Brick Cafe in Astoria - review
i went to brick cafe in astoria (on 31st ave and 33rd st) for brunch this past sunday. i called the day before to make reservations for a party of 4 at noon, but it didn't seem necessary. people were coming in after me with no trouble sitting down immediately. i noticed in the window that brick cafe is michelin rated, which i'd assume is quite an honor for any establishment, let alone one in queens.
the rest of my party was late, but the hostess was kind enough to let me sit at our table and wait. i munched on fresh french bread with a delicious olive spread. the waiters immediately brought out a cup of coffee for me. they are very good about keeping your cup of joe filled to the top.
i have to admit that the restaurant seems like it belongs in park slope or bk heights moreso than astoria. it's busy, but not loud. the walls were lined with mirrors and the ceiling was lineoleum, very neighborhood/french bistro feel. there was a separate room for larger parties i think - the place was a lot bigger than i expected. the crowd was mixed with hipsters, families (with older kids), and neighborhood folks.
now the food - i got a ham and cheese omelette, my friends got the special of the day omelette (spinach, mushroom and goat cheese) and the nicoise salad with grilled tuna. they were all reasonably priced and the food came out in a blink of an eye. it honestly came out quicker than a big mac in mcdonalds. the food was good, no complaints. i wish the ham in my omelette was chopped up into bits, but it was just a slap of ham in there. it was good ham, so i let it slide.
overall, i'd definitely recommend going to brick cafe for brunch - esp if you want to surprise people that are not from the area that queens is actually becoming "trendy" like brooklyn. it's a short walk from the subway and i found parking very easily. after brunch, we went across the street to a vintage shop, lovejoy 31, very cute and stocked with used goodies.
I've been to the Brick a number of times. My feeling is, meh. While it's not great, it's not bad. Mediocre is the word that comes to mind. Their burger is fair, the steak frites is so-so, the salads are uninspired at best, insipid at worst. The only reason I continue to go is that a good friend lives right up the block, and, as he puts it, "there's a very comfortable rut worn between [his] front door, and the Brick".
But the staff, the ambiance, and the drinks are outstanding, and their new signage is terrific.