2015-09-30 / Restaurant of the Week

Igloo Café

Igloo Café has been Astoria’s “cool” place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch for the last 14 years. Now it’s even cooler as the experienced, new owners, Billy and Peter Bourekas took over the helm in August and spruced up the front and rear dining rooms, as well as the outdoor patio. Hurry up and visit while the weather is still agreeable. This cozy café has exposed brick walls, nice lighting, and a friendly staff. The prices are fantastic and the chefs make most everything from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Breakfast is BIG at Igloo Café serving up Seattle’s Best Coffee drinks and dozens of breakfast items fast, to stay or to go on your way to work, as they are located just at the steps of the Ditmars station. Igloo’s weekend brunch has them lining up out the door for fluffy omelets, buttermilk pancakes with fruit or chocolate chips, French toast made with Challah bread, waffles with ham or bacon, muffins, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more. Oh and the coffee is rich and robust.

Lunch is LARGE at Igloo with three menu pages describing an impressive variety of wraps, panini, hot sandwiches, wraps, juicy burgers and super salads. We started with a Greek salad full of crunchy cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, stuffed grape leaves, and chunks of creamy feta cheese ($7.95). The seared tuna salad highlights top quality tuna seared and placed upon a bed of mixed greens, avocado, red peppers, cucumber and sprouts with wasabi or balsamic dressing ($11.95). Billy’s favorite is the chicken pesto salad with tender grilled chicken dressed in house made pesto sauce, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes over mixed greens ($10.95). New appetizer items on the menu include quinoa balls and quesadillas, or try their delicious wings or mac and cheese bites.

The wrap sandwiches cost about $7.50 and are generously filled and nicely presented with or without fries, sweet potato fries, or mixed greens. The Santa Fe wrap features grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato and guacamole. The chicken BLT contains those four ingredients along with mayo in your choice of wrap. The roast beef wrap is made with their own hot roast beef sautéed with onions and topped with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey Dijon sauce.

Paninis are constructed on hero bread and layered with Philly cheese steak, turkey and provolone, or the Monte Cristo with ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese, all pressed on a hot grill until melted and crisp. Beef and chicken gyros can be ordered wrapped up in a sandwich or served on a platter. Igloo’s burgers are made with eight ounces of certified Angus beef and cooked to your order, then topped with your choice of cheese, bacon, mushrooms, chipotle sauce, and onions. There are turkey burgers and veggie burgers as well, along with many vegetarian options throughout the menu.

Dinner is DELICIOUS at Igloo with some great Chef’s specialties such as homemade spinach pie, beef gyro, or chicken souvlaki platter served with pita bread, French fries or rice, side Greek salad and tzatziki sauce ($9.95). Grilled salmon is a light and healthy choice served with baby leaf spinach, sundried tomatoes, and black olives sautéed with extra virgin olive oil and a touch of garlic ($12.95). My companion and I tried two of the new home-style menu items: Hot roast beef platter and fresh roasted turkey platter, each served with real mashed potatoes, real gravy, and spinach or peas and carrots. My “Thanksgiving Dinner” was just perfect with juicy, thinly sliced turkey over savory, seasoned stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. I could eat Thanksgiving dinner once a week and now I know where to get it. That same great turkey dinner can be piled into a wrap for a hand-held feast too!

Save room for one of their decadent desserts with special mention for the moist carrot cake, apple pie, chocolate chip mousse cake, rice pudding, and a dozen ice cream treats made with high quality Sedutto ice cream. Igloo Café is the perfect spot for a quick order to go, a nice lunch or dinner, or a relaxing weekend brunch with friends or family, and kids are welcome here. Stop in anytime for one of their fresh fruit smoothies or juices, made right in front of you, to stay or to go. They will deliver to your home or office. It is always the perfect time to visit Igloo Café on 31st Street, just off Ditmars Blvd. Check their website for more photos and information or follow them on Face Book.

22-26 31st Street, Astoria


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