Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jun 13, 1999 08:15 PM

Park Slope faves

  • s

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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.

    23 Replies
    1. 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
      is great.

      1. 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.

        1. 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
          garlic sauce!

          1. re: Cathy

            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!

            1. re: Josh

              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?

              1. re: Jo

                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.

                1. re: Mara G.

                  try the fried wontons at Rice, they are so incredibly addictive and delish! I am also a big fan of the Pad Kee Mow with tofu.

              2. re: Josh

                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
                valid category.)

                The winner will get an all-expenses-paid, "terrific"
                cup of coffee at the Purity!


                1. re: Peter Krass

                  This isn't a restaurant type, but a single item, so it
                  doesn't really count. But Little Red Hens has the
                  best/only chocolate crinkle cookies I've found in NYC.

                  1. re: MU

                    And killer baking powder biscuits on Saturdays. Get 'em
                    in the AM while they're hot.

                    1. re: MU

                      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 swallow (ha!)
                      does not make a restaurant.

                      So the Park Slope Challenge -- and its indigestible
                      grand prize -- are still very much in play.


                      1. re: Peter Krass

                        Hey, I *said* it didn't count. Picking on MY reading
                        skills? ;)

                    2. 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.

                      1. 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.)

                        1. re: Jeremy Osner

                          The patty place is still there, on the corner of
                          F'bush and Sterling, and as greasy and good as ever.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            But Josh, while I agree that the patties from that
                            shop are good, but are they so much better than others
                            around town that someone should make a special trip?
                            Don't think so.

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              I agree 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.

                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                I thought the GCdeJ got busted about 4 years ago as a
                                front for drug dealing.

                                1. re: Jeremy

                                  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.

                                  1. 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 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.


                                    1. 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.


                        2. 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.

                  2. 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
                    the neighborhood!

                2. 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.

                  1. 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 !

                    1. a
                      Annie Rodriguez

                      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....


                      8 Replies
                      1. 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.

                          1. re: Mario

                            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.

                        1. re: Annie Rodriguez

                          Tutta Pasta ?? You're kidding, right?

                          I think your judgement must be clouded by the fact
                          that it was the place where you first met hubby.

                          I can't wait for Giorgio to weigh in with his 2 cents.

                          1. 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.

                            1. 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?

                              1. re: Peter Cuce

                                Thanks Annie. We try our best.
                                Please See us at Savoia - 8905 3rd Ave - Bay Ridge
                                Coming Mid March

                              2. 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!

                                Annie Rodriguez

                              3. 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.