Encore Performace at Telly's
- Lisa Antinore
Ready to celebrate the end of this week'sclear-liquids fast/Colyte quaffing extravganza (preparation for a long-awaited series of intestinal examinations- there's a REASON I haven't been posting much...) I headed off to Telly's last night with a former professor from my NYU days. She's a huge fan of octupus and squid and I had planned on taking her to Telly's long before Jim had had his god-awful experience there.
The minute I saw her, I silently mourned the fact that we wouldn't be having the honey- coated loukamawhatchamacalits and probably a bunch of other things as well- the once voluptuous woman had lost more than half of herself on some grape/hard-boiled egg regimen in South Africa... I had to remind myself it was the CONVERSATION I had come for...
My initial intuition proved prophetic- Marleen no longer combined carbohydrates and proteins and eschewed all things fried and caffeine. Sayonara to the fried potato rounds (I could've ordered them of course, but it's so much more fun sharing stuff...) fried calamari, the bread and skordalia and the honey-coated balls and strong greek coffee with ouzo.
We ended up having the BBQed octopus, GRILLED calamari, a large Greek salad (I was happy to see she didn't pick out the Feta hunks or olives) and a plate of those totally amazing butterbeans in tomato sauce (she did not indulge in this protein as she had already partook of the seafood- you gotta admire her for her discipline).
Everything was delicious and served by a most competent, friendly waitress who even noticed that our coats, draped over the backs of our chairs, were dragging against the floor and offered to take them up to where the owner and his friends sit and put them on an empty seat for us. I even got another kiss from the round, platnium-haired (I call her the Greek Miss Piggy with all due respect) owner's wife (I think...) "Thank you" she said as we opened the door to leave....
We walked around Astoria afterwards and I went to Lefkos for some of my favorite powdered-sugared nut crescent cookies. I also bought some dried butter beans in one of the little stores. If any chowhound has an excellent recipe for these beans in tomato sauce, I would really appreciate it. The ones at Telly's are SO fantastic. I was a bit aggravated last night because I had taken out an order of them to bring home to my vegetarian Mom and I realized after I got on the train that I had left them at Lefkos!!!!
At least I had those wonderful, buttery cookies to console me. The minute my newly-svelte friend got off the train I tore open the box and had one. Some homeless guy passed by and because I didn't have any money easily accessible I offered him on of my cookies. "Better than money" he said smiling as he walked away. Exactly my thought....
Sounds like a good meal all round at Telly's. I wish I'd read your post Saturday, instead of Sunday. Scanning these pages for a decent Greek spot in Astoria, we decided to check out S'agapo on 34th Ave based on a short but positive post below, and the Alpha Hound's Telly-tale.
The skoriapas was pretty bland, but garlicky enough, but the pita-turned-into-a-pizze was actually pretty tasty and oniony. We asked for fish and lamb recommendations. Our waiter recommended the whole striped bass and the lamb shishkebob, which we ordered medium. This was a consession to my date; I would have ordered rare, so I asked for it medium, but not too well. To no avail, it arrived a dry, overcooked pathetic kebob, skimpy on the meat, and accompanied by a likewise skimpy selection of grilled red and green pepper slices. It was not hot, to boot. Sitting alongside, two boiled potato halves, also cool, but were actually the best part of the dish.
The sea bass was brought to the table and deboned by our waiter. The fish was served warm, but it had an unpleasant mealy texture, and was pretty tasteless. We did not finish it. It was accompanied by broccoli rabe which I normally like, but this was extremely bitter and somewhat sour tasting. Neither of us could eat it.
The restaurant was about a third full on a Saturday night, but the other customers seemed to be enjoying themselves. I got the impression somehow that the kitchen is probably capable of doing much better. It did feel like an "off night" to me. But, I don't think I'll be back.
Lisa, I respect your taste, as you know. I believe your Telly's dinners were that good.
But my meal was an abomination, and while I know people who love the place as much as you, I know others whose experiences have matched mine.
Just one of those things, I guess...
Thanks Lisa for the Telly's suggestion. I went there last night (no wait on Mondays) with a friend and we enjoyed our meal of grilled fish, fried potatoes and dandelion greens. The only off note was the skordalia which had too much potato and not enough garlic.