Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brunch at Broken English

I went with some friends recently to Broken English, (68 Bergen St., between Smith & Court Streets, 718-488-3906), one of the newest spots to open up in Cobble Hill, and got a chance to check out their brunch menu. It's a pretty big space, with tables on the sidewalk as well (they need some kind of barrier to separate diners from pedestrians), with mis-matched chairs, exposed brick, and lots of black. We were all a bit disappointed with the offerings, as only three items on the menu were very Brunch-y/Breakfast-y. The service was a bit jumbled too, as it took a few requests for the waiter to bring us milk for our coffee.

I got the Eggs Benedicts (sic) with Prosciutto on Country Bread. The meat was good - slightly thick, well cured and fairly salty. There was only one slice of bread though, and that was chewy and tough to cut with the knife. The eggs were nicely poached and the Hollandiase sauce was good. However, I wasn't a fan of the potatoes, (there was some confusion since the menu listed hash browns, baked hash browns and home fries, but I think all three were the same thing), as they weren't crispy enough.

I shared the eggs and an order of French Toast with my husband. The French Toast was OK, kinda what you might make at home. Thin slices of bread (and only two pieces at that), eggy and fried, with a smattering of fruit on top. Kinda lame.

The only other breakfast-y Brunch item was an Eggs Any Style dish. None of us got that so I can't say how it is, but all in all we were kinda disappointed. Not outraged or anything, but not impressed. I think their dinner menu is better; I walked by one night and saw a delicious-looking chicken dish, so I'll try them again, but not for Brunch. At least for a while.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Breakfast at Pies 'n' Thighs

I think the trick to being able to eat at Pies 'n' Thighs (166 S.4th Street, at Driggs, 347-529-6090) is to go in the morning, for breakfast, when it's relatively empty, but lively with music and preparations for the day. I haven't tried to go for dinner in a while; those impossibly long lines scared me off, but when my husband and I went recently around 9am (they open at 8), the place was ours. And oh how happy we were!

I chose the Egg & Cheese Biscuit, with Bacon, natch. It truly was perfection on a plate. The biscuit was light & fluffy, yet dense and doughy and savory. The bacon was thick-cut, smoky and salty and provided the perfect contrast to the fried eggs with expertly runny yolks. (See above).

My husband got the Hippie, a Fried Egg Sandwich with sprouts, tomatoes, avocado and cheddar cheese on Whole Wheat Toast. This, too, was excellent. Every ingredient was fresh and flavorful and combined to create pure deliciousness. He also got a side of cheese grits, which they douse with tabasco sauce. They were good, but didn't compare to the amazingness of the sandwiches.

The interior of the new(ish) PnT is homey, country in the city, with mis-matched furniture, a chalkboard listing the menu, and accents of red & white gingham. Pure bliss.

Pies 'n' Thighs on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dinner at Mazzat

I recently discovered a little treasure that's been around for a while and I've just overlooked it somehow. Mazzat (208 Columbia St., at Sackett St., 718-852-1652) serves really good, tasty Mediterranean food at reasonable prices. It's a little off the beaten path and under the radar so it's never super crowded either. My husband and I went recently on a mild night, sat in the front where the glass doors open all the way to let the breeze and night air in. We started with a favorite of ours, Grilled Dates wrapped in Bacon. The dates were stuffed with blue cheese and were just divine. A perfect mixture of salty and sweet with a creamy and chewy texture.

We also got a side of Foul Moudammus, Fava Bean Puree serves with lemon, garlic, olive oil & cumin. It was a substantial portion, excellent with warm, slightly crispy pita, hearty and flavorful even if it's not photogenic!

Then we split an order of the Seafood Tagine with shrimp, scallop, salmon, calamari & tilapia stewed in tomato & herbs and served with a side of rice and salad. This was excellent. The stew was nicely spiced, and the pieces of seafood were tender and plentiful. I would have liked more scallops and less tilapia, but it was so good that minor complaint was easily overlooked.

I really liked Mazzat, and plan on adding it to our repertoire of restaurants we go to regularly. It's cozy too so it will be a perfect place to head to once the weather turns colder.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Food News!

I just got an email from the owners of a new business/cafe in Bushwick. It's called Next Door Shipping (78 Beaver St., between Park & Locust, 718-443-7447) and they are a family-run, full-service Post Office/Shipping Center AND Internet Cafe. They offer FedEx, UPS, mailbox rentals, printing & copying, office supplies and a "huge range of specialty packing & shipping services for artists, musicians & freelancers". Plus WiFi and a rotating collection of archival photographs of the history of the USPS. Where's the food you ask? Well, there's also coffee and fresh, home-baked pastries.

There's Babka, Rugelach, Danishes, sweet rolls and Biscotti! It sounds like an awesome place, and an excellent alternative to the sometimes hellish experiences we've all had at the USPS. I haven't been yet, but I'm looking forward to trying some of the Chocolate Babka! Let me know if you've been.

Then, on Septmeber 23rd, Greenpoint Open Studios is holding a Pie Bake-Off at The Diamond bar. It's free to enter and $10 to eat and enter their raffle, which has tons of awesome prizes donated by Paulie Gee's, EAT, Cafecito Bogota and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, among others. The Grand Prize winner gets to attend a dinner hosted by Edible Brooklyn Social Club. Send an email to: for more information or to sign up!

Greenpoint Open Studios takes places during the first weekend of October and is a three-day celebration of local art-making.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brunch at Brooklyn Label

It seems like Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin St., at the corner of Java St., 718-389-2806) has gone through a lot in the last few years. From solid neighborhood spot to mediocrity and back again to reliably excellent Brunch food. I went recently with a friend to see if all the rumors were true. I'm happy to report that it came through on all the hype. The menu was enormous, which made it difficult to choose. So many options - Ricotta Pancakes with fruit, Granola & Yoghurt, various Southwest-inspired egg dishes. Phew.

I settled on the Borderline Benedict - two poached eggs on top of chorizo, cushioned by blue-corn bread muffins. The blue-corn bread was slightly sweet and provided a nice contrast to the spicy meat and creamy, salty Hollandaise sauce. There was a large, quarter-sized piece of eggshell in my eggs that I unfortunately bit into, but it's a testament to the tastiness of the overall dish that I got over that shock and went on to finish my meal. The egg-whites were a touch runny too, but that blue-corn bread...Mmmmmm. There was also a slab of hash brown/potato pancake on the side, but that was neither here nor there.

My friend ordered the Cornmeal Waffle topped with poached eggs and gravy. It's a bland looking meal, all beige and yellow, but it was quite tasty. The waffle was very thick, but a nice change from the regular batter waffles. It was not any less filling though, and half-way through becomes a bit overwhelming. Perhaps it would have been better to share and compliment with a side of fruit.

Brooklyn Label proudly serves Stumptown Coffee, as well as a lovely assortment of juices & teas (Passionfruit Mango Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice), and has tables outside on the sunny sidewalk. A nice and solid neighborhood joint that's worth the trip from other parts of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Label on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch at Chavella's

Near the old Jewish Hospital on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights that was converted to apartments about 5 years ago sits Chavellas (732 Classon Ave., between Park Pl. & Prospect Pl., 718-622-3100), a Mexican restaurant with a narrow, wooden front porch that beckons you to come, sit, have some food. I went recently with a friend for lunch and was happy with what we discovered.

We started out with fresh Guacamole (natch!) and crispy corn tortillas. It was delicious - fresh, with chunks of tomato and cilantro sprigs. And the crispy corn tortillas were excellent. It was a bit pricey though.

I really wanted Horchata, but they were all out. Boo. But they did have Fish Tacos! The Pescado was full of flaky white fish, cabbage, pico de gallo and chipotle salsa. Drizzled with a little lime juice and...perfection! I also got the Carne Enchilada taco with pork, cilantro, pineapple and habanero. Whoo, that was spicy. The pieces of pineapple were a really nice touch and the meat was well seasoned, but the spice was too much for me.

My friend got an assortment of three tacos - the fish, Verduras (with roasted zucchini, squash, mushrooms and peppers, topped with lettuce and guacamole) and the Hongos con Rajas (mushrooms, poblano peppers and crema fresca). The veggies were plentiful and tasty, but the mushrooms and peppers was a bit underwhelming. Overall, very good.

It seems like a decent spot if you're in the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get there.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Holiday Weekend!

Happy Labor Day folks! Last chance to wear those white pants and white shoes! Cook and eat outdoors as much as possible. See you next week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Food News!

*I want to thank all of my followers, especially those of you who added Eat It Brooklyn during the time I wasn't positing regularly. That's Awesome!*

So, this Saturday, Mean Red Productions is hosting a South Carolina-style pig roast and sidewalk party in Williamsburg (50 N. 3rd Street, between Kent & Wythe). They're calling it Snout 'N Stout and they'll have craft beers, a whole hog smoker plus DJs and "lazy outdoor lounging". It all takes place from 6pm to 9pm. You can hang out for free, but if you want to eat, a plate of food will set you back $10 - $15. Sounds like an excellent way to spend the last days of summer.

THEN, on Sunday, September 5th, they're hosting their annual Food Truck Festival Parked, this year on Governors Island (I know, not technically Brooklyn, but one of the coolest spots in the city, and just so happens to be where I got married this summer!). The best of NYC's food trucks will be represented (German, Vietnamese, lobster, ice cream and MORE!)! The festival takes place from 12 Noon - 5pm and is free to get to and walk around.

There's also the Salsa Slam on Sunday, Sept. 12th at The Bell House. I believe last year's event sold out fast, so I'm posting now hoping there's still ticket availability. The fun takes place from 4pm - 7pm and costs $12, $15 at the door. This year 5 Burro Cafe is partnering up with Nachos NY to bring you this event. 5 Burro Cafe has been in Forest Hills for 30 years, and recently opened a restaurant on Columbia Street.