One of the pleasantest places to eat in Astoria is the Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe at the corner of 15th Street and Duane Avenue. Occupying half of an older Astoria concrete building, this place has an atmosphere like no other. It's built into the side of a hill, which is not so unusual for this town, but it does lend charm. The walls are . . . well, you can see for yourself. The decor is funky. The space is spacious. The views are riverine. The smells are delicious, and the tastes are even more so. It's run as a workers' collective. You can borrow and read the New York Times or any number of other papers and magazines you don't see on every street corner in Astoria. The owner/workers are friendly, and they think "Community" with a capital "C." They have a program called Bread Equity, which you can read about on their fascinating web site, linked above. (Check out their gallery; 40 types of bread? And those are only the ones they have photos of!) One thing I'm not sure about is how they got their name. Do they have a temperamental indigo oven that runs a little hot? (Ah, mystery solved.) One warning: Don't go in unless you intend to get hooked.
Here's a review and some photos by someone who loved it.