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