Park Slope faves
- Susan Marme Jun 13, 1999 08:15 PM
Having just moved here from the Heights, have been
very pleased to find that there are several swell
places that are cheap and good -
Coco Rocco on 5th Ave. at 6th St. - Peruvian, fabulous
chicken, lomo saltado much better than that at the
place on 9th Ave. in Manhattan
Java on 7th Ave at 16th St. - Indonesian, masterful
spicing and a huge set lunch - soto ayam (chicken
soup) and gado-gado, plus main course and rice, for
$7.50. Beef rendang transcendent.
Any suggestions from Slope residents or other Brooklyn
While there are plenty of good reasons to live in Park
Slope, great chow isn't one of them. I've lived in the
nabe off and on since the early '80s...and have found
myself almost always happier eating in another
neighborhood -- or cooking at home. That said, you do
have a few choices for a serious meal: Along Seventh
Ave, there's Max & Moritz to the south and Lemongrass
Grill to the north (but expect crowds at the latter,
and note that they've sprouted branches all over
Manhattan). Two Boots is fun with kids, but each time I
return, the food and service seem to get a little bit
worse. All the other restaurants along Seventh
basically offer something that you can get MUCH better
somewhere else. And ALL the Chinese restos are
phoney baloney. Ditto for the new Indian and Southern
joints. Avoid them unless desperate.
To be sure, Fifth Ave. has its pleasures (Cucina, Aunt
Susie, Coco Roco, Viejo Yayo, etc.), but unless you're
a realtor, I think that's stretching the definition of
Park Slope's boundaries.
re: Peter Krass
Are you kidding, Park Slope in the realtors terms
(and actually on the map) goes all the way to the canal
at 2nd Ave! But in stretching the boundaries the other
directior, Elora's at 17th St and Prospect Park West,
just over the Windsor Terrce border and near the movie
theater, is pretty darn good mexican food, great salsa
and chips. And Laura's Gourmet Italian Kitchen,
resplendent with Bensonhurst-type Italians that are
actually from Windsor Terrace, is at Prospect Ave, and
Vanderbilt St., and is as anti-yuppie Italian as they
come. REALLY good Italian-American food. And the new
Olive Vine, at 15th St and 7th Ave., is owned by the
same people that own Moustache on Atlantic Ave., which
re: Lisa R.
Thanks, we had brunch today at Eloras (prior to
reading your post). It is very enjoyable even if as
neophytes we didnt realize that there is an
airconditioned back room! It is one of those
restaurants that makes you happy for some inexplicable
reason (maybe that the staff is so nice, for one).
Made the long walk in the heat worthwhile.
Italian places noted and will try.
Thanks to all.
re: Susan Marme
I have to disagree on Elora's. I think it's a pretty
poor excuse for Mexican food.
However, I did venture out to Los Pollitos on 4th Ave.
in Sunset Park on Friday, and it was well worth the
trek. Nice atmosphere, and great guacamole, the sourest
lemonade ever (made in a blender). The gorditos were
wonderful (sort of a thick handmade tortilla topped
with the thinnest layers of beans, crema, tomatillo
salsa, and cilantro. Also, good rottisserie chicken.
Oh, and fried plantains (absolutely greaseless) with
From a 15-year PS vet: GO TO SMITH STREET FOR GOOD
Or, I give another vote to Al Di La on 5th ave or Mike
& Tony's albeit more $$$. Otherwise it's slim pickin's.
Might be the byproduct of the number of families with
young children in the Slope. They tend to be less picky
or don't eat out as much. Enjoy!
I tried Rice the Thai place on 7th Ave and 9th? and I
liked it much more than Lemongrass. It has similar
atmosphere and menu, but I found the food much
tastier. For some reason I find the food rather balnd
at Lemongrass. Also Red Hot Szechuan also on 7th Ave
is pretty good. They also have a vegetarian menu.
Mara, do you have the cross streets for Kar Luk on 5th?
Kar Luk is mostly take out, I believe, but I think they
are located betwen 7th and 8th streets on 5th Avenue.
I absolutely agree with you about Red Hot Szechuan on
7th Ave. and 10th St., but I prefer Lemongrass to Rice.
Lemongrass has nights when they are very good, others
when they are mediocre, and I invariably find eating
there to be better than ordering in. But the last 3 or
4 times I have been there, I have consistently had
excellent, satisfying meals. I'll try Rice again,
though, when I'm up there - thanks.
Gotta agree with Josh. When I read posts on this site
about "terrific" food in Park Slope, it makes me
wonder which PS we're talking about!
To all those who adore PS food, I propose a modest
challenge: Name one Park Slope restaurant that is
absolutely the best of its kind in the city. (And no,
"mediocre neighborhood eats run by amateurs" is not a
The winner will get an all-expenses-paid, "terrific"
cup of coffee at the Purity!
Your taste is admirable, but you may want to work on
your reading skills.
The challenge specifically stated that the winner will
have identified a Park Slope RESTAURANT that is
absolutely the best of its kind in New York City.
I agree that Two Little Red Hens Bakery creates some
delicious concoctions. But as its name plainly states,
it is a bakery, not a restaurant. Yes, they have a few
chairs and tables, but as you know...one swallow (ha!)
does not make a restaurant.
So the Park Slope Challenge -- and its indigestible
grand prize -- are still very much in play.
re: Peter Krass
I think your cup of coffee is safe.
To me, Park Slope gets the restaurants it (like any
other bedroom suburb) deserves. Did anyone go to the
outlet of Le Petite Crevette that opened briefly on
7th ave in the (now) Sweet Mama space? Why did we let
the quite estimable french bistro that preceded
Blockbuster on Flatbush Avenue fail? If Park Slope
doesn't recognize and support quality and heads for
manhattan for special meals, then we shouldn't be
surprised when mediocrity rules.
Finally, I am glad that some quality has recently been
added to Smith Street. Hopefully, we will see and
support some additions of a similar sort in the Slope
area to supplement Cucina, Al Di La, Coco roco et al.
But I for one am happy to be 15 minutes from
Chinatown, a short drive from Jackson Heights,
Atlantic Avenue, Coney Island Avenue and Brighton
Beach, and a short walk to many other chowhoundy
destinations. No one in the burbs can say the same.
re: Peter Krass
Certainly not "the best" but near the top in its
category is the patties shop on flatbush between 7th
and 8th Aves.
Caveat: I have not been there for several years; I
don't even know if it's still there let alone if it's
still as good as it was in, say, '95 or '96.
Thanks but I'll skip the New Purity. (Did you happen to
know, the "New Purity" on 7th Ave. is a branch of the
"Purity", I can't remember just where it is right now,
either in Elmhurst or Astoria; I happened on it about 3
years ago and did a bit of a double-take. Sadly it is
just as bad as its PS cousin.)
re: jen kalb
I agree Jen...am not sure why that place's patties have made such a stir among locals (though I adore the coconut turnovers they make there).
there's a similarly over-rated restaurant right across the street, the extremely mediocre "El Gran Castillo de Jagua" which
is one of the most beloved restaurants in NYC.
The dominican rest. Jim refers to I think is at
Carlton and Flatbush (there is another at Flatbush &
7th)is one of a whole group of restaurants under the
Grand Castillo de Jagua name which are or were at one
time under control of a family group. Those two on
Flatbush have been open continually since opening and
Ive never heard of any drug link to those places.
Unfortunately, even tho legit, the food isn't very
good, as Jim says, tho the roast pork smells so good I
have to restrain myself as I walk by. At this point,
there really isn't a good dominican/cuban eatery in
that area, which may be why people like these; they
havent had exposure to any better.
re: Jen Kalb
There IS good Caribbean Spanish food in the nabe...Eva's at 4th and
16th, is good puerto rican (though their quality wavers pretty
widely), and there is some good Dominican stuff around there on 4 and 5 Avenues--I had to try all of them once for an article...best was La FeÕs (941 Fourth Avenue, 788Ð0139) though I haven't been in years. But even up by Flatbush, there are decent choices...Castillo at the top of Sixth Avenue sucks a bit less than the others, El Viejo Yayo (622Ð8922) at 36 Fifth Avenue isn't bad, nor is Los Chorros, (46 Fifth Avenue, 230Ð5365), the Salvadorian next door.
re: Jim Leff
"va's at 4th and 16th, is good puerto rican (though
their quality wavers pretty widely), and there is some
good Dominican stuff around there on 4 and 5 Avenues"
woops! Eva's is not Dominican, it's Ecuadorian...and
it's not the place I meant to mention anyway. I was
thinking of TINA'S 234 4 Ave just south of Union, 718-
624-3361. the other "good Dominican stuff" I referred
to IS down near 16th street on 4 and 5, however.
re: Peter Krass
was about to respond to this, as being a bizarre and inequal challenge, as "the best" is subjective, PS is not the ethnic center to establish it in one way, nor the financial center to merit it another. HOwever PS certainly has a strong showing in many areas -- including, but not limited to tempo, aldila, convivium osteria, blue ribbon, then i realized the post was writen in 1999. However, I still object to his "the best" catorization.
re: Lisa R.
Both Russo's on 7th avenue bet. 10th & 11th and A&S
Pork Store on 5th Avenue bet. Carroll and Garfield have
PHENOMENAL fresh mozzarella cheese, and Russo's also
has a pretty wide variety of other take-out italian
fare, all very high quality.
In terms of restaurants, I would go with the
suggestions of Max & Moritz (for a more special meal as
it's a little pricey) and Lemongrass Grill (better,
I've found, than its Manhattan counterparts). Also,
12th Street Bar & Grill on 8th Avenue has a great early
bird special and quite good bistro-type food. Finally,
I've found Kar Luk on 5th Avenue to have the best
chinese, and Big Pizza Cafe on 7th Avenue has pretty
terrific thin-crust pizza. Happy eating and welcome to
I'm sorry you did not suggest Sotto Voce on the corner
of 7th Ave & 4th Str. Being a partner, you may find my
opinion "slightly" biased, but we do tend be busy ever
night of the week. That must say something. Try us and
let me know what you think.
Quite beyond the ordinary, and within the "stretch zone" ( gateway to South Brooklyn ), may I suggest Al De La on 5th Ave. at Carroll St.
Its been a long time since the body count at Russo's
funeral parlor exceeded the number recorded !
You absolutely must try Tutta Pasta on 7th Avenue
between Garfield and 1st Street. My husband took me
there when we first met and it still is our "favorite
restaurant". We also like La Cucina on 5th Avenue.
But there is nothing that can compare to the food at
Tutta Pasta. Try it and let me know what you think!
I am sure you will love it....
re: Annie Rodriguez
This sounds a little like the "where to eat in NYC"
thread, but IMHO, Cucina is a dependable,
quality-conscious, really nice place to eat (I take my
parents there when they visit me), and is two or three
light-years better than Tutta Pasta, a pallid,
mediocre, semi-chain joint. Although it's been at least
mediocre in my experience (been there twice), I have
friends in the neighborhood who have given it more
chances, and they say it's been consistently,
absolutely awful -- pasta either mushy or
crunchy/undercooked, unwashed greens, indifferent
Just my 2 cents.
I ment TUTTI SCHIVO.....I mean PASTA. Can any one in
their right mind say they are good, let alone ok.
Their sauce is a perfect excuse to chew on a rolaids.
The pasta would make better use a repair for that
errant peice of lose wallpaper. I've seen better
service from an ex-wife. Spinach salad - I've found
less sand in my thong saddles after a walk on Montauk
Now Cucina that's food.
re: Annie Rodriguez
I don't understand the raves about Tutta Pasta. It's a chain with not the greatest food. I used to go to the one in Hoboken when I lived there, because it was about as good as the rest of the bland places, but it's nothing special. For Italian, Sotto Voce is much better, and if you feel like walking down to 5th, Cucina is pretty good too. Another good place (for American food) is Max & Moritz on 7th between 14th & 15th.
re: Peter Cuce
Boy do I ever agree about Tutta Pasta. When I lived in the Village, too many years ago, I very happily bought their fresh pasta products and they were wonderful. To have quick fresh pasta in my home easily was, in those days, a novelty. I was really happy when they started serving meals-- until I ate one. I gave them several chances over years in several locations, but wouldn't bother ever ever again. Just ordinary, lackluster food cooked without much thought. What a waste!
For tasty Italian, what about Al di La on 5th Ave?
re: Annie Rodriguez
Well guys I must take everything that I wrote about Tutta Pasta back. It's been approx 5 years since my husband and I last had dinner there and it was an absolute disaster. We waited for about 20 minutes for the waiter to take our order (and there was only one other couple in the restaurant) and then there was an additional delay and they bought out the wrong order. The waiter actually followed my husband and I outside of the restaurant asking "Why we left such a small tip?" Can you believe that? I was appalled. Needless to say, we never returned. I was in denial for a long time, but have finally come to terms with the fact that it sucks!
Tutta Pasta cannot compare with Cucina. Having just
tried a wonderful new dish there this week (Basil
Pesto Risotto & Shrimp), I will be hitting my speed
dial and ordering again real soon.
And there's another plus: Cucina (unlike Aunt Suzie's
right across the street and other closer restaurants)
DO deliver to those of us in Prospect Heights.