Park Kafe- 30th Ave and 30th St
We know you missed us last week, but don't worry too much. The old-lady mafia didn't take us down. We were just a little busy, and we're back!
Park Cafe is the reincarnation of Baru (which received this rather unflattering review from Joey in Astoria). Neither of us ever visited Baru but Park Cafe must be a huge improvement.
The decor is trendy and cute. If it weren't for the Greek columns visible across the street in Athens Park, you could almost imagine you were in Manhattan (not that we don't love Astoria). It was a beautiful day, but we're still wary of sitting outside until it's a little warmer out (and then it will probably be too warm out and we'll want to sit inside because we are ridiculously difficult). If Amy had a porch she would consider registering for the adorable stripy patio chairs (perhaps she should register for a house, or at the very least a yard, instead). The wide open windows and the incredibly comfy leather chairs made us see why people choose to lounge in the cafes for hours on end. There were a few questionable choices (the surface of the bar probably didn't *need* to glow...), yet that seems to be the norm.
We had conflicting opinions on the bathroom and thus will have to review it separately -- maybe one of you can make a visit and cast the tie breaking vote.
Amy says: After the past two HORRIBLE bathrooms (Zodiac and Byzantine, I'm looking at you), walking into the bathroom at Park Kafe was like walking into bathroom-paradise. The sink was stunning, and with the exception of the ass-ugly rose petals in the decorative bowl, the decor was nice, yet still understated. The bathroom was not trying too hard. I didn't even notice the iridescent of the wall tiles until I was about to leave. Not to mention, automatic hand-dryers are theoretically better for the environment than paper towels. Bravo Park Kafe. I give it 4.5/5.
Brianna says: Amy made the first visit to the bathroom and came back gushing so I had no choice but to also embark on a trip to the loo. It probably is the nicest cafe bathroom that we've been to (though i was horribly bored with no graffiti to entertain me) but Amy may have oversold. The wall tile is a funky iridescent color but the grout work is sloppy and the round bowl-like sink is impressive but it's neighboring silver plate is a sad obvious attempt to cover up the hole in the counter meant for a second sink. Also: No paper towels. I give it a 3/5.
The menu was the typical behemoth, you can have anything from steak-on-a-stick to fried ravioli to pineapple mojitos. There are surprisingly few Greek options (save a plate of dips a la Zodiac, and a tempting baked cheese appetizer). Though we entered the cafe with the desire for some honey drenched, philo-baked goodness, there was not one to be ordered. We opted instead for fondue ($10.95) and two Frappes (3.75 each). The Frappes were, again, over ice instead of blended which we are all but convinced is the ideal. We've set a goal of solving one cafe mystery per review and today we were able to verify the pronunciation for Frappe -- we can now officially stop looking like uncultured ogres -- it's Frap-ay.
The fondue, though great to look at wasn't smooth enough and we felt like the combo of cheese and bread could have benefited from some roughage (apples? carrots?) to dip in between slices of carbs coated in fat but neither of these points kept us from consuming almost the entire bowl. The menu described the fondue as a blend of a few cheeses and you could really taste the feta which gave it a sharp edge that we both enjoyed. We peeked onto the plates of the tables around us and spied two huge decadent looking ice cream sundaes, so we plan on a revisit for American dessert sometime in the near future.
The patrons skewed young, and predominantly Greek-speaking, despite the lack of Greek cuisine. The group of five boys sitting next to us were attractive and friendly (We kept taking pictures of what seemed like the back of their heads. They may have thought we were stalking them) and the group of ladies in the back were equally attractive.
Service was good...our pretty Greek waitress was ready to take our order before we were (because we were slackers- not because she rushed us), and our food came quickly. However she did dally a bit in bringing the check after we finished (perhaps allowing us opportunity to lounge).
Awesome Astoria Activity:
Athens Park.... complete with statue of Athena straight from Athens (thanks guys!)
Overall, here's the final score:
Average Attractiveness of Staff: 4
Average Attractiveness of Patrons: 4.5