Wednesday, 27 March 2013

NYC Bagel and Coffee House

Going to a restaurant is 70% food, 30% service and environment.  Frankly, if it's astonishing food, I can tolerate a waiter being rude and inefficient.  Obviously up to a certain point - if the owner's an a**hole he doesn't deserve any business.

Going to a cafe is 50% food, 50% service and environment. 

I expect good, simple food - but it's got to have things on the menu that distinguishes it from other cafes.  It has to be unique.  Equally important are the service and environment.  Friendly and comfortable, that's what you're trying to achieve. 

So let's put New York City Bagel and Coffee House to the test.  

In a nutshell
Address: 29-08 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY
Opening times: 6-10pm everyday
Wifi: Yes 

Food: bagels, sandwiches, sweet and savory baked goods.  10/10
Drinks: coffees, juices, smoothies.  8/10
Service and Environment: 10/10

One of the best cafes I've ever been to.  

Newly opened and already it's showing a lot of promise. 

Open from 6 to 10pm everyday, it's a cute bagel place that's actually also a cafe.  Not one of those walk-in-get-a-bagel-and-leave place.  You could, but you want to stay there and enjoy your bagel and coffee with a friend. Or by yourself, it's fine, because the staff is so friendly and the decor is so amazing you could just sit there and read a book or work. 

It's exactly what the neighborhood needs.  Before this Monday, Starbucks was all this place got. 

Overview of NYCBCH
Food (10/10) "Serving the best bagels and coffee in Astoria."
Bold claim. 
To be fair, I would say there are a couple of decent bagel places in Astoria.  What's different here is that they're an actual cafe.
Are they the best?  They're pretty damn good, but I wouldn't say they were the best bagels I've ever had.  They do have a huge selection, and I like the fact that they've got two sizes - mini and regular.  So if you're feeling peckish and curious, you can have two mini bagels for breakfast.
They have your usual bagel selections with "everything", "cinnamon and raisin", "whole wheat" etc etc.
The toppings, on the other hand, are out of this world. 
They have cream cheese, low fat cream cheese and tofu cream cheese.  The tofu cream cheese is so rich and creamy that it tastes just like regular cream cheese, which is.. either fantastic or worrisome. 
They've got an array of flavored cream cheeses, with the ones you usually find and some unusual ones like strawberry and wasabi.
In addition to the cream cheeses, they also have lox, and salads, nutella & banana, and your PB&J as your other topping options. 

my mini wheat bagel with scallion tofu cream cheese
They also have a selection of cakes and pastries, pies and quiches, sandwiches and rolls, and oatmeal.  They all look decent, haven't tried anything yet because nothing seemed particularly enticing.  However, the bagels are convincing enough for me to give them a 10/10 for food in general. 

They've got their menu on their website
Drinks (8/10)
Standard coffees, fraps, teas, fresh juices and smoothies. I'm only judging this based on the coffees I've had.  Good, very reasonably priced, cheaper than Starbucks.  Not fantastic, but decent coffee.  I haven't tried the other drinks, but what excited me was that they had a butternut squash and mango smoothie.  It's different, I haven't tried it yet so it could be a total disaster, but I'm very intrigued.  I like it when places have surprising things on the menu. 

8/10?  Well, I can't give 10/10 for everything, you are going to start thinking that they're paying me for this. 

Staff and Environment (10/10) (14/10)
It's my own rating system, so I can give it a 14/10 if I want to.

The place is just beautiful.  It's rustic and classy, with kind of a wood/gray/red theme going on.

Look how friendly the staff is!
And look at this beautiful rustic chandelier!

I should've taken more pictures of the place.  Oh and you see that it's all windows?  It's a door that can be pulled aside so in the summer it's all out in the open like a garage.  Yea. Awesome, I know. 

The place is absolutely fantastic.  To be fair, they just opened so they have to be perfect.  They've given me an amazing first impression, so let's just hope they keep it up.  
New York City Bagel and Coffee House 
29-08 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 
6-10pm everyday

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