Sugar Rush: Free Loukmades (Greek Doughnuts) Make the Meal at Telly's Taverna

Sugar Rush

Your daily dose of something sweet.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

For a while I've wondered how to write about Astoria's Greek tavernas. Is there one that's better than all the others? Does one kitchen do a superlative octopus? Who's making the best Greek sausage?

The problem, it seems to me, is that these restaurants are more alike than they are different, and I've yet to encounter anything close to a consensus on the best. Telly's Taverna is my neighborhood joint of choice, mostly for their superior vegetables and dips. But it's the loukmades that win me over.

Every night except Saturday, your meal ends with a complimentary plate of puffy yeast doughnuts swimming in honey and topped with cinnamon. They're pleasantly uneven—crisp, crunchy tails jumbled with soft doughy bellies—in a dessert that's more fried dough than yeast doughnut hole. The loukmades have a thin, crisp shell that cracks like a creme brulee topping, letting the warm honey soak through without turning the doughnuts soggy.

The kitchen scales the portion to the size of the table. It's always enough to satisfy, but never truly enough.