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Astoria Cafe and Bakery

Astoria Cafe and Bakery
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  • Astoria Cafe and Bakery

    Post #1 - March 13th, 2018, 6:40 pm
    Post #1 - March 13th, 2018, 6:40 pm Post #1 - March 13th, 2018, 6:40 pm
    Having recently moved, exploring my new neighborhood has been rewarding. All sorts of places I'd never heard of/been to, with this one @ the top of my list @ the moment. Their back story a common one for anyone from another country. Ingenuity, resilience and tenacity being key ingredients to surviving.

    Originally from the Balkans, when both parents lost their jobs in the car industry in Detroit, Chicago was a logical move. Years later, Mama's in back cooking, while daughter Tanja runs the front. And God damn is this good... and cheap. Komplet Lepina aka flatbread w/everything, is like an eggs benedict on steroids, sub Serbian cream cheese for eggs, w/pork fat and trimmings involved, stuffed into flatbread and baked to supreme gooeyness. Image I saw someone eating it and asked about it. Apparently, it’s from his village and they’re the only ones that make it in a restaurant. Sarma was filled w/meat and rice in thick tomato sauce and garnished w/well smoked pork ribs; Image and the Pusulj, a formidable bean soup w/more aforementioned ribs, which as you can see, are a bit of a motif. Image There's burek baked to order (30 min wait time) a dozen crepes, brunch on the wkend, and a bakery.

    I've concentrated more on the savory side, as I go for lunch and is less than a minute from my door. What sweets I've had though have been well balanced, fruity but not overly sweet. Nice texture, crumb or creaminess... They're known for their Moskva šnit torta which is what I'm describing here. Nutella is big as well w/a few items containing it.

    All and all (for me @ least) the embodiment of what LTH is about and why I've kept active on it for over a decade. For places like this and people like you.

    Astoria Cafe and Bakery
    2954 Irving Pk
    773.654.1033
    10-6, closed Mondays
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - March 15th, 2018, 4:43 am
    Post #2 - March 15th, 2018, 4:43 am Post #2 - March 15th, 2018, 4:43 am
    Komplet Lepina is calling my name!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - March 21st, 2018, 6:57 pm
    Post #3 - March 21st, 2018, 6:57 pm Post #3 - March 21st, 2018, 6:57 pm
    Astoria Café & Bakery one visit and I’m in love, mom in the kitchen has a way with dough, crisp flaky Burek, rich Komplet Lepina filled with Kajmak, pork fat and eggs. Plus baked Mantije which are evocative of knish.

    Tanja Jeftenić (daughter) personable front of the house. Soups, sweets, salads in a spotless cheery space. Four hearty eaters were deliciously felled for $53. Thanks Jazzfood / Alan Lake for introducing us to this neighborhood gem.

    AstoriaLTH2.jpg Komplet Lepina

    AstoriaLTH4.jpg Burek

    AstoriaLTH5.jpg Mantije
    AstoriaLTH3.jpg Tanja Jeftenić


    Astoria Cafe and Bakery, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - April 28th, 2018, 3:00 pm
    Post #4 - April 28th, 2018, 3:00 pm Post #4 - April 28th, 2018, 3:00 pm
    Sula says go: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/astoria-cafe-irving-park-serbian-bakery-komplet-lepinja/Content?oid=46402072
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #5 - May 5th, 2018, 11:43 am
    Post #5 - May 5th, 2018, 11:43 am Post #5 - May 5th, 2018, 11:43 am
    Finally made it in for a lunch and really enjoyed it. We had several of the dishes pictured upthread, some of which appear to have changed a bit, mostly notably the Sarma, which didn't have any ribs but did have some very smoky hunks of meat served with it. It was solid, as was the bean soup, which did include 3 very meaty pork ribs. But the highlights were the Meat Burek and the Komplet Lapina which was a show-stopper and heart-stopper all at once . . .

    Image
    Sarma (Stuffed Cabbage)
    Very tasty. No ribs here but some nice chunks of cured, smoked meat riding shotgun.

    Image
    Pusulj (Bean Soup with Pork Ribs)
    In spite of all the cured and smoked meat in this tasty and very generous bowl, maybe it could have used a touch of salt. There was none on the table and I felt bad asking for it. It could have been a touch warmer, too.

    Image
    Komplet Lepina
    The star of the show. We just loved this rich and unctuous dish. From the top of the crispy, pork-covered lid to the bottom of the bread bowl, this was terrific. Note that the cured meat on the side was fairly chewy and bacon-like, not the thinner, ham-like stuff shown upthread, and described in Sula's piece. I guess this simply changes based on what's in-house at the time one orders it.

    Image
    Komplet Lepina, open
    The glorious innards!

    Image
    Meat Burek
    Super crispy and flavorful dough

    Image
    Meat Burek
    Tasty, savory meat filling

    We also saw a very nice club sandwich and ham & cheese crepe heading to other tables, so there's clearly a lot more to try here. Plus there are bureks with other fillings, like spinach, cheese and potato. Service was casual and extremely friendly. We'll be back sooner than later.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - May 23rd, 2018, 6:17 pm
    Post #6 - May 23rd, 2018, 6:17 pm Post #6 - May 23rd, 2018, 6:17 pm
    Finally made it here. Komplet lapina (very flavorful), Serbian Village crepe (crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, with many flavors from smoked meat and cheese), delightful light cabbage salad, and not-too-sweet creampuff at the end. Everything's already been said in this thread, so let's just say I need to return for the sarma, sausages, and the tiramisu made with nutella, among other things. Tanja is as personable as you'd imagine, and the whole experience was relaxing and pleasant, not to mention delicious. The pictures in this thread are back up by taste, so this is a recommended place.
  • Post #7 - October 6th, 2018, 11:32 am
    Post #7 - October 6th, 2018, 11:32 am Post #7 - October 6th, 2018, 11:32 am
    With coolness in the air, I've begun to crave the slightly more substantial food this place delivers quite well. With mama in back cooking and daughter in front serving it's an LTH kinda place. Suggest giving it a try and supporting their efforts. No doubt you'll leave full and happy.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

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