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May 15, 2000 03:40 PM

Park Slope update

  • c

1) Uncle Luigi's ices, of Coney Island Avenue, is now on 7th Avenue b/w 8th and 9th streets. Hooray!

2) If we don't eat at Bonnie's Grill (5th Ave b/w 1st and 2nd) it could end up in Chow Heaven with Sal's Pizzeria of Bay Ridge. Where else can you get authentic Buffalo (N.Y.) cuisine in New York City? Bonnie prepares his food with such love and care that I find myself crying (joyfully) after receiving my plate.

3) I ate at Al di La last week. It was as good as ever. Before dinner, I spoiled my appetite with an empanada from the lady on 5th avenue at 11th street. It was amazing.

4) Question: Has anyone eaten at that restaurant on Vanderbilt Avenue and Prospect Place? Not the Garden Cafe (GREAT date restaurant). There's a new one, on the east side of the street, and it looks very interesting. I don't even know what it's called, or what kind of chow they serve.


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  1. I too appreciate Bonnie's Grill.

    Small nitpick: it bugs me that they bill their food as "spicy" when it's really not. I ordered chicken wings "HOT", and they barely caused a tingle. They told me to add hot sauce from one of the many jars - but that's just not the same!

    They do have really good burgers. What else do you like there, Chris?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      We ate at Bonnie's recently and would recommend the pulled pork sandwich and the grilled salmon over greens with guacamole (though the latter may have been a special that night and not regularly on the menu). Both were delicious.

      1. re: Susan

        I will say that it is great to hop onto Chowhound and see these wonderful reviews for Bonnie's Grill. I hope that I get to hear from more of you out there and I will take your suggestions to heart. If you like it hot, please make sure you point that out. I will be very happy to crank that heat up. I must say that sometimes I do fear hurting some people that may not know what burning fire a Buffalo boy can create. So keep coming on down and lots of love to all from Bonnie.

        1. re: Anthony----(Bonnie)

          As long as you have been "outed" and accept feedback- can we persuade you to offer more "kid Friendly' fare. For those of us whose lives are governed by culinary compromises to the likes of finicky kids. No, I don't expect you to provide a toy with every meal, but I could be a regular if you had more choices- kids seem not to like charred burgers the way us grownups do... Admittedly, I should try to get a life and an evening sitter, but my kids are well behaved enough- just not as adventurous as I would like them to be....AMY

          1. re: Amy
            Leslie Brenner

            Wow, I went without my kid (3 1/2) last night, but can't wait to go back with him because I think he's going to love it. French fries are most kids' favorite, no? And wouldn't many kids like the thinly-sliced beef in the beef on weck?--that's not spicy. The portion is so huge I plan on sharing mine with him. Mine is also going to love dipping the celery and carrot sticks in the blue cheese dressing while I eat the Buffalo wings. (And if I know him, he'll probably want to eat the wings, too. He's got a pre-macho spicy thing going for some inexplicable reason.) In fact there was a little boy who looked to be about four having a jolly old time a few seats down.

            1. re: Leslie Brenner

              Your kid eats vegetables?
              Rice and beans from the cheap taco place on 7th, burgers from the Brewery or 2nd street, Chicken fingers from Eloras, or pizza from anywhere.Or Sushi. Beef on a weck is "gross" and I can't let them eat just fries. I have been in this neighborhood for MANY years and I do appreciate how family oriented it has become. While the food at 200 has been spotty all of these years, they have always had a toy box. Eloras gives water in a paper cup to kids.Luckily I get the chance to have adult lunches but dinner is a family affair...AMY

              1. re: Amy
                Leslie Brenner

                Yeah, he eats vegetables, though no fruits except bananas and apples. I don't understand about the beef on weck--your child thinks it's "gross," or you do? Sushi is my son's favorite--he doesn't care where, and he eats it like a caveman, tearing into each piece with unbelievable gusto. He has to try everything, including roe of any sort. Loves tempura, miso soup, teriyaki anything. His other favorite is rice and beans, either at the mediocre tacqueria on 7th Ave near us, or at my favorite Tacos Nuevo Mexico, or El Rey de los Castillos del Jagua, which is his preferred rice and beans venue, washed down with a mamey batido. But if it's a Mexican place, he likes to make a "taco" out of the rice and beans, and sometimes puts salsa in it. We also eat a lot of pizza for lunch; in fact I'd prefer never to see another slice. At dinner, lots of leeway, usually at home. He'll eat any protein on the face of the earth--jellyfish (not at home), most fish, ankimo, clams (nine last time), duck, foie gras, beef, lamb, pork. Favorite vegs: baby bok choy, string beans (we do string bean eating contests), caesar salad, corn, grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant. In fact I can get him to eat any salad, arugula, etc., if I put worcestershire and parmesan on it. Loves diner cole slaw; isn't crazy about the delicious ones I make. Hates tomatoes, but pretends to like them out of--what--pride? Is flirting with melons. Since he'll eat so many different things, I'm happy to let him eat fries if he wants, or anything else for that matter.

                1. re: Leslie Brenner

                  Tacos from NM last night were a bust- rice and beans were good though. Lately Coco Roco Chicken with the yellow rice has been a hit. But my kids are into wierd fish too- mussels ( not the kind at CR because of the dressing), shrimp tacos at the cheapo place on 7th, and yes Sushi of any kind ( even if it is Chinese owned like all the P.S. rest.). I wish someone would add popcorn shrimp to the kids menus- or even clam strips. Whats wrond with our kids when they will eat caviar but not a grilled burger?!?!?!AMY

                  1. re: Amy
                    Leslie Brenner

                    We took our kid (Wylie, 3 1/2) to Bonnie's Grill last weekend. He loved it. Waiting for the fries to cool down was tough, though he was quite entertained by Anthony at the stove and two of the servers (female, natch) who played hide and seek with him. We sat at the counter, which he loved. He ate most of the burger. I forgot to ask for it not spicy, but that was fine. It was a little early for my husband and I (5:45?), so we just had a beer. Their Brooklyn Weisse beer on tap is really something. So fresh! In fact Anthony's very tiny baby was there with his mother: adorable!

                    1. re: Leslie Brenner

                      Well we dumped the kids ( Molly 9 and Annie 5)and headed straight for Bonnie's. If you haven't tried the polenta in any form, do so. Also they make GREAT guacamole. The kids have been at the beach for a week and a half and I wonder what the first meal they request will be- I'll cry if it is Pino's...AMY

      2. re: Cathy
        Chris Armstrong


        I love the hamburgers. The catfish burger is terrific. The beef on weck is an intriguing option, but whenever I want to order one I end up with the burger instead. If you're gonna eat cow... Really, that's all I've eaten. I won't order anything that doesn't come with The Fries (except The Wings). Duck sandwich special was pretty good. Not as good as catfish, though.

        As for the spice: Bonnie is well aware of the timidity of the otherwise boisterous New Yorker. Why, the other day at Thai Cafe I had to send back my "medium" pad thai for more kick. Meanwhile, the wimpy guy next to me who can take the abuse of living in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, was choking to death on the mild stuff.

        Back to Bonnie: tell the waitstaff that you REALLY REALLY REALLY want it spicy, and then watch to make sure that Bonnie pours habanero sauce into your wing bowl. I've succeeded at getting truly spicy food there. It does take effort, though.


        1. re: Cathy

          I will second, third and even fourth the recommendation for the beef on weck, and toss in a plug for the fries with chipotle mayonnaise. I'm usually not a potato fan, and it's very rare that I come across a fry I'll rave about, but these are just so perfectly crispy and flavorful that I just keep telling myself--oh, I'll have one more...maybe one more...just one...oh, are you gonna finish yours, cause...


        2. I'll second the raves for Bonnie's Grill. And make sure to sit at the counter, if possible, and talk with Bonnie. He's a good man. I am also a regular at Al Di La. Its still going strong in its second year. Have not tried the place on Vanderbilt - but will one of these nights.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Zephyr

            I too love the food at Bonnie's Grill in Park Slope. Just so everyone knows, I'm a friend of "Bonnie" and he's really named Anthony. Bonnie is his mother, I think.

            1. re: Anna Stephan

              I think "Bonnie" is actually the chef/owner's dad. It's short for Bonfiglio. His picture is up on the wall opposite the counter.

              1. re: Penelope
                Leslie Brenner

                Good theory! Did you ask Anthony?

          2. I checked with a bunch of my Prospect Heights neighbors about "that place on Vanderbilt Ave.) which they told me was called Micheline. No one has eaten there though several had dropped by; the food is supposed to be asian/west indian. When one friend dropped in reggae was blasting, and the place is not open predictible hours yet. sadly, the consensus was that the guy didn't have his act together yet and wasn't likely to. will post again when I hear more.

            1. A small correction. The correct address is between Garfield and 1st St. Went last night on your recommendation. The burger was great. The fries were great. also had barley soup with italian sausage. It got tastier with each spoonfull. Only minus was the stale bread served with soup and bun with burger. But will have no hesitation in returning.