatty goodness included salami, prosciutto, salsiccia, goat cheese, stilton, manchego and romano (we forgot to write down the actual names of the cheeses because we are way out of practice when it comes to reviewing resturants.). The cheeses were all stealer and the salsiccia (a cured product we had never had before) was a big win, it tasted a bit like soprasata without with the spice. The prosciutto was a bit tough and overly thick and the salami was fairly boring – we recommend that Crescent and Vine consider sourcing their meats from nearby Rosarrio’s where the pork is always palatable. We also ordered a plate of bruscetta which supposedly had white balsamic vinegar on it – either white balsamic vinegar is actually brown or the menu lied or they ran out and substituted standard issue brown balsamic, either way it was yummy-- Amy thought it was the stand out of the evening.

Both of us had no luck racking our brains trying to remember what deli or dentist office or subpar pizza place occupied the space before this little bar moved into town, and the décor doesn’t give much away in terms of the buildings origin. There are rumors that it is owned by the same folks that own Fatty's Cafe next door, though that has not been confirmed. We’re also not sure if the brassy tin roof is authentic or not but we covet it either way. The also served all of our food on unmatched plates that made Brianna jealous of the thrift store scavenging skills of whoever outfitted Crescent and Vine with dishes. Before you read this next sentence we’d like to admit that it is possible that we are about to seem old and uncool, we’re pretty much ok with that. The music was too loud. This seems to be a running complaint about many places we've reviewed. Trust us, we know it’s a bar, and we know that bars play loud music so that people will not be able to talk and thus will focus on drinking more and then have to buy more drinks... but we had gossip to cover! It’s not like Crescent and Vine has any ambitions of becoming a club so it seems like the music could be a little quieter, you’ll make up for the lost drink costs by charging $14 for a glass of wine.

Food: 4
Service: 5
Ambiance: 4.5
Staff Attractiveness: 4
Patron Attractiveness: 4/2

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

We're Back!

Did we fail to mention that this blog was seasonal? During the winter months we tend to be very very busy avoiding the outdoors and bitching about how cold we are – there is no time for cafeing and we have to limit our catty comments to the confines of our living rooms (something that café owners might enjoy but the bad karma effect felt by wannabe Top Models is so strong that some of them may even forget how to be fierce (and when we say some we specifically mean Jael). Much like the pathetically unspring-y weather we are easing into things – so no, we didn’t actually leave the house and review a café… but when gmail notified us of a very upset reader (take a look at the Omonia Café review) we thought about going to cafe! We thought about it so much that we decided to take a look at our to-do list.

Athens Cafe -- 30th and 32nd
Omonia Cafe -- Broadway and 33rd
Kolonaki Cafe -- Broadway and 33rd
Lefkos Pyrgos -- 23rd Ave at 31st
Zodiac -- 31st and Newtown
Byzantine -- 31st and Newtown
Park Kafe -- 30th and 30th
Wassi Coffee Lounge -- 28th and 37th
Avenue Cafe -- 30th and 36th
Locale -- 34th and 33rd
Plaza Cafe -- 30th and 29th
Grand Cafe -- 30th and 37th
Galaxy -- 30th and 37th
Flo -- 30th and 38th
Cafe Bar -- 36th and 32nd

To Do
Cavo Cafe -- 31st and 42nd
Elite- 28th and 32nd

Defunct Before We Could Review Them
(probably due to lack of advertisement on this site)
Santorini -- Steinways and ??

Dudes! Only two left? I’m sure this is woefully out of date… so help us dear readers, what new cafés opened up during our months of hibernation?

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cafe Bar -- 34th Ave and 36th St

(Update: Somehow this post was screwing up our side bar in IE, after waaaaaay too many hours editing and republishing the only solution we found was to remove all pictures and links -- and we're too lazy to put them all back in.)

Before we begin, a few notes:

Things Brianna is an expert on
Ice Cream
Jcrew Online Sale

Things Amy is an expert on
Anne of Green Gables
Back scratching (literal and figurative) (Mr. Amy's back, Brianna's back
Finding Free Bathrooms in NYC

Things neither of us are experts on but we totally form opinions on anyway
Greek Cafes

We include these lists because it appears that a few of our readers have been taking our cafe reviews rather seriously. While it is our goal to convince rich media moguls that we are totally qualified to get paid to review food (or clothing or booze or really anything, we have lots and lots of uneducated opinions that are totally for sale) we must admit that we have no authority what so ever. Frankly, this review doesn't mean much.

That said....

Cafe Bar is much trendier (as in hipster-ish, not as in European) than most of the other places that we have reviewed (except maybe Locale). This outdoor shot doesn't really do the place justice -- drive by on a summer evening and you can fully enjoy the neon lights, psuedo-stained glass and the pretty outdoor seating area. We visited on a cold November afternoon so had to sit inside (though, obviously since we are cold hearted snakes (look into our eyes!) we would probably have to sit inside even on a hot July morning.).

Walking into Cafe Bar, you can imagine that they spent many, many hours scouring the city's most desirable streets on garbage day for cool and interesting furniture and accessories to decorate the interior with. It's very eclectic in a funky/retro kind of way. It's your grandmother's house circa 1973 if your grandmother was a rocker. Amy felt it had a similar design aesthetic to Sparrow Bar (but with better lighting). The place is also filled with plants and comfy couches both of which add to the funky yet home vibe (ok, your grandmother plays tambourine in a Grateful Dead cover band because she's boinking the fake Jerry).

Their menu was very Greek inspired (arguably more so than cafes that had more of a Greek feel), including a "Cyrpiot Breakfast", lots of Greek cheese with hummus and other mezzos, and of course, freddo lattes. There was also an extensive menu of international (aka boozy) coffees, fresh squeezed juices, yerba matte tea and an "Oriental Dim Sum" plate (with samosas and potstickers). It was our first(second?) Sunday review, and so we took the opportunity to try their extensive brunch menu. Cafe Bar has two brunch menus- an "everyday" brunch menu served from 11am-5pm daily (which is a nice feature. (hijack) About a month ago Amy, Brianna and Mr. Amy decided to go to Dillinger's for brunch on a Saturday, to discover that they ONLY serve brunch on Sunday. So we went to instead Le San Souci, which is very yummy and highly recommended - See? Opinions to spare. Review in a review- for free!- If we had gone to Cafe Bar though, this would not have been an issue. (end hijack)). The second brunch menu is their "weekend" brunch menu, which is also served from 11am to 5pm, but on weekends only (duh).

Amy ordered multi-grain blueberry pancakes with strawberry butter ($9) and a coffee ($2) (no free coffee with brunch? don't you people know what brunch is?!?! This is *America* we should get some coffee AND free alcohol). Brianna ordered scrambled eggs with tomato and feta ($9) and a latte ($4) (seriously? $4? Lame.). Amy felt the strawberry butter tasted vaguely medicinal, which is too bad since it looked and sounded so yummy-- Brianna tasted it and thought it tasted like butter which beats medicine but still isn't as exciting as it seems like strawberry butter should be. The cup that Amy's coffee came in was disintegrating right before our eyes -- little pieces of ceramic kept falling off and we assume that luck alone protected Amy's lap from a nasty burn (and sadly now we cannot sue for millions of dollars -- cruel cruel luck.). Brianna's scrambled eggs came with a side of country potatoes with asparagus -- adding asparagus to breakfast potatoes may sound weird but it tasted amazing: highly recommended.

Our server was fairly attractive (and a boy! most of our male servers to date havn't been able to complete with the extremely cute girls out waiting tables in Astoria -- Congrats Mr. Cafe Bar!) and made a point to kneel down to our level (we sat on a couch) when taking our order. He was getting high service points until we waiting about 20mins for our bill to arrive. The other wait staff was decidedly more average looking but the patron eye-candy made up for that. It's a good thing Brianna and Amy are VERY good looking or they may have asked us to leave.

Awesome Astoria Activity
(yes, we know this section is about as successful as The Daily Show's stupid "Seat of Heat" but when we make a mistake we commit to it!) You could go hiking, in the city!
Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 4.5
Staff Attractiveness: 4
Patron Attractiveness: 4.5

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Flo- 30th Avenue and 38th Street

Why is the name of this cafe spelled incoherently (unless the accent means something)? The word "Flo" only works in two contexts:

1. "Kiss my grits," said Flo as she turned on her heel and went back to the kitchen to demand a raise from Mel
2. Aunt Flo better show up soon or we'll be buying diapers.

Both of these are inappropriate when discussing Astoria cafes (sadly in the case of the former, thankfully in the case of the latter). We assume that this cafe should be named "Flow" though we're unsure exactly what is flowing.

For some reason Brianna didn't expect Flo cafe to be as tacky as other Astoria cafes, from the outside it looks kind of innocuous and unassuming (almost like the building used to be a Jamba Juice -- much like Lefkos Pirgos used to be a white castle). Luckily, inside Flo is as just as euro-trashy as any other cafe (seriously people- don't even bother to comment about how ethnically insensitive we are, there is no way to defend multicolored glowing walls.). We were able to sit outside thanks to the presence of powerful heat lamps (one of the great ironies of the cafe scene for us is that we can sit outside in October but not in June) which made for a more authentic people watching experience (Brianna saw a 17 year old boy in a black fur coat -- it's hard to top that).

Flo has a fairly tiny menu of coffees, sandwiches and a few desserts along with a fairly extensive list of cocktails, (all $9) wines and martinis (all $10) -- including a cocktail temptingly dubbed "B.O." which contains sugar, orange, Bacardi O, 7up and orange juice -- all of which one would think would smell nothing like human sweat.

Their menu is heavy on the pork loin which you can get at least 4 different ways -- Brianna felt that this was a sign that pork loin was some sort of house specialty so she ordered the pork loin sandwich ($8.50). Amy is boring so she ordered a BLT ($5.50 -- cheap!). Both sandwiches came with potato chips (seemed like Ruffles) which was a little odd, but we enjoyed the excuse to consume fried, salted food in the place of vegetables.

At first Brianna was very impressed with the pork sandwich (the pita it came on was really fresh and the sandwich had a yummy olive tapanade spread on it) but the more she ate the more boring it seemed -- there was a lot of meat and (perhaps
influenced by an over consumption of potato chips) she was wishing for some greenery. Amy's BLT had a plethora of iceberg lettuce, which she thinned out a bit, and an extraneous piece of bread separating the bacon from the lettuce/tomato layer (thus avoiding a meat vs. vegetation war -- bacon HATES lettuce). The bacon was nicely cooked and a little smoky, and the sandwich was yummy and tasty in its simplicity (that's Amy for "boring," she just won't admit it).

No frappes were consumed by us at Flo, but after dinner we did decide to have seasonally appropriate drinks (Amy suggested we could get free espresso at her house-- one of the perks of being married is a beautiful new espresso maker--but that seems to defeat the purpose of this entire project). Amy had hot chocolate ($4.50) and Brianna a cappuccino Viennese (= with whipped cream, $4). The hot chocolate was described as "pure chocolate", so Amy was expecting something like she would get at City Bakery (if you haven't tried their hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows you should stop by next time you're in the Flatiron), but it was less dense than that-- and in Amy's opinion better. It came with a single marshmallow on a spoon. For the first hot chocolate of the season, it was a treat. The cappuccino was so-so -- the whipped cream was obviously from a can which was a little disappointing and it covered up any foam (in Bri's opinion the best part of a cappuccino). The cappuccino also came with a small chocolate chip cookie on the side.

We were seated by a cute Greek waitress, but all other server interaction was with a cute non-Greek waitress. The second waitress was *extremely* attentive -- after she took our order she stopped by to make sure we didn't need anything else, then after we got our food she stopped by see if it was ok, then 10 mins later she came by again to check if we needed anything else. Then, between dinner and coffee, she spent a long time making sure our table was very clean. Our huge egos almost had us believing that this website had finally come through and made us famous, but then they brought us a regular check with no discount. We're pretty sure once we're famous we'll get free food. But if when you go there you don't get exemplary service, perhaps you should start a blog reviewing cafes in Astoria.

Awesome Astoria Activity:

Once you finish your frappee, you can burn off those unwanted pounds at the NYSC! (sorry, it was dark out and the picture isn't very clear)

Ambiance: 3
Patron Attractiveness: 2.5
Server Attractiveness: 3
Food: 2.5
Service: 3.5 (though bordering on stalker-ish)

Sunday, October 15, 2006


There have been some changes afoot in the Astoria café scene.

It seems Lefkos Pirgos is doing some renovating. Rapture on took this picture without being attacked by any old ladies (we hope your luck has held and no evil curse has since manifested itself). A few changes to the décor that we’d like to see:

  • An even fancier cake stand (perhaps with the addition of some neon lights and fog)
  • A make-over for Old Mrs. Grumpy Pants (maybe looking good would make her feel good too).
  • Signage clarifying the “ok to photograph” areas in the café.

Byzantio is no more. One assumes their ongoing battle with Zodiac to be the top café on the corner of 31st St and 28th Ave was finally lost when we stopped by and proved that yes, American girls are bitches. We’re sorry Byzantio. On the other hand: Congratz to Zodiac, you’re number 1!!!!!.

Santorini Café on Steinway has closed which we are all for because we have never been there and this make one less café we have to review (though, realistically another café will likely pop-up in it’s place thus brining us back to even).

An update on our future:

Athens Cafe -- 30th and 32nd
Omonia Cafe -- Broadway and 33rd
Kolonaki Cafe -- Broadway and 33rd
Zodiac -- 31st and Newtown
Byzantio -- 31st and Newtown
Lefkos Pirgos -- 23rd Ave at 31st
Park Kafe -- 30th and 30th
Wassi Coffee Lounge -- 28th and 37th
Plaza Cafe -- 30th and 29th
Grand Cafe -- 30th and 37th
Avenue Cafe -- 30th and 36th
Santorini -- Steinways and ?? (no longer exists= done to us!)
Galaxy -- 30th and 37th
Locale -- 34th and 33rd

To Do
Cafe Bar -- 36th and 32nd
Cavo Cafe -- 31st and 42nd
Flo, -- 38th and 30th ave
Elite- 28th and 32nd

Yes ladies and gentlemen, you read that right. Only four cafes left on our once grandiose list. The end is in sight-- though our summer goal may have come and gone, rumor has it that we might be done before winter officially starts!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Galaxy Café -- 30th and 37th

Two posts in one week! Surprise! Out of guilt for going so long without a post and in anticipation of being huge slackers we went to TWO cafes last Tuesday night. After dinner at Grand Café (which has a new ridiculously large advertisement at the Ditmars’ subway station) we walked the 50 feet over to Galaxy Café for dessert. 30th Avenue in the mid 30s is so flush with cafés that we could have continued this pattern until we collapsed from over consumption. It’s possible that even 2 café’s in one evening was a bit too much for us, by the time we reached Galaxy we had to talk ourselves
Add Imageinto wanting dessert.

Galaxy is tiny and much cozier than most of the other Astoria cafes. There were no crazy lit up bars or walls or unifying themes. The décor kind of reminded us of a (generic) grandmother’s house—a cozy couch, wallpaper of questionable taste and dim (but not dark), non-overhead lighting (though there were some recessed track lights in the ceiling). The most impressive decorative touch at Galaxy is the cool vintage cigarette machine located near the bathrooms – it even sold cigarette varieties that seem to have fallen out of regular circulation – it’s almost too bad we don’t smoke. There seemed to be some kind of back seating area as well, but at least on Tuesday evening, most of the customers were located either outside or in the front section of the café.

It doesn’t seem like Galaxy has a kitchen so we assumed that the food options were of the honey soaked variety only however on her trip to the bathroom Brianna noticed that someone was getting some French fries – but it seems likely that these were ordered from outside for employees only, we certainly did not notice a menu.

We are big fans of local recommendations especially when faced with unfamiliar pastry options (though it could obviously be argued that five months in to this challenge we should be Greek dessert experts) so we asked the waitress at Galaxy to recommend a dessert. The waitress was surprisingly unwilling to help us with our decision claiming that she can’t recommend anything because she doesn’t know what we like. We felt a bit snubbed by this and started suspecting that the waitress didn’t really like us. They had a sizable variety of the typical Greek and non-Greek desserts we’ve seen in our travels, including cheesecake, chocolate moose cake, those little cakes shaped like mice, and unknown things wrapped in pretty foil. We eventually settled on the philo dough, honey, walnuts and cinnamon connection. Though very pretty, the pastry was incredibly stale, so much so that we couldn’t get past more then a few bites.

As we go to the dessert-focused cafes, we have noticed a repetition of desserts, and are beginning to suspect that they are not—gasp—made on location. This asks the question: where are these delectable looking concoctions concocted? Is one of the cafés supplying the others? Do the Greek desserts and the non Greek desserts come from separate sources? Is the supplier outside of Astoria?? Another mystery….

When we went up to the counter to pay our bill the total came to $3.75 and Amy paid with four dollar bills – this is when the waitress’ dislike for us became most obvious – and got back 5 nickles. NICKLES. In a city that lives on quarters! If you see Amy on the street and she seems rather stinky you’ll know that she was unable to do her laundry due to the cruelty of the waitress at Galaxy.

Patron Attractiveness: 2.5

Staff Attractiveness: 2.5

Food: 1.5

Atmosphere: 3

Service 2.5