Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time Cafe - Good on Paper...Eh in Real Life

Time Cafe - 44-18 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103
R/V/G Train to 45th Street

I found out about Time Cafe from Joey in Astoria who has amazing input on our 'hood's happenings. Always, looking for great brunch finds, my friend Crystal and I decided to try it. And even though this place is cute as a button and charmingly inviting, I wouldn't eat here again.

Time is lovely both inside and out. The facade is cheery, with pin striped awnings and a bright orange door that just makes you want to open it. And the inside is even nicer! It's broken down into three sections--the front is loungy, the middle is a bar and the back is a restaurant. The color scheme inside is just as happy as the outside--bright yellows and oranges warm your senses and give off a hopeful impression for what is yet to come.

The clientele is young and hip. Everyone looks casual and relaxed--in the front is a woman lounging on a couch, typing on her laptop (they have free wifi) and in the back is a couple reading the weekend paper and contentedly sipping coffee. It's really a pleasant scene.

I wish that I could rave about the food as much as I did about the atmosphere. Unfortunately, both Crystal and I were unimpressed and disappointed with our brunch.

The menu looked wonderful and the brioche french toast with roasted bananas immediately caught my eye. But what the menu described looked and tasted completely different in real life. The french toast was greasy and soggy, the bananas not doing much for it. I was most disappointed with the sad-looking "Jimmy Dean-esque" sausages that came as a side. I have no proof of this but I think they might have been just that, store bought breakfast sausage--who wants that?

Crystal was initially inspired by the menu as well and couldn't wait to get the mozzarella toast with tomato and basil. I didn't taste her meal but just by looking at it, it was nothing to brag about. The toast was thin and the mozzarella wasn't stringy. In all honesty, it just looked like any ol' basil, mozzarella, tomato sandwich with some shoestring fries.

Aside from the blah food, we did enjoy our morning cocktails of mimosa and a bloody mary. I actually loved mine and could've had another but I was driving.

The service started out wonderful--Crystal got nice fresh coffee and I got pipping hot tea. But after that, I don't know what happened! The waitress would not look our way even though she kept passing our table. This went on for more than 20 minutes and finally we both had to practically shout to get her attention--it was embarrassing. On top of that, getting the check was a chore and we both didn't appreciate the neglect we received.

This place is certainly easy on the wallet. Brunch, which included coffee or tea, morning cocktail and an entree cost $12--not bad. Other menu options which consist of salads and sandwiches range between $6-$12.


  1. Sorry to hear you had a meh experience. Sounds like they do some things great and some less so (we discovered this is the case at Mojave, too). Bummer about the service, too! Maybe an off-day?

  2. I hope that their service improves. Crystal and I also saw a cute brunch place right across the street called Soho. That's our next destination. $8.95 prix fix brunch. How great is that?

  3. Yes, I can't wait to try Soho :)
    I hope Time's service gets better, the atmosphere was so cute, too bad the food was nothing special.

  4. Sorry you had a crap experience there. While I have yet to do a write up (I keep neglecting the all important food photos before I eat) I've eaten there numerous times and I've always had great food and service too. Perhaps I am just eating things that are really simple and un-screw-up-able? Anyway, stop by one night for drinks and try a salad or one of their appetizers? I have yet to sample the brunch myself.

  5. Thanks Jenn. I agree, everything should get a second chance. I'll try it again in a little while and report back.




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