Brunch Report - OLD VIENNA CAFE

>> Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brunch Report
108-22 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-8436

I have yet to dine at Old Vienna Cafe for dinner, so I've been hesitant to go there for brunch. Somehow, I thought it might spoil whatever experience I would have had come sundown. I admit that it was a silly notion, but it's the only one I've got. Anyway, I finally did go. Pike and I found ourselves seated just this morning, the night after the big (and so far, only) snowfall of the winter.

I am reluctant to say that Old Vienna was pretty sparsely populated because one might think that this has anything to do with the weather. In truth, I've walked past it dozens of times and have never seen very many people eating there. Meanwhile, just a few feet away, Cheeburger is standing room only. Naturally, getting a table was a breeze. 

Pike and I ordered some coffees (very good coffee, by the way) and noticed that there isn't really much in the way of a brunch menu here. Mostly, it's lunch and even the brunchy options share a page with a selection of sandwiches. Bro would have been tickled pink to have eaten here though, as they have a large selection of crepes. 

Pike and I had very different opinions on what we ordered this morning. I ordered the Classic Eggs Benedict, which were made the classic way. Poached eggs with ham on an English muffin under Hollandaise sauce. It came with a side salad which was very pleasant and the whole meal, in my opinion, was everything it was supposed to be. Pike, on the other hand, ordered Steak and Eggs and he was none too impressed. He specifically ordered the steak, a small NY strip, medium rare, but it came medium well and he left half of it on the plate. It came with a side of home fries, which he thought even less of than the steak. "I had three bites and that was enough" he told me. How about the eggs? I asked. "They're fine. They're scrambled. The coffee's good though." So I'd sum it up with: hir or miss. I'd like to return to try the crepes though. And they had a French toast that looked interesting.

The service was overall weak. There were too few people here to warrant having to wave our arms in the air to flag a waiter fifteen feet away, but that's a petty complaint. What isn't petty is that brunch didn't come with coffee or mimosas or juice. It's an a la cart extra. They aren't encouraging any more seats to fill up by having you pay for a brunch tradition. On the plus side, you'll never wait for a table.

Expect to pay between $8 and $13 for the food, plus coffee, plus juice, plus booze. Overall, everything included, we spent $40. Two brunch entrees, two coffees, and a mimosa, plus tax and tip.



>> Tuesday, January 17, 2012

103-01 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 575-4033

Katsuno, which won 2010's Best New Japanese Restaurant by Time Out Magazine, despite its location in the heart of central Queens, does a mighty fine job of demonstrating to all of us* that Japanese food really is more than cold fish and white rice.


*all of us who aren't Japanese. All of us who are Japanese probably already knew.



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