I haven’t done any restaurant posts in a while. There are a couple reasons for that. One, this really is mostly a cooking blog, cuz that’s what I do. Two, most of my eating out is done at night and it’s hard to get good photos in the dark. Three, even when the light is good, I generally don’t like taking lots of food pics in a restaurant, particularly if I’m with my friends. Today, however, I was in a great place, in the middle of the day, by myself and thought, hell, why not. Say hi to The Queens Kickshaw.
I had the day off from work today (God bless you, summer Fridays) and had a great me day. I slept in (too late!), I watched cooking shows (and, ahem, some millionaire matchmaker-no judgement), I cooked some delicious stuff that’ll be posted shortly, I painted my nails (Poppy), and I wandered my neighborhood (Astoria), with the intention of checking out this new place I’ve been hearing rumblings around. The Queens Kickshaw is one of several new, funky restaurants to open in Astoria recently. This neighborhood is really going somewhere, I’m telling you; you Queens haters have no idea what you’re missing (you know who you are) ;).
In a semi-industrial, yet pleasingly cozy space, The Queens Kickshaw straddles the line between coffee bar and..bar bar. They have an obvious focus on two things, amazing coffee and “fancy grilled cheese,” but they also serve craft beers and unusual wines. I personally believe that this is the way to go-do one thing and do it right. These guys definitely know how to do their thang right.
I wanted to order one of everything, but as I was there all by my lonesome, I reigned it in and settled on the manchego and ricotta grilled cheese with minted eggplant and capers, an iced coffee, and eventually a Dupont Biere de Miele. The sandwich, you guys, was fabulous. For starters, the cheese was properly melted, as it should be in a grilled cheese, but somehow so often isn’t. It was served on a sturdy whole-grain bread, with a simple salad, made special with pickled raisins. I love pickled sweet things; in fact I have some pickled sweet things on the cooking roster for this weekend (stay tuned). The salty, mellow manchego played off the sweet, soft ricotta, the eggplant and capers were tart and sweet and salty, and the bright mint cut through to fat and grease beautifully. Then did I mention the pickled raisins? Hearts.
The coffee was pretty great too, which is a relief because if there’s one thing Astoria is missing, and one thing this addict needs, it’s good coffee houses. The iced coffee I had was cold brewed and balanced enough that I drank it black. Do I dare to say it’s as good as Stumptown? I just may. I can’t wait til it’s cool enough to try the individul pour-over coffees. The beers list consisted, quite honestly, of a long list of beers I’d never heard of. That’s a good thing. The one I landed on was, shockingly, a wheat beer. I’m historically a wheat beer hater (they taste like bananas and beers should not taste like fruit, imho), but the honey undertones in this one were strong enough to turn it into something I willingly drank…and thoroughly enjoyed.
The space was the kind I love, with exposed brick, lots of wood and industrial accents here and there. Most of the seating is communal, and the brightly lit front area is balanced by a darker, quieter back room. On top of the delicious food and the awesome space, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. I’m so pumped that this place has joined my ‘hood and I can absolutely see myself hanging out there on the weekends with my kindle and a coffee….and a grilled cheese or two. And you! You come too!
I heart Queens.
The Queens Kickshaw
Astoria, Queens 11106