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Dec 19, 2013 05:00 AM

Advice on Cafe Muscat and Violet's Bake Shop in Fresh Meadows, Queens

We will likely be in Hillcrest tonight. Didn't hear back about about Turquoise so leaning toward the less expensive Muscat. What are your thoughts? Also, my son wants to try Violet's because we saw the episode of Bakery Boss that featured them. Yes or no on that?

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  1. I've never been nor heard of Violet's, but it's a bakery. It's not going to cost you much, and if you want to go because you saw it on TV, think of it as a tourist experience. There may be a better or cheaper baker in the area(I have no clue), but there is some entertainment value in going somewhere you saw on TV, and you shouldn't discount that. If you don't like it then you're out a couple dollars a person and you won't go back, but at least you still had the experience.

    1. I know Muscat is very popular. I am not a milchigs
      person so I don't like it as much as many people do. I do very much like Turnpike Café further up on Union Turnpike. If you search here on Chowhound I once wrote a review of it.

      1. i too am a turquoise fan, unless its breakfast time, I like muscat for breakfast, but for salads/pasta, i think theyre a little expensive

        turquoise is generally up on

        not a huge discount bc the bigger ones sell out super fast

        violets used to be beigels and its basically the same stuff, so it depends on what you like

        im not that kinda bakery person

        1. Ok. Here's my update. I went to Muscat for a late lunch. The service was not very warm and polite. It should be for the prices. Very steep. Not cafe prices. They were out of Haloumi and Goat cheese both things I had wanted. The salads looked huge, but at the price they were charging, that would be expected. In fact, I could not find anything affordable to order so I overpaid for a tuna sushi just to eat something. The butternut squash soup was very good, but I believe I paid 7 bucks for it. Cake was 6.95, At Purple Pear in Monsey, I can get a fish entree with two sides for 10 bucks less. I don't mean to sound cheap, but this is a lunch place for goodness sakes. Even the Paninis were expensive. Because of the service, I did not feel like I'd go back. I went to Violets and met every single person who was on Bakery Boss. Found out that Buddy is in fact as nice as he seems and that was confirmed by a nice woman in the bakery who is not a usual kosher shopper who buys at Buddy's NJ bakery regularly. She says he is genuinely nice and also younger than he appears. That said, I can't tell you how the baked goods taste as I saved them for Shabbos. The son (if you watched the show or the Chew as he was on both) was very busy putting out his fresh Challahs called Challywood. We bought the Garlic/Italian, Blueberry and Everything Challahs. I chose not to buy the Cinnamon Apple that was featured on the Chew because my son said that mine is quite good (score one for me). There were other flavors. Valerie behind the counter was wonderful. She is a gem that I hope they fully appreciate. She was featured prominently on the Bakery Boss show. At one point, before Buddy made the place over, she wouldn't serve him a cupcake because she knew it was stale. Violet's makes small and large round Challahs. I wanted some flavors in the smaller size which they did not have and Valerie offered to order them for me if I call in advance. Much appreciated. The Babka looked spectacular (as Jerry Seinfeld would say) and the Hungarian Kokosh like thing looks pretty divine (they cut it pie style, hard to descirbe). The fondant cakes which I believe Buddy taught them how to do look nicer than any I have seen in kosher bakeries, but I wasn't ready to pay $28 for them. I will report on the taste after Shabbos. The dad was very nice and willing to talk. Son was a bit gruff as he appeared on TV, more into the business than the service, but it was Thursday night and they were putting out the Challahs. Oh, btw, we ate dinner at Benji's pizza in KGH and were very satisfied with the service, the attitude, the food, the prices and I told my son that it was better than 30 years ago when I came as a kid.

          5 Replies
          1. re: cappucino

            Out of curiosity, what were the prices like at Muscat?
            (I'm on my iPad and the website won't let me view the menu.)
            Cake at $7 and soup at $7 seems about the same as the going rate in Brooklyn

            1. re: cheesecake17

              I guess it was the 32 for the fish entree. There's no lunch menu so that would be what I would have to pay for a relatively small piece of fish and two sides. I saw it ordered by others The paninis, I believe, were around 12 or 13. And there was something else that I also felt was overpriced.

            2. re: cappucino

              How were the baked goods from Violet's? Since it's a few days after shabbos, I was hoping you'd post about it. Thanks!

              1. re: asf78

                The lace cookies were fresh and delicious. The other cookies were not fresh. The Hungarian babka was very chocolatey and good, although my husband thought it was too sweet. And now for the Challah. Unfortunately, everyone thought it did not have enough flavor. I also did not like the texture. I am used to my own Challah and, prior to that, New Square bakery Challah which is probably the best bought Challah out there. My son did enjoy the blueberry Challah, though. Also, it seems his apple cinnamon is very tasty. I wish them Hatzlacha.