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Sour Cream-Topped Doughnuts and Decent Apple Strudel at Romanian Garden

[Photographs: Max Falkowitz]

The savory offerings at Romanian Garden, grilled meats and vegetable dips, tend to taste like the blander, fattier versions of what you'll find at Sunnyside's better Turkish and Lebanese restaurants. But this cafe has some charming outdoor seating on a quiet stretch of 43rd Avenue, and it's a more than pleasant place to hit up for coffee and dessert. Case in point: doughnuts topped with sour cream and jam.

Papanasi ($4) are doughnuts made with a mild cheese; here they're freshly fried with a slight cultured tanginess. True, they could be a little lighter, a smidge less chewy, but I stopped nitpicking when I had my first bite of doughnut, loose sour cream, and cherry jam all on the same fork. The doughnuts are refreshingly light on sugar, an afternoon snack that won't set you out of sorts.

Romanian Garden also makes a decent Apple Strudel ($3) with a crust that's less buttery than it could be but flaky all the same. The dense, sweet apple and cinnamon filling has surprising depth, with nubby bits of walnuts adding necessary crunch. Not a perfect apple strudel, but a very satisfying one.

That's how I think about Romanian Garden as a whole, actually. But for dessert it does just fine.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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