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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sugarfreak

We had been wanting to try Sugarfreak since it opened a few months ago, but Jon's gluten allergy, and my intolerance to sugar kept us away. When I first glanced at the menu one day as I walked by it on 30th Ave, all I saw were po-boy and muffaletta sandwiches (hence, the gluten), and that name...well it scared me a little. Still, I was intrigued by what looked like shower curtains covering the front window, and the New Orleans theme. Once my friend and co-contributor to this blog, Teresa Barile, reviewed it for the Queens Gazette and gave it a big thumbs up, we decided it was time, especially when, upon closer perusal online, we discovered buttermilk fried chicken and blackened catfish on the menu. According to Teresa, the name Sugarfreak came from the original intent to make the place a bakery. I'm so glad they decided to ditch that idea.

At any rate, when we dropped by for dinner last night. we were immediately charmed by the interior. The "shower curtains," as it turns out, are actually vintage tablecloths that are also used for dividers between booths and on comfy back-pillows. Even the furnishings themselves made us drool - gorgeous antique kitchen tables and chairs that we wished we could sneak out with. We also were tempted to pocket the teeny mason jars used as salt and pepper shakers. And I was so in love with the bathroom: a bucket for a sink, colorful mardi-gras lights strung all around and a pull string toilet, I actually stayed a few minutes longer than I needed to and tried out a few Charleston steps to the Dixie-land music that was playing on a taped-shut CD player hanging from a towel rack. Sounds too kitschy? It somehow manages not to be, but rather walks the line between friendly family place and hip hangout. There were lots of well-behaved babies with their young moms and dads there the night we went - the place so crowded by the time we left at 8:00 we were glad our grown-up family had dined on the early side.

The food was good, but I'm not gonna say great. I tasted the fried chicken but still think I make better. The catfish was tender and delicious but I sensed a pre-made spice mixture was used. The sweet potato fries were probably the same frozen  brand I use, though I bake mine and they fry theirs. The mac and cheese was outstanding, however, and the chocolate bread pudding for dessert was so decadent I only had to smell it to know how wonderful it was. For a more complete assessment of the food, go to Teresa's review: http://bit.ly/wVVLLF because she tried many more things than we did. The service, though friendly, was a little slow, and when my husband ordered a salad, the server might have mentioned that another one came with the dinner, but the prices are right. Anyway, we liked it enough to definitely go back, and are looking forward to bringing out-of-town friends there. In a city (Astoria, Queens) where you could go to a different, great restaurant every night of the year and still not try them all, Sugarfreak is definitely a stand out.

Evaluation: 
Very sincere


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36-18 30th Avenue ASTORIA (718) 726 5850
Sugarfreak.com

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