Wednesday, April 8, 2009

AQ Kafe Night with Ramen and Friends 04-07-2009

Location: 1800 Broadway
Time: 6:30pm
People: 12 Ramen and Friends: Sassy MGru, ALev, TrishP, BLee, JBH, KN, Jnu, CE, SaSha, GB, RB and myself

Feelings: After receiving overwhelming reactions for my Budapest Log post, we decided to have the next Ramen and Friends outing at AQ Kafe. They do not take reservations, but they were quite accommodating for 12 of us. We all sat at a long communal table as if we were one giant happy family, and two ubiquitous waitstaff made sure that our glasses or coffee cups were full at any moment. RB and I lost count on how much Swedish coffee we had, and we were quite tweeked and incapable of making any decisions by the time we had to order food. I was so high on caffeine that everything looked two dimensional, and the minimalist and clean look of this spacious Swedish cafe made me feel like I was in a Ingmar Bergman film. Yes, I was that high on caffeine. Be aware of bottomless Swedish coffee.

Through my jittery fits, I realized they no longer make vegetarian Swedish meatballs. Since I don't know any other place in NYC that makes the dish, I was deeply disappointed. BLee ordered Gravlax, an open faced sandwich with cured salmon for me instead. The melded flavor of mustard sauce and avocado on organic Miche bread was prominent, but overall, the dish was rather mushy and dull. Most people did order the meatballs, or the meatball sandwich, but it did not get raving reviews. "It was totally blandwich!" MGru said. Most agreed Ikea meatballs were better, or as ALev put it, "Ikea meatballs = crackballs." Only one person, BLee, actually defended AQ's meatballs saying, "The AQ meatballs are heaven, all meatiness and flavor but not heavy or gristly like the Ikea."

The battle for Swedish meatball prominence was briefly interrupted when their famous Princess Cake and Budapest Log arrived. Everyone was on the same page when it came to the dessert. These two cakes brought two sides together in delicious unity, as we enjoyed the creamy and dense flavors. GB's "Slap in the Face" pastry was again, rather bland. She insisted that it was false advertisement since it was not confrontational enough to carry its name.

Hit or miss at the AQ Kafe, but I can assure you will never be disappointed by Princess Cake and Budapest Log as well as their strong Swedish coffee.

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