Park Slope Recommendations
- caterina Jun 21, 2006 01:00 PM
So I just moved to (north) Park Slope and would love any and all food recommendations. I've gone through the recent chow-posts, but would also love more suggestions.
Best Italian, Best Middle Eastern, Best Thai, Best Indian, Best Mexican, etc.?
I've gotten a lot of recommendations about the fancier places (convivium osteria, applewood, tempo, frannies,
rosewater, stone park) but am wondering what else people would recommend?
...that they're always out of when you get the roast chicken delivered. particularly that amazing green cilantro stuff that i need to either a) learn how to make or b) stockpile the stuff and drink it with a straw on hot days.
also, speaking of cilantro, sandwiches at Tempo Presto are a great summer lunch...the grilled chicken w/cilantro pesto, avocado, cucumber and balsamic onions is sub-$7 nirvana. apparently another location is opening in the old Mojo Cafe (7th Ave @ 3rd St.) this fall.
Italian: Anthony's on 7th Ave
Thai: Beet (also on 7th ave)
Mexican: Rachel's on 5th, and I also like Happy Tortilla on 7th. (No, it's not authentic, blah blah. But it's cheap, quick, and good.) Tacos Nuevos Mexicos on 5th is okay, but delivery takes forever and most of the stuff is cold by the time it gets to you, although it's good if you eat in.
Middle Eastern: Either Olive Vine or for just a good falafel, I really like Pita Pan (if you can get past the groaner of a name, the food is tasty.)
Haven't tried any of the Indian, but for Chinese I like East Cuisine and Red Hot on 5th. I've also heard good things about Hunan Delight on Union & 6th, but I have not personally tried it.
Tacos Nuevo Mexico is far far better than the other two places you've lumped it with. I never do delivery, so I'll take your word for it in that regard. Tacos are fine, but I more often enjoy the pastor or spicy chicken tortas, the soups, and the great Mexican breakfast plates. Large dishes aren't that great, especially for the money.
I wouldn't recommend any of the Chinese places, although if you must eat at one of them, I guess I'd go with Red Hot, or the place on 5th Ave between 16th & Prospect.
Tost is a fine spot for panini, with good combinations on Sullivan St Bakery bread -- the dressing they use on their greens is great, btw. Parco next door turns out some nice croissant-based sandwiches and savory pies and the like.
The 4th Ave take-out place mentioned above is called Flowers & Coffee, a flower stand that serves flavorful, homemade soups, tasty aqua frescas, not very good coffee, and the aforementioned pretty good tamales. In the evening they turn out some impressive moles over rice, pork dishes with green sauce, lasagna, salmon, and some other stuff. The owner, Javier, is a sweetheart of a guy. I like to go there after work, sit at the one outdoor table and eat something and watch the people go by from the train.
I also like Happy Tortilla - cheap, tasty, and filling. They make good flour tortillas. As stated above, not authentic, but it's a good source for delivery. Last night I had their fish burrito for $5.39 - HUGE - too big for the tortilla to be rolled all the way over, and filled with rice, beans, a generous serving of chunks of white fish, tomato, lettuce, etc.
Some other recommendations are:
Christies (jamaican) is a take out place on flatbush in between 7th ave and 8th ave, get a chicken (or beef) patty sandwich, only about 2 dollars for one.
Kinara (indian) on 5th ave btw 10th and 11th st. Is good and particularly cheap for lunch (1/2 off) and has a good delivery deal. Sometimes it's difficult to get service, but the food is usually worth it.
Maria's (mexican) on Union just east of 4th avenue is pretty good, although some people have complained about service issues. Beans are surprisingly bad (in my opinion) but their entrees (in particular, the three cheese chile relleno and molcajeta chicken) are pretty good.
Also, there is a small take out place on 4th avenue btw 10th and 11th, that serves soup, some entrees, and tamales. The tamales aren't the best in new york, but they are pretty good. The baked goods have been surprisingly good as well.
Maria's definitely has service issues. On a recent visit -- on a Wednesday night -- it took 35 minutes to get a drink to the table. The food another 20. Then we had to leave our table to walk up to the waitress to ask for our check. Then she charged us $8 for guacamole we never ordered (b/c if you pay $8 for one mashed up avacado, you are crazy). All this went down as the owner was standing right there. Apparently, they were down a server. Didn't seem to bother the owner. He wasn't hustling to help out. Just seemed to illustrate that he doesn't really care that much about his customers.
And, frankly, the food isn't that good anyway.
I actually went last night. It did take a while for the food to arrive, and the dishes we ordered (we tried new thngs) were not as good as the ones we used to like. However, other than the slightly higher price than I would like to pay, I think the food is pretty good. They actually make things spicy (could still be spicier).
Also, they renovated and opened up a large dining room in the back. Not sure how that will help with the service issues, but there is much more room there now.
At any rate, I think the service was bad, but I've had much worse in Park Slope, with the most egregious example Coco Roco. They were completely swamped the one night I went and could have used two more employees at least.
Bonnie's Grill makes a good burger and awesome wings.
Instead of Rachel's Taqueria on 5th, go to their original store Taqueria on 7th Ave off Berkley.
The Chocolate Room
A place to avoid...Rancho Allegre.
I grew up in Park Slope in the 70s and 80s (yes the Squid and the Whale was about someone like me - heck even went to Midwood High School) so here is what an old time "slopie" has to say:
Pizza: PINOS!!! Roma a distant second
Carribean: Christies (on Flatbush & 7th) amazing beef patties and that bread... the name may have changed but you can't miss the place
Bagels: La Bagel Delight (also have a great Shrimp salad) I used to go there every day, get plain bagel with shrimp salad and pass out watching Magnum PI
Chinese: Shezuan Delight on 7th and Garfield
Burgers: Grand Canyon- they have a "wine Burger" which is great and the fries are excellent
5th Ave now has lots of good places (although it was a dump when I lived there) but Stone Park is simply amazing- I go there every time I come to visit my parents
Pino's is OK, nothing special; Roma is awful.
Szechuan Delight is no better than any of the other bad Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood.
La Bagel Delight makes some of the worst bagels (not really bagels but dry bagel-shaped rolls) in the history of bageldom. Bagel Hole is great, and you can get their bagels also at D'Vine Taste (great gourmet provisions shop run by the nicest Lebanese family) at 7th & Garfield.
By the way, my Squid & Whale connection is that, besides having attended Midwood, I studied with Jonathan Baumbach. Jon was very nice to me--luckily he wasn't my father, I guess.
Is it possible that these other Italian places are as good as Al Di La? I just had the freshest tasting grilled sardines there the other night, and *perfect* mushroom risotto. We sat in the little wine bar and there was no wait, even on a Saturday night.
sorry if I wasn't clear on Al Di La. It's a lot easier to get a table in the wine bar on the side "Al Di Vino". It is substantially the same menu - the food I had was excellent and there was no wait at all. This was a Friday night (sorry I was wrong on the previous post) at 8pm!
I also grew up in Park Slop in the 80s. Love the Squid and the Whale. Some of my favorites are Laila's, awesome Middle Eastern food...Two Boots, yes there are lots of kids ruinning around, but I love the pizza and po'boys, Gran Castillo for rice and beans; Terrace Bagels for the best bagels and sandwiches, yep Christies for patties and coco bread...newer places that I like that opened recently are Rosewater-so fresh, so good; Bogota-great mojitos, food, and nice patio; Futura for my empanada fix; Blue Ribbon Sushi; La Villa from out in Mill Basin now has an outpost here..thank God for the great pizza!....as for Indian and Thai...not much that I've been impressed with here...go to Queens
I didn't go to Two Boots expecting good food.
Went there on St. Patty's with a family with 2 young kids. Lowest expectation possible, so I had a great time. We were given St. Patrick's Day Trivia quiz for a prize. 24 questions, none of them about food - wait, this might qualify. Q. Which is the 'Catholic' Irish whiskey and which is the 'Protestant' Irish whiskey?
I was going to have the special lamb stew, but we all ended up sharing a salad and pizza with various toppings. The simple salad had good feta cheese, beefsteak tomatoes, Vidalia onions and cucumbers. Green onion dressing was very nice. The kids had to eat the pizza, too, so some of the more interesting toppings didn't make it - crawfish, andouille, sopressato, anchovy, blackened chicken, cajun meatball.
Park Slope! So much food! Where to even begin?
Best Overall: Rosewater. Hands down. You've got a chef who trained under Bouley who goes to the Prospect Park farmer's market every morning. One of those places where the food is so frech the menu changes every day. Be glad it's in Brooklyn, or it'd be an $85 prix fixe (and you'd never be able to get a reservation on a Saturday night...)
Runner-up: Blue Ribbon. Mainly on account of the menu being so ridiculousy extensive. Dinner for two could cost anywhere from $60 to $160 (or more) depending which way you want to go. Solid Raw bar, though the oyster variety doesn't change very often. And the "tonight's special" Angus steak for two has been tonight's special for so long (three years and counting...) I don't know why it's not just on the regular menu. And it's the only restaurant in NYC where you can get Bone Marrow and Oxtail Marmalade (which is one of the greatest foods on planet earth) that I know of.
Mexican: Marie's on Union btw. 4/5 for fairly traditional fare (and the best tequila selection in BK!) - I'm partial to the Tres Queso Fundido (a mexican fondue), the chicken mole, the - well, anything just about. At a lower price point Los Pollitos II or Mezcal - either/or really. Mezcal you get a lot more cheese on your dish, I've noticed. So if you're in a cheesy mood...
Italian: I've been pretty happy with La Villa. Not as good as the ol' Cucina used to be, but, hey, Cucina's no longer there so what you gonna do? Al di La is also nice, though the "no reservation" thing is a pain in the ass. I don't want to stand around on the street waiting.
Indian: Nothing special to speak of that I've found.
Japanese / Sushi: TARO! Forget in the slope - one of the best in the city (to top it you'd have to go to Jewel Bako or something) - and the prices - not "cheap" but cheap for what you're getting. The sushi / sashimi is astounding, and there's always a great selection of uncommon fish they have flown in as well as the regular standbys. The Ankimo is - whoa - so silky, so delicate, it lives up to it's nickname "foie gras de mer"
Japanese Runner Up: Nana. A little less traditional, a little of the creative American-fusion thing going on. Tasty. But the music's usually a bit loud.
Burgers: Bonnie's Grill. Best burger in the city. Good prices. Slather on that chipotle mayo!
BBQ: I order delivery from Jake's in Cobble Hill (or is it Carrol Gardens?) - Biscuit on Flatbush isn't bad, either, but I find pretty much everything from Jake's superior.
Other: Coco Roco. The menu freaked me out a little at first since NOTHING has cheese in it - or any dairy if I remember. Is all Peruvian cuisine that way? Great, great food, though, and decent prices. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
Thai: Long Tan. They've got both traditional and "creative" fare - and it's all good.
Seafood: The new joint - Brooklyn Fish Camp - is good. The lobster roll is great (though a little overpriced) - and honestly, the seafood at Blue Ribbon is certainly equal.
Well, just my opinions...
I only moved to Park Slope recently, nontheless, I found a couple of beauties in my short residency: Bar Toto, 11th St. and 6th, go there for 'Eggs Di Parma'. Perfect Breakfast fayre. You fancy sushi? Tamari, 5th Ave at Berkeley, go for the Crunch Roll and Curry Apple Roll. Don't miss out on their 'Saketinis'. Service is relaxed, don't fuss, it all arrives. Stone Park Cafe: Being a Brit, I'm a sucker for 'organ meats' and their bone marrow is unbelievable. Other great nights out? Mmm...Nana and Long Tan are very good for takeaways if you're feeling like some Asian stuff...BBQ is VERY good. Up on 6th Ave and 18-19th street I believe. Magnificent. A pound of pulled pork is a few bucks. Rose Water (Union and 6th) is classy American food, lovingly prepared, service is fab, cosy atmosphere, although not a place for a romantic meal. The type of place you wanna take your friends for something special. It really is good.
Christies for patties
Olive Vine for falafel, the garlic bread is good also
Hunan Delight or Mr. Wonton for Chinese
La Taqueria for burritos
Second Helpings on ninth is good for healthy sandwiches/salads, etc.
Al Di La is very good
Stone Park is ok
I like the ebi-tama omelet offered for brunch at Sakura (5th Ave and 6th St). It's a very tasty, seasoned, well-made omelet with a few shrimp lodged inside, served with greens and little onigiri. The mustard dressing on the greens is highly addictive. The family that runs this place is very friendly, and while I don't understand the menu on the whole, being a strange mix of homestyle Japanese food, kitchen-made sushi, and izakaya fare, I enjoy what I've tried so far. I usually go for the daily fish special, although I find it a great place to drop in for a beer at the bar. They have a nice sake selection, but I haven't made it through any of them yet.
you didnt specify pan-latin, but beso on 5th and union always turns out a nice meal at bargain prices w/ creative, flavorful dishes. service can be spacy and atmospher is nearly nil, but for casual weeknight bites that are really tasty and wont kill your budget, it's a nice bet. (others dont always agree, i've noticed!) ....
pan-asian: ditto Nana -- gentle prices, good portions, big menu, nice outdoor garden and always well-prepapred and very fresh. check 'em out
The last time that my spouse and I ate at Beso, we decided that it was our last visit. At brunch, at least the last 3 times we've eaten there, the server's taken an exceedingly long time to get our coffee to us. When I write "exceedingly long time", I mean it - we'd order plain old coffee and our brunch items. We'd wait... and wait... and wait... at least 20 minutes, maybe even 30. We'd beg multiple times for our coffee, and be nonchalantly told, "oh, he'll be over in one minute with your drinks." Every single time, our drinks would show up literally 1-2 minutes before our brunch. It sounds like a very small thing, but I find this *completely* unacceptable for brunch. It's coffee! It takes 30 seconds to pour! Why this takes 20-30 minutes is completely beyond my comprehension. The last time this happened, my spouse declared Beso's death to us... which is a real shame, as their brunch is really decent.
well, i did say the service can be spacy! i have noticed that the few times i've dinner there, the service was, for some reason, markedly better than at brunch. dont know why. since they're busiest at brunch you'd think they'd work to improve the service, but apparently not the case. a shame coz the food really is quite nice and unlike anything else on offer in the nabe.
Nana doesn't do anything for me -- bland food, but yeah, the garden's nice enough. Beso's good for brunch. They make a nice cafe con leche. But as you say, the service can be pretty terrible.
Indian: Kinara is the best I have had in the city so far. So fresha nd delicious.
Italian: Anthony's is pretty dern good...but I am a HUGE fan or Russo's on 7th and 10th.
Mexican: Rachel's makes a great burrito.
Japanese: Kiku is fresh and fab
Middle Eastern: Olive Vine is GREAT and so is Mr. Falafel
Stone Park makes a great burger, but the service is TERRIBLE. I suggest eating at the bar.
Hope this helps!
Thai: I love Long Tan