Why The Queens Kickshaw Should Be on Every Vegetarian's Bucket List
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
Destination: The Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway, 718-777-0913)
Cuisine: Nouveau American
Overview: Owners Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim have a long connection to Astoria, and they wanted to create a space for the people of the neighborhood to congregate. They opened the Queens Kickshaw three years ago, first creating a go-to spot for coffee, craft beer, and a late night snack, and then developing the place into a destination for vegetarians. Under new chef Kenji Hurlburt, TQK's meat-free menu fully embraces nouveau American cuisine, with splashes of Spanish and Asian culinary influences in between.
Highlights: The Queens Kickshaw's (now fairly famous) gruyère grilled cheese ($9.50) is a blend of many tastes. Built on two slices of thick and crispy rye bread, the rendition is garnished with caramelized onions, cornichon, and tangy pickled red onion, which curb the pungent taste of the gruyère and keep it from overpowering the sandwich. The grilled cheese is served with a side salad; gluten free bread is available for a dollar more.
The restaurant's chilled corn soup ($8) is especially refreshing on a hot summer day. The soup is simultaneously sweet and savory, the chili oil providing a very faint spice. The soup has chunks of tomato and bits of roasted corn, adding a crisp texture to the dish.