Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Queens Kickshaw Morning Glory
Although yesterday was technically a non-work day for me in the traditional sense, my We Heart Astoria colleagues and I had a super productive day, meeting at The Queens Kickshaw. Choosing this venue for its casual, laid-back vibe and superb coffee, we settled into the large square table upfront and spent most of the morning and the early part of the afternoon discussing "business."
In the midst of all this, we of course took breaks to drink delicious Kickshaw coffee, and indulged in their signature comfort food. I've never not liked what I've had here, and this time even further upped the ante. Some new things I tried...
Egg & Cheese Sandwich - When Dan ordered this before, I hungrily watched him eat it, but this time I was ready to devour it solo. Just like each Kickshaw sandwich, it used really high quality bread, a buttery brioche in fact, which held deliciously savory elements such as perfectly scrambled eggs, soft ricotta cheese, tangy gruyere and some hot sauce to boot. Because I usually pair egg dishes with ketchup, the hot sauce was a great substitute that made the sandwich incredibly moist, with a healthy kick in the butt from the spice.
White Bean and Beer Stew - Listening to Jen, Kickshaw's co-owner, describe this soup excited me. It sounded incredibly hearty, mixing two types of beans, white gigantes and garbanzos, along with roasted peppers and braised greens. The whole thing would then be submerged into a pungent beer broth and further topped with crunchy rye bread with basil aioli. While I loved the bread with that earthy, garlicky pesto, I thought the soup needed more broth. I enjoyed its chunky contents, and it did a great job of filling me up, but I would've appreciated more liquid to soak up the bread.
Dessert - Surprised with a sweet treat at the end of our meal, we received two on-the-house desserts, including a brownie affogato and and the bread pudding. It so happens they combined two of my favorite things of all time - bread and chocolate - so needless to say, I was very happy. Out of the two, I had a strong preference for the brownie affogato, as it paired together a rich, dark chocolate Godmother Rozzie's brownie with chunky walnuts, with a cool coffee cream. Dipping the brownie in the cream was just fantastic and made it even moister than it already was. I appreciated the tie-in with coffee, as it related back to Kickshaw's foundation.
The bread pudding was also lovely, made with a beautifully rich custard brioche, hints of orange and ribbons of caramel. Even though it was by no means a low cal dish, it didn't leave you with a heavy feeling and we polished it off rather quickly. My favorite aspect were the slightly crunchy edges of the brioche - yum!
Service and Cost:
Always treated with much hospitality and a friendly but unobtrusive manner, I continue to love the service here. I appreciate the professional way they conduct business and the high quality they deliver. It was interesting to see that there's table service too, which I haven't much seen at other coffee houses. It has to be said that the entire place was busy on a Monday, which is testament to its continuous excellence.
Costs are fair and I paid about $17 for a cappuccino, an egg and cheese sandwich, and the bean soup.
The Queens Kickshaw - 40-17 Broadway, Astoria NY 11103
M/R Train to Steinway Street