I still have a lot to catch up on from places we went over the past month in New York. Once place I don’t want to forget (and hopefully will visit again) is The Queens Kickshaw in Queens. Next time you’re coming from LGA and don’t mind the detour, try stopping by this place before you head to your destination. You won’t regret it. We went there on our way back to NYC from Chicago the weekend of Alinea, and it was a pretty nice way to end the weekend.
The Queens Kickshaw is one of those places that looks like it’s owned by Canadians or Scandinavians, by which I mean, those really folkish/hipster types. You’ll notice the wood tables and the classic bar with a real rustic feel to it.
And the ambiance is one of such. It’s pretty dimly lit, not as dimly lit as some other places I’ve been but dark enough that you feel as though you could sit there nursing a beer for a good while (or in my case a Guinness or glass of Jameson, no ice).
But really, you should ignore all this if it detracts from your experience (it didn’t). Because, the real appeal of coming here is the grilled cheese sandwiches. I wouldn’t mind also getting the beer and a glass of cold brew coffee.
So we ended up ordering two sandwiches, beer, coffee + a bunch of desserts. The beer/coffee were good. the dessert, you can probably pass, but it doesn’t detract from the meal as long as you don’t get too much like we did.
Anyways, the star of this post is the grilled cheese.
We ended up choosing a really flavorful (and spicy) grilled cheese and the most basic grilled cheese on the menu. The logic was that in order to truly judge whether a place had mastered the grilled cheese they better have gotten the most basic grilled cheese right. And they did.
Anyways, we got the Gouda.
It had black bean hummus, guava jam, pickled jalapenos on brioche with green salad and jalapeno vinaigrette on the side. The gouda and the black bean hummus form the base of this sandwich. The most amusing part of it is that there’s enough jalapenos in it that it gives you a real bright burn, but then the guava jam in the background, with its hint of sweetness, keeps you wanting bite after bite even though it hurts. Delicious.
Now, the true test of whether this place had mastered the grilled cheese was this: Cheddar & Mozzarella
Don’t let it’s simple form fool you. This sandwich also packs just as much taste to it as the Gouda. In fact, I believe we enjoyed it more. It’s cheddar and mozzarella on brioche (mmm… brioche) with a tomato soup on the side. And it’s the tomato soup that really finishes this grilled cheese perfectly. The tomato soup is delicious on its own, but when used as a dip, the combination is just sublime. The brioche is toasted to just the right dryness that when you dip the sandwich into the tomato soup it soaks up all of the tomato-y goodness. Everything about this sandwich was just perfect.
After finishing the sandwiches, we wanted to finish the evening off with something sweet. Of course, being us, we saw a bunch of desserts and couldn’t resist ordering three.
Imperial stout ice cream sandwich
The desserts turned out to be not as sweet as I would have thought. Especially the cheesecake. While it wasn’t bad, it did kind of feel like I was eating slightly sweetened cream cheese with blackberry sauce. On the other hand, the bread pudding wasn’t bad (but I am a big big sucker for bread pudding) and the ice cream sandwiches were enjoyable.