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Café Boulis in Astoria, NYC

January 29, 2013

Cafe Boulis Astoria New York NYC
On a sunny morning in Astoria, Queens, you can walk down the street and walk into another country.

If you are craving a perfectly made cappuccino, or a savory cheese-filled pastry, then walk into Café Boulis on 31st Avenue and 31st Street. Its orange walls and homey decor greet you like a warm hug from Grandma, as does the ebullient Greek woman working behind the counter.

“Do you serve espresso?” you may ask her, already knowing (of course) the answer.

“Yes, we serve the best kind: Nespresso,” she would reply.

As she bustles behind the counter, preparing your drink, you feel yourself sized up by the burly Greek men lingering at the narrow bar against the wall. They speak comfortably, casually with each other in a language you don’t understand.

Cafe Boulis Loukomades

You gaze at the pastries occupying one wall. You first came to Café Boulis a month ago to try Loukoumades, their specialty, on a sleepy December Sunday with out of town guests. As you ate the small, sweet, greasy donuts, you felt a mixture of gratitude and pride: grateful that you found yourself, almost by accident, living in a beautiful village in which you can be transported to another world by walking only a few blocks from your doorstep. Walk in the other direction, and you approach the skyline of New York City’s Upper East Side. And proud that you could offer such a cosmopolitan treat to your guests, a worldly and well-traveled Venezuelan-Bulgarian couple, before sending them home on the train, back to New Jersey. They ate a spinach pie and a cheese pie; after tasting both, you knew you had to order one, but it was almost impossible to choose which.

Next your gaze wanders to the glass case of cookies in front of you. Last month, as you and your guests munched on pastries and donuts, the young girl working behind the counter offered you cookie after cookie to taste. Cookies drenched in butter and honey.

Greek Cookies at Cafe Boulis in Astoria Queens New York City NYC

But on this day, you pass up the food, take your cappuccino, and walk out the door.

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