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There arent too many cyber cafes about. And there certainly arent many soul food cyber cafes. Thirst Quenchers in Queens Village may be the first. Dalia, a former social worker who does the cooking for dinner diners using Grandmas recipes, got hooked on the idea in Manhattan, and further research when visiting California, confirmed it. Now she runs Thirst Quencher and her daughter Michelle get up at 2:30 a.m. to be the breakfast cook every day. Daughter Ebony is a waitress along with very tall niece, Nancy. Her son Michael helps out, too.
Thirst Quencher Cyber Cafe, now open a year and a half, has seating for 60 arranged along two walls of a super-long dining room. Black leather chairs are interspersed along one wall with three computers in between. (An applicant was using one for her resume as I ate.) Two black sofas and a coffee table create a little foyer at the entrance. There are white tile floors throughout, light plum table cloths and soft gray walls. The bar is mod and black with a handsome TV screen strategically placed for viewing. Jaunty pink plumes in painted vases are at each table. The look is delightfully fresh.
Locals can start the day with a breakfast featuring the incredible egg. (Michael makes every conceivable omelet including those with egg whites.) Yes, there are grits(white), salmon cakes, porgies and corned beef hash on the menu.
Lunch features salads, sandwiches (rib, turkey or ham), hot wings and burgers (turkey, veggie or beef). Have a passion fruit quencher, a special kiwi concoction or a yogurt peach smoothie.
Come dinner, Thirst Quenchers garden delight makes a great first course. Its served in an individual bowl with lettuce on the bottom totally hidden by an array of tiny fresh, broccoli florettes, halved cucumber slices and diced tomato. My dressing choice was Dijon honey mustard, one of Grandmas recipes and was it good!
If youre an appetizer-must person, the delightful croaker sandwich I had for lunch would work well as a starter a deep fried croaker, open faced, on wheat bread with a simple tartar sauce. (Very splitable.) Salmon cakes or those hot wings would work well as appetizers, too.
For entrees, let me run down the ones weve sampled. Georgia style (Dalia is from Atlanta and North Carolina) barbecued ribs. Baby backs are boiled first, dried, then baked with a thin, sundried tomato and paprika sauce. Theres nothing browned or charred or fat about these ribs which makes them uniquely different. (The ribs are also served as a sandwich.) With the ribs, I had collards bright
The roast chicken (actually baked) has a cornbread stuffing with a hint of powdered thyme and a light, luscious gravy served on the side with sweet potatoes and collards cooked beyond the light green stage. Turkey wings (the upper meaty section) had sides of yellow rice and green beans. The green beans are stir fried with thyme, marjoram and oregano, and spiked with a bit of nutmeg. Beef stew, with carrots and potatoes in a brown gravy is usually served with yellow rice.
Dessert here is old fashioned layer cake, homemade, the kind you never see any more two layers, frosted. Period. Dalia rotates between chocolate, vanilla (my dessert), lemon and pineapple coconut. When pineapple coconut is on the menu and the word gets out, regulars are sure to hurry over. Jell-o is red, fruity tasting with a hint of cinnamon and has just the right quiver.
Coffee is featured at Thirst Quenchers: Brazil Santos, Colombian, organic Mexican, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopian Yoirgacheffe, Jamaican Blue Mountain. French roast was the coffee at my first visit, Colombian the next.
Sunday is the big day at the Cyber Cafe. Breakfast is served from 10:30 a.m. At 2:30 p.m. the dinner buffet begins. Theres even a separate room beside the kitchen for the display and its only $9.99 with all the sides and desserts. As for takeout, it comes in a rectangular tray with a corn muffin, Thirst Quenchers featured bread, naturally. These takeouts packed in a black sack are chic to transport to a picnic, ball game or whatever, thirst Quenchers closes at seven-thirty and at two on Tuesday. Takeout is the way to go then.
Service at Thirst Quenchers Cyber Cafe is all smiles. The three who served on two visits never stopped. Its an upbeat thing.
The Bottom Line
Soul food in a colorful high tech setting. Service with a smile. Grits and down South favorites at breakfast. Barbecue rib (Georgia style) sandwiches for lunch, then dinner til 7 p.m. Sunday breakfast and dinner buffet.
Roast chicken (roasted covered with corn bread and herb stuffing and chicken gravy)...$9.99
Barbecue ribs (Georgia style)...$9.99
Chili with yellow rice (3 different beans, sun dried tomatoes and Cajun spices)...$4.99
Macaroni and cheese (3 different cheeses)...$3.50
Pan-fried fish (special spices in batter)...$8.99
Honey turkey sandwich (with Dijon honey mustard dressing on Kaiser Roll)...$4.25
Pan-fried fish sandwich (open face)...$3.50
Pineapple coconut layer cake...$3.50
Cuisine: Soul food
Setting: Attractive cyber cafe
Service: All smiles
Hours: Breakfast, lunch & dinner 6 days. (Close 7 p.m. & Tues 2 p.m.). Sunday: Bkft 10 a.m. Dinner buffet 2:30 p.m.
Parking; Municipal lot by LIRR station
Location: Four blocks W of Cross Island Pkwy.
Dress: Neat casual
Credit cards: Cash only
Private parties: To 60
Off-premise catering: Yes
Children: Will accommodate
Noise level: Fri & Sat night, low
Handicap access: Yes
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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