Time Cafe: 44-18 Broadway, Astoria, NY

Standard

Not worth the time? A waste of time (and money)? A pretty unsatisfying time? Time to go?  If you want any of those options, you’ve come to the right place! Otherwise, Time Cafe should be skipped altogether.

Dinner here last night was pretty sad. Three shared dishes were all poor, and would have been much better at a generic diner. We started with a salad with feta, chickpeas and kalamata olives that came with a watery red wine vinaigrette (that seemingly was made of olive juice and vinegar. I think they forgot to add olive oil) It was fine, because we were starving, but pretty darn boring and unimpressive. Our fried calamari looked good, but had almost zero flavor. The batter tasted like junky quality that was cooked in used and re-used frying oil, and even after adding some salt still the dish tasted totally bland. The grilled chicken balsamico panini may as well have been served on toasted and buttered Wonder Bread. It was just one thin, small piece of grilled chicken with a melted slice of provolone and a slightly unripe tomato. The roasted red peppers and lemon pepper mayo that was described in the menu was no where to be seen (or tasted). For $10, I could have gotten a better version of this sandwich plus a drink, chips and a cookie at Lenny’s or another deli, and it would have been on better bread. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that the fries they served with it were from someone’s leftover McDonald’s lunch.

A ‘decaf’ cappuccino that had me wired until 1am was served with a Nutella pirouette cookie (that we asked for after seeing them served with another table’s coffees but not initially being brought out for us- maybe the fact that they were old and stale was the reason why) was fine, but not hot.

Overall, for $45 (including tip) this meal was a total bummer. It was a good thing we were so hungry or my perception of the food would have been even worse.

Next time, I’ll surely try one of the many raved-about Thai places in the neighborhood instead of taking a risk wandering into a cafe just because it looks cute from the outside. My bad.

Photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders: http://www.magicsandbox.com

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