The name “Swing the Teapot” recalls the old Irish custom of a communal cup of tea and to "swing the teapot" means pass the teapot to the next person. Anyone who knows how dedicated the Irish are to their cuppa knows that failure to swing the teapot is a bad mark right away.
There is lots of different teas to swing at “Swing the Teapot” in Floral Park on the Queens/Long Island border.
Tea lovers, have you ever pined for as many flavors of tea as there are of coffee these days? Want to have the choice of 32 kinds of tea?
How about that authentic Irish breakfast atmosphere with a morning paper, a delicious cup of tea or coffee, and a window to gaze out on the world passing by?
I recently had some time to pass on a Saturday morning in Floral Park and I had heard rave reviews about “Swing the Teapot” owned by Cavan native Shane Moynagh and wife Ann, who were childhood sweethearts, falling in love when Ann visited Ireland every year on vacation. The couple also had a wonderful Irish bakery in Queens a few years back, which became a household word for Irish comfort food and fresh products.
It was time to pay a visit to 6 Verbena Avenue, off Tulip Avenue, and see what the fuss was about.
“Swing the Teapot” is located in a cozy little village street which features a couple of Irish bars and small local stores. It is right beside the LIRR if the hunger for a good breakfast becomes too much and you want to grab one right away.
“Swing the Teapot” is even an improvement on Shane’s Bakery. The atmosphere is Irish without being overpowering. The menu featured the 32 different brands of tea, including my own favorite, the Irish Breakfast, though I was tempted to try the blackcurrant, raspberry, or ginger peach tea.
The menu itself is a calorie buster if you go for the full Irish, which, of course, I could not resist. You pay a little extra for the authentic Irish bacon, sausage, and black and white pudding but believe me, they're worth it in spades.
The restaurant was quite busy on the morning I was there, but the service was excellent and pleasant and the atmosphere couldn't have been more comfortable. They also serve lunch and dinner at weekends and have a live band on Friday and Saturday.
But go for the breakfast first.
The real Irish soda bread, the real brown bread—baked on the premises—the banana-nut pancakes, the ginger-peach tea, that I tried for the heck of it, were all wonderful. And I’m determined to try at least ten of the hand-mixed teas I haven’t tasted yet.
So take that Starbucks.
As I said, the best Irish breakfast in America.
Where do you head when you're in dire need of a good, hearty Irish breakfast? Let us know of your favorites in the comments section, below.
You'll find Swing the Teapot at: Swing the Teapot 6 Verbena Ave. (off Tulip Ave.), Floral Park, NY 11001, (516) 488-2180.