Lefkos Pirgos -- 31st 23rd ave
Cafe number 4 is Lefkos Pirgos. There was a time (way back last week) when we had decided that Lefkos was a bakery and not a cafe and therefore we did not have to go there -- but then one of our readers claimed it was a cafe and it went back on the list no questions asked -- this is just one of the many sacrifices we have made for you people.
That said... Lefkos is TOTALLY a bakery (in your face readers!). They don't have menus save the little plastic table-top cards and though they *claim* to serve pizza and "Greek toast" (toast with honey? toast with humus? toast with Nescafe? mmmmm yummy!) there was no kitchen that we could see. They do however have:
2. Greek TV with the volume set to"outdoor voice" and the channel set to "bad soap opera"(special bonus: Greek subtitles! for our deaf readers who also read Greek (niche market people.))
3. Enough pastries to support the suspicious number of dentists in Astoria (seriously, we may have stumbled upon a vast conspiracy...).
The crowd skewed much older and less euro-trashy than that at the last three establishments. Because we are young, arrogant whippersnappers old kind of brings the Patron attractiveness rating down. The wait staff held their own though -- these Greek cafes seem to have a monopoly on pretty young things.
We were going to sit outside, however "outside" is a synonym for "smoking section" so we sat inside mostly by ourselves (there was also an old Greek lady with her eyes glued to the soaps... more on her later, stay tuned.). The no-menus thing caught us off guard and made us look like bumbling idiots in front of our very nice waitress who immediately showed up to take our order. After much hemming and hawing by the two of us she offered to take us up to the never ending row of pastry cases and explain in detail all of our options -- yeah! The dessert selection at Lefkos is really quite impressive -- we felt somewhat obligated to get something vaguely Greek so we steered away from the (very tempting) napoleons, cheesecakes and tiramisu. We settled on Ekmek ($5.00) -- a layered cake thing consisting of:
1. layer of shredded philo dough
2. layer of honey soaked almonds
3. layer of vanilla custard
4. layer of whipped cream
Place this into a large pool of Greek honey and voila! 5000 calories of yum.
We also both had a medium (sweetness, not size) frappe ($3.50) which was good though less sweet then those offered at other places (we could have both gone for a "sweet" over the "medium" -- on that note, we're feeling pretty hip to the lingo these days, impressive huh?). Amy's milk refused to merge with her nescafe and sugar making her slightly concerned about her stirring abilities.
We did not go to the bathroom so we can't give it rating (damn our empty bladders) -- pee at your own risk folks.
Awesome Astoria Activities
I wonder what the over/under is on Amy fitting into her wedding dress after 15 more servings of Greek desserts....
Also: a few stores down (towards Ditmars) we stopped in on the cutest little boutique with adorable designer-y clothing at fairly reasonable prices. We plan on spending money here in an effort to encourage clothing stores other than Mandee to converge on the neighborhood.
Average Attractiveness of Staff: 3
Average Attractiveness of Patrons: 2
And now a very scary story:
Upon starting this project we had been slightly concerned that we might not be so welcome in the Greek cafes what with our clearly not Greek looks. But mostly we (and our money) have been welcomed, and with the exception of the occasional absent waitress (who, it should be noted seems to be absent regardless of ethnicity) we've felt very comfortable in the cafes that we've been to. Ironically we immediately started talking about this when we sat down at Lefkos....
So. It's late in the review process, most of the cake has been reduced to custard residue mixed with honey. We're sitting there in the corner. Drinking our coffees, taking notes, making catty comments about people walking by. Brianna decides to take a picture of the pretty pretty spinning tower of cakes. This was, perhaps, a huge mistake.
The old Greek lady was ripped away from her soap operas when her spidey senses alerted her to the illegal (??) photo-taking events now transpiring in (her?) cafe. She immediately came over to our table to demand information about the photo we had just taken -- but before we could even get out our lie (about a friend? with a birthday coming up? and how he would love a pretty pretty yummy cake? and that we would totally give her money for it?) she informed us that our behavior would not be tolerated and that next time we should "Be careful" and "Watch out." We tried to laugh this off and smile cutely so she would turn off her evil eye and go back to her soaps but... no dice.
So... we're not sure if we'll be doing another review; we might have a curse on us, or we might be killed by the Greek old lady Mafia. If either of these things happen please, someone hire Chloe from Smallville, or Veronica Mars or one of those CSI guys to use their magic crime fightin' tools to examine this photo and figure out just what kind of evil plot the Lefkos cake display is a front for.