Thursday, August 19, 2010
Cafe Triskell - A Delicious Diamond in the Rough
Cafe Triskell - 33-04 36th Avenue, Astoria NY 11105
N/Q Train to 36th Avenue
Last night, Meg, Mackenzi and I ventured out to a small, French creperie that's been a staple in Astoria for many years now. Even though it's a mainstay, Mackenzi and I have never been, and Meg has eaten there once a long, long time ago. Well after this visit, I hope that not too much time passes before we go back - we just enjoyed it so much.
A teensy, intimate spot, Cafe Triskell seats maybe 20 people in its dining space, which is a bit oddly shaped. Even so, that's what makes it so endearing and personal, as you almost feel like you're sitting in someone's unwieldy dining room. Mementos such as paintings, t-shirts, photographs and vintage posters hang on the walls, and we curiously took them all in, as we got comfortable in our seats, ready to peruse the menu.
For the most part a creperie, Cafe Triskell serves ten varieties of savory crepes, fourteen types of sweet crepes but also other French classics such as Croque Monsieur, vichyssoise, escargot, quiche and more. I think we ordered a fair representation of their offering with:
Tomato Goat Cheese Quiche - A special of the night, it sounded delicious to me, as I'm a sucker for a goat cheese and egg combo. And as incredible as it sounded, it looked and tasted even better. Just look at this beauty - the crust alone made me swoon, as it was perfectly crimped around the edges and had a crumbly, buttery texture that was to die for. The contents were heavenly, with a custardy, eggy inside, interlaced with tangy goat cheese and cubes of fresh tomato and herbs on top. It came with a side of mixed greens and tomatoes in a classic, lemony dressing, which formed a great combination with the quiche.
Savory Crepes - Meg and Mackenzi both ordered savory crepes, which were very large yet really thin, just as they should be. Meg ordered the same variety of ingredients as was in my quiche and Mackenzi's crepe included a mix of seasonal veggies. I had a bite of Meg's and enjoyed the delicate crepe shell that was slightly crispy around the edges and not at all greasy. The contents inside melded together beautifully, creating a really savory and satisfying dinner dish.
Frites - Our meal couldn't be complete without a side order of thin, crispy frites (or fries), for which we also requested mayonnaise and ketchup. Meg liked the former condiment and I did too, as I double dipped the thin matchsticks of goodness first into the mayo and then the ketchup. It was addicting and wonderful to say the least.
Lemon and Sugar Dessert Crepe - Ending the night on a sweet note, but not taking it too far, we kept things simple with a lemon and sugar crepe. We were slightly indecisive about it, thinking that it was too boring, but after we got a bite, we were sold. The crepe was served open faced and included a thin coating of lemon and sugar glaze that made the outside extra crunchy. The lemon gave the crepe some zing but its overall essence was still gentle and slightly indulgent from the sugar. Mmmmm....
Cider - Meg and I enjoyed a cup of sparkling apple cider, which felt very French to me. It was refreshing and fruity but not too sweet, and at $6 a glass, I thought it provided good value.
Service and Cost:
Since Cafe Triskell is a small establishment, one waitress served all its guests. She was nice enough albeit slightly surly, which made her fit in with the cafe's quirky surroundings. But there's nothing to complain about, as all dishes came out on time and were nice and hot.
Costs are very affordable and please note that this establishment accepts cash only.
Appetizers - $6.75 - $14.95
Savory Crepes - $7.25 - $14.95
Sandwiches - $8.95 - $9.95
Entrees - $14.95 - $22
Sweet Crepes - $4.50 - $7.50