Alpha Astoria

2 german girls review greek cafes in Astoria Queens

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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  • At 3:55 PM, Blogger muckster said…

    I've been going to Cafe Bar for years, and it's a love-hate relationship. The place is very comfy, the brunch is great, and when the music is right, it's a good place to spend an afternoon reading & writing. But the service can be terrible, and when the evening party crowd takes over and they change the music, it can be unbearable. I'll keep going back though; there's nothing really like it in Astoria.

  • At 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hallo German-Girls,

    I'm an Austrian in Astoria... would be nice to meet up once. The place you described above is called "No Name" by the hiesigen crowd. Just FYI. But I was never convinced about the service either.
    Hope to hear from you...

  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Dupa Jasia said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 1:22 AM, Blogger The Franchise said…

    Hey you guys need to go to dillingers for brunch (corner of 47th and 30th ave) Not only is it all you can drink but its only 16 bucks for the whole thing, all inclusive. It is easily the best bar in astoria


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