Not Your Grade School Cafeteria.

Last night I did not have a drink at Cafeteria… I had the entire drink menu. Yes… the entire drink menu. I know that sounds pretty insane, and believe me, it was. So why would I do such a thing, you may ask? The answer to that is simple: It was research. For you. So be appreciative because I have a lot of information for you… here we go…

FACT: Today is August 12th… What does that mean? Only six weeks left until autumn starts.

FACT: Cafeteria (17th street & 7th ave) has a fabulous summer drink menu AND an amazing outdoor cafe.

FACT: Everybody loves Cafeteria… and I mean EVERYBODY. (Unless you are 1. Homophobic, and therefore are silly 2. Trying to lose weight, and therefore are resentful of their Mac and Cheese or 3. Have bad taste or faulty taste-buds, and therefore The Frogge can’t help you.)



The Frogge loves Cafeteria for a few reasons. It is open 24 hours and is fun day or night, the food is YUMMY, they play great, eclectic music, the servers are hot, and it is affordable. How can you go wrong? You can’t… Also… the tables are so close together that you can easily eavesdrop on your neighbors conversation, which is always fun… especially when they are talking about dirty things. [Insert mischievous smile here.] Plus, there are frequent celebrity sightings there… To be completely honest, The Frogge does not really care about this… The Frogge is not a Celebrity Whore, but incase you are a Celebrity Whore… here is an abridged list of celebs that The Frogge has seen at Cafe… Susan Sarandon (classy,) Adrian Grenier (discreet,) David Blaine (accompanied by two models who literally did not touch their food,) Kelis & Nas (very smily with some cute kids,) Lindsay I’m a Dumb Bitch Lohan (who did coke under the table,) Paris Hilton (The Frogge likes tall ladies,) Mariah Carey (causing quite a stir among the gays,) Jessica Zhor (really is that pretty in real life,) Adrian Brody (low key and casual,) Leighton Meester (practically in her PJ’s and very sweet,) Blake Lively (cold)… and one of The Frogge’s favorite actors… Wallace Shawn… Oh, I love him… He played Mr. Hall in Clueless… I heard he is on Gossip Girl now? The Frogge wouldn’t know… as she does not XOXO Gossip Girl… I tried to get into it, I couldn’t… Blake Lively does not do it for me… I find her work untruthful and one-note. However, I do have to say that I like the girls who play Nelly Yuki and Penelope. And yes, Chuck Bass and Blair are hot… but other than that, it’s Grade A Bologna.

The cafe at Cafeteria

The cafe at Cafeteria

So, as I said, last night I was at Cafeteria and my dear friends Clark Gale (manager) and Jennifer Castillo (head mixologist) bravely took me on a guided tour through their summer cocktail menu… Here are some of my favorites…

FARMER’S MARKET SANGRIA (The Ellen Degeneres) I have named the Farmer’s Market Sangria after Ellen because it is bold and progressive… and it is a great thing to enjoy in the afternoon… just like Ellen’s show. It is made with white wine that is from a local winery and it is organic (Yay!) The apples, white peaches, and raspberries that are in this refreshing, crisp and surprisingly strong sangria are also grown locally and are organic as well (double Yay!) We (The Frogge, Clark, and Jenny) decided that it would pair nicely with the Fig Salad or the Crispy Cornmeal Calamari.

Next, I tried the INFERNO BLOODY MARY and let me just say that it blows all other Bloody Mary’s away. I have named this cocktail after Eva Mendes because it is hot and spicy! Jenny made it for The Frogge table-side, and creating this drink is quite the impressive procedure. First Jenny put a fresh, whole jalapeño in the glass… then she ‘misted’ the inside of the glass with bourbon. She lit a match, which set the bourbon on fire… and this cooked the jalapeño in the glass… forcing it’s juices to extract. (This procedure is called to ‘flambé the jalapeño.’) After the jalapeño is flambéed, Jenny poured ice in the glass to cool it down… she then adds the vodka and the freshly home-made tomato juice mixture. And ta-daah! You have the most amazing Bloody Mary ever. Of course this is simply perfect to have at brunch (with the Farmer’s Frittata or the Monterey Eggs, to be specific.) But we also thought that it would pair nicely with the Prince Edward Island Mussels.

I am not quite sure how I went from the Bloody Mary to the LYCHEE AND LAVENDER MARTINI… but it happened… and it was delicious. Normally The Frogge doesn’t even like lychee… but the lavender flavor did something nice to it. I am naming this drink after Jennifer Aniston because it is classy, sweet, very feminine, and I think most Americans would enjoy it, the way most Americans enjoy Jennifer Aniston. This cocktail is a triple threat because it has it all. 1. A delicious lemony taste. 2. A fabulous lavender aroma. And 3. A tasty lychee texture. To top it all off, the lychee and lavender martini is made with an organic vodka called Rain. It also has the most beautiful garnish. They take a large basil leaf and put ‘lychee caviar’ on it. It is really very beautiful. We decided that this cocktail would pair nicely with Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata… Mmm… The Frogge is getting hungry writing this article.

After tasting all these different flavors, I wanted to try something a little more subdued, so I went for the ALOE CITRUS MARTINI. This drink seemed a little more masculine to me, so I named it after Ryan Gosling. He is plain and simple, but at the same time, he has a great appeal, and that is exactly how I felt about the Aloe Citrus Martini. It is made with fresh aloe juice, fresh lemon juice, Bulldog Gin, and garnished with a lemon twist. We thought this drink would be the perfect compliment to the Seared Yellowfin Tuna appetizer or the Grilled Mahi Mahi entree.

Since the Aloe Citrus Martini was made with gin, it seemed natural to try another gin cocktail next, so I choose the CUCUMBER MARTINI. The Cucumber Martini is made with my favorite gin, Hendrick’s gin, a fresh cucumber puree, triple sec, and a splash of lime. It is served up and is as cool as a cucumber… which is why I am naming it after George Clooney. To contrast with the cool, we thought it would be great to pair it with something spicy like the Spicy Roasted Chicken, or something very flavorful like the Crab Crusted Halibut.

After being low-key and cool with the Aloe Citrus Martini and the Cucumber Martini… I wanted to go back to big flavor, so I tried the BLACKBERRY CARDAMON MARGARITA. This drink is definitely not for everyone because it is so different, but thats what I loved about it. I have never had a cocktail that had the spice cardamon in it… which is why I am naming this cocktail after Freido Pinto… the cute chick from Slumdog Millionaire. Something about this spice reminded me of India… and then I thought of Slumdog. There is something about this cocktail that is very warm and passionate. We thought it would go lovely with the Almond Stuffed Dates, the Crispy Baked Polenta, or the Smoked Double Cut Pork Chop… After all, most people in India do not eat beef… so we felt it was only natural to suggest pork.

Almond Stuffed Dates

Almond Stuffed Dates

Last but not least… The Frogge’s personal favorite, the PASSION FRUIT CAIPIRINHA. Cafeteria is well known for their Passion Fruit Cosmo… which is sooo delicious. It is their staple cocktail and will probably stay on their menu forever (I would probably have to name the P.F. Cosmo the Carrie Bradshaw.) No one is dissing the P.F. Cosmo, but the P.F. Caipirinha is kind of like the new, fresh, updated version. It is made with Leblon Cachaca, fresh muddled passion fruit and garnished with an edible flower (that tastes really good!) It is the ultimate girly drink, which is why I am calling it the Katy Perry… because she is a girl and… she kissed a girl and… she liked it. (Incase you forgot.) When you drink the P.F. Caipirinha, you need to go all out so get the Mac And Cheese… or get really nuts and get the Mac Attack (which is a tasting of the three varieties of Mac And Cheese that Cafeteria offers.)

Mac Attack! (Pretty please make a vegan version!)

Mac Attack! (Pretty please make a vegan version!)

There are many other cocktails on Cafeteria’s cocktail list, however those were my favorite because I felt that they were the most innovative, interesting, and yummy. By the way, if you do not drink alcohol, do not feel left out by any means! Cafeteria offers a list of Mocktails as well! The Blackberry Lemonade is so delic, that I want to bathe in a tub of it… not to be dramatic or anything. The bottom line is, they have a drink for everyone… and a dish for everyone too. The restaurant has been open since 1998, but if you haven’t managed to make it over there yet, now is the time to go. Their outdoor area is so nice and very dog friendly! They will even give you doggie treats and a bowl of water for your pups. So, if you head over to Cafeteria, tell Clark, Jenny, and the whole gang that The Frogge says Ribbit!

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤

PS- To become a friend of The Frogge on Facebook CLICK HERE!

PPS- My good friend Doug Rand will be DJing at Above Allen tonight at 10 p.m. If you are on the LES go check him out… The gem of a host Tim Sharp will be there as well.


One Response to “Not Your Grade School Cafeteria.”

  1. I greatly enjoyed getting to be your guest for this lovely taste testing party. The drinks were indeed delicious. Lavender and Lychee Martini was my personal favorite. Thank you for inviting me along. Cafeteria was one of my first experiences when I first moved to New York, so I like the spot for sentimental reasons. Plus, they have filling mac and cheese when it’s 3AM and we are starving from dancing all night. Great article. XOXO

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