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Apr 25, 2011 09:11 AM

Melty, Funky & Energized - The Queens Kickshaw Brings Grilled Cheese & Coffee to Astoria

I move to Glendale and then this opens up around the corner from where I used to live! (Argh.) Here is their website:

The sandwiches are unusual and delicious, the space is made of repurposed industrial artifacts and the coffee is hi-tech. Thrown in for good measure are some nice accompaniments that compliment everything magnificently.

I've been here a few times now and I officially love it. My favorites include the Gouda with black bean hummus, guava jam and pickled jalapenos (sweet, tangy with a little bit of a kick [-shaw!]—sorry, couldn't resist) underlying the cheese and also the side of tomato soup that you can get with curried pumpkin seeds (perfect combo although the soup should have been hot as opposed to warm). I look forward to coming back and gradually eating my way through the entire menu.

I found the cappuccino to be extremely smooth. They also do cup-sized, coffee pour-overs. First, they wet down a filter in a small glass funnel with water that has been heated to a precise temperature (94.31415926°F?) so as to preheat the funnel, then they add the just-ground beans and slowly pour over some more precisely heated water to make the full cup. I find the result interesting and full of complex flavors but honestly, I like their cappuccino a lot more.

The space is very laid back and conducive to conversation. Everybody loves the vintage desk lamps now doing time as sconces. In the back the long communal table made of recycled wood is a rustic wonder as is the Mad Max post-apocalyptic "chandelier." The only thing I'd change is to add some coat hooks on the wall in time for next fall when hot soup and a sandwich are my favorite lunch.

Some might find their prices a little high but, considering what you're getting, I think it's well worth it. This ain't no "gourmet deli" with the typical bacon, egg and cheese on a roll and salad by the pound.

Check it out Chowhounds!


Glendale is hungry...

Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

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  1. You know, I wasn't so impressed with the place. The sandwich was tasty (with carmelized onions, and the iced coffee was nice.. But their goods are seriously overpriced -- $3.50 for their cold-brew? I can get a New Orleans version for the same price, elsewhere. Also, selling Mast Brothers chocolate for $10.00 is robbery. Even in Williamsburg, they only sell them for 9 bucks (they are 7 dollars at the store). I'd honestly prefer the place if it didn't seem so fussy -- is table service really necessary? Why not have a straight-up coffee bar, with a menu?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Aucoin

      Hi Aucoin,

      I'm sorry you felt that way.

      1. re: Glendale is hungry

        I disagree about the cost/quality ratio. I am happy to spend a bit more on quality. I have been visiting the Kickshaw about twice per week since they opened. While their coffee is more expensive than what I'm used to, I have never savored a cup as I have with theirs. Their attention to detail and quality of product is what you're paying for. If I want a cheap cup of decent coffee, I can go to Dunkin Donuts. I've worked in a couple of settings where quality of coffee was a priority, including a local roasting company, but never had as delicious a cup as I've had at Kickshaw.

        1. re: queenseats

          I pay for quality too -- I'm happy to pay an equal amount for better quality (and amounts!) at Sweetleaf, Oslo, Modca, El Beit, Third Rail...These places are most certainly not Dunkin Donuts. Why should Kickshaw be more expensive than those establishments, without providing better product? I can spend the same amount, and get a better drink -- for example a Cold-brewed New Orleans for the same price at Sweetleaf in LIC. Furthermore, why charge such a huge markup for the Mast Bros chocolate? High-end, boutique places should exist, and ask for more money. But this is excessive.

          El Beit
          158 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          133 Roebling St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          Sweetleaf Coffee & Tea
          10-93 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101

          1. re: Aucoin

            Aucoin -- I am with you on that. I suppose Kickshaw overpriced themselves, because they can. What's the competition in Astoria? There aren't any coffee joints, beyond Starbucks. It provides probably good quality products and the place has a nice ambiance, but I'm suspicious that greed has something to do with the pricing. Finally, don't get me wrong. I'm a big supporter of local businesses in Qns and Bklyn. But I expect some fairness.

            1. re: Aucoin

              is the percentage mark-up really that much? Mast is expensive, period. I wouldn't quibble over paying 9 dollars vs 10 dollars for a chocolate bar. They are 7 dollars At The Factory - not just at any store.

              I think this offers a lot more than sweetleaf. although you're right, it's not a competitor. who really is a competitor? to me, it's unique and I'm a big fan. If I'm chilling at a shop, not getting hammered on 6 beers or coffee cups, I'm more than okay with the prices. yes, it's the next bracket, it's not a deli, it's not starbucks.

        2. re: Aucoin

          I very much enjoyed the pour overs at Kickshaw, and thought the price was reasonable for the care and preparation.

          Kickshaw charging $10 for a Mast chocolate bar - standard where I've seen them in Manhattan, too - doesn't seem "robbery" to me so much as a convenience tax.

          From western Queens to the Mast Bros Factory in Williamsburg using the subway: round trip, that's about two hours in transit plus the metrocard costs, plus associated irksomeness of weekend track work, shuttles, and that horrible transfer from the G to the other lines.

          In the summer? Charge me $1-2 more, I'm lazy and impulsive and simply grateful those sea salt bars are close to hand...

          Thanks for the tips on places where you enjoy the cold brew, Aucoin!

        3. The original comment has been removed