Sunday, April 17, 2011

Columbus Circle Neighborhood Gem -- AQ Kafe

I've walked by AQ Kafe hundreds of times, but never thought to go in, so when a friend invited me for breakfast last week, I had no idea I was in for quite a treat!

The cafe is sandwiched (pun intended) between Lenscrafters and Grom, across from the TW Center and Whole Foods.  I'm usually running by to enter Central Park, or trying to ignore the pull of Grom (and that fabulous dark chocolate sorbet) so I never thought twice about the Kafe.

The storefront of AQ Kafe is very simple -- you can walk in and grab a sandwich or pastry and a cup of something hot, and be on your way. If you have time to linger, though, you can sit in the cafe and be waited on by a serviceable staff, and enjoy a wonderful hot meal or a Swedish danish.

For breakfast last week I had a wonderful egg white omelet with tomatoes and vegetables, and a light Swedish cheese.  My friend had a parfait with homemade granola and fruit.  Lovely food, but not really extraordinary. The clincher was that slice of Kardemummakrans (say that three times fast!)  It's a wonderful brioche bread with almond creme and cardamom.

Other dishes we didn't try -- I think I have to work up (or planned to work off!) -- included the Lingonberry Danish, the Apple Berliner, or the pancakes with lemon curd and stewed blueberries.

AQ cafe also has a catering company, and you can order sandwiches and pastries for an event (212-462-0005).  I can't wait for an excuse to order the Budapest Log with hazelnut meringue, or the Princess Cake with Bavarian Creme.

Now I need to go work out to counteract even the thought of indulging -- maybe I'll do a run in Central Park and accidentally stop at AQ on the way back...