Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tea Time

After our filling meal at Yeti, I thought it might do us some good to walk a bit and look for a little something sweet. There's not much in the way of bakeries on the way down to the 40th St. stop, except La Vienesa Colombian Bakery, but I didn't want to relive my Buen Sabor experience, so I'll go there when I'm good and hungry. We almost gave up, David and I, but on the corner of 40th and QB there is a place called RA, and I have been curious about it since I made my initial exploratory trip. What could it be? It calls itself a cafe and lounge. Could it be a hookah place? Could I be lucky enough to have an Egyptian cafe on the trail? We decided to walk in. It is not an Egyptian place, and we were sort of confused as to what it was as we sat down on one of the couches. It is definitely less of a cafe and more of a bar. There was a couple sitting at the bar with drinks, and another couple sitting at one of the tall tables in the middle, picking at a plate of fries. The place was dark, the back half was very lounge-y with banquettes, and the music was fairly loud. The bartender came out and handed us menus, and I have not seen such an eclectic menu in quite some time. There were all sorts of items, from turkey burgers stuffed with apples to a falafel platter to their signature dessert: a chocolate mousse pyramid filled with molten caramel. For $7 an order, I wasn't able to solve the mystery of how one might fill something cold such as mousse with something hot such as molten caramel, since I had $5 cash and that was all I was willing to spend after dinner. But there was something so earnest about the place, and it didn't feel right to walk out, so I went up to the bar and ordered two teas. The bartender repeated the order, as if she didn't quite hear right, and perhaps that is the strangest thing possible to order in a place like that, but a few minutes later, a very nice runner came out with two plates that looked like this, and please forgive the picture, which was taken on my phone:It was quite the setup for a cup of tea, and we were both surprised and pleased. Our own pitcher of milk! Plus a rocher! The little things in life. Can a small chocolate and hazelnut candy make someone happy? The answer to that is a resounding yes. We finished our tea and chocolate, and when I walked up to the bar to pay, asked the manager/owner looking guy how long they've been open. Just a month, he said. I need to take a walk past the place on a Friday or Saturday night and see what really goes on. I'm not sure who their ideal clientele are, but whoever they may be, I hope they show up.

Ra Cafe and Lounge
3917 Queens Boulevard

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