chow experiences in Fort Greene
While most beat a path to the latest trendy spots or whatever got a review in the Times (Ici,Olea), I would like to offer what I consider authentic chowhound experiences in this fine Brooklyn neighborhood. Dessert may be the ultimate prize here--for the best chocolate dessert in all of Brooklyn, head to Cafe Lafayette and have the Chocolate Volcano. The quality of chocolate used with the not too sweet raspberry sauce and beautiful vanilla ice cream is perfection every time. The coffee is nice and strong too. Dessert #2 would be right up the road on Fulton St.: the famous Cake Man Raven's Red Velvet Cake. If you hit it right (80% of the time) this will be one of the best cakes you'll ever taste. Incredibly light and somehow tastes like pure cake batter with an icing that is always right on the money. Waiting in line--sometimes twenty minutes for a fresh slice--is part of the experience. Entree wise, I would check out Ruthie's authentic soul food on Dekalb. The Fried Pork Chops with collard greens and mac and cheese is my recommendation. You will also get some of the finest corn bread to be had in the city. On Myrtle ave, check out Buff Patty for some authentic Jamaican grub--love the Codfish and Ackee and also the Oxtail. On that front, you can get fresh coconut water (milk), hacked with a machete right before your eyes at the strange Rasta shop on Vanderbilt Ave. near Dekalb. Quite refreshing in the summer. For excellent fresh cafe food and coffee check out the Pillow Cafe right next to Buff Patty.
Thanks, realbread! I'm going to Fort Greene in a couple of days, maybe I'll check out the Chocolate Volcano.
great post! so glad you like Ruthies', and I look forward to hearing more. Have you been to Luz? We thought they had some very good things when we tried it last year.
I like Luz a lot, and Graziellas (down the street from the Rasta coconut water joint) also. All offer some good bang for the buck.
Avoid Madiba for food, I guess it's OK for drinks and atmosphere
I agree, Pillow Cafe is really nice, as is Luz. I'm looking forward to trying Ruthie's soon.
What do people think of Maggie Brown on Myrtle? (Is that the right name?) I thought the garden was cute but the food overpriced considering it was stuff I could make myself.
Has anyone tried the fried fish at Duncan's Market on Myrtle? Or any of the Thai places? Is Castro's still good?
Maggie Brown is kind of hit or miss, and yes, it does feature high prices for what it is. (I always wondered about why so many FG joints were priced so high--I wonder if their proximity to BAM makes them want to gouge the pre-theater crowd? Or is it the real estate? Or pure Greed?)
Castro's is better than ever! I've been really into their tostada with chorizo lately.
I don't love Maggie Brown- it's okay for brunch but I prefer my own cooking, to be honest.
Another good place is a fried fish take-out joint called "fish and crustaceans" on Fulton right by Clinton Ave. Their clam po-boy is pretty amazing, everything is fried fresh for your order. They also have snowcones in about 40 different flavors. Their french fries aren't very good, though and they close too early in the evening-sometimes by 8.
i've never eaten at cafe lafayette. right after i moved to the hood, they were featured in one of the papers as one of the dirtiest restaurants in nyc, and the board of health closed them down. they have obviously since reopened and it looks like a nice, cute little place, but their closure was a bit of a turn-off.
Oh I miss the Cambodian place!
On another note,I think chez Oskar has some awesome mussels! Especially on the Tuesday night all you can eat. I also think it's a better value than LouLou for price and quality.
Cafe Lafayette I was a bit disappointed in. My chicken was very dry and the service wasn't very good, but it can't get worse than Pequena. Inedible.
Maggie Brown's is pretty good, and yes overpriced. But you get a lot of food and desserts are great.
I too miss Cambodia, but I respectfully disagree about Pequena. While it definitely isn't the best or most authentic mexican you will ever eat, it's hardly inedible. i still think its tasty enough to enjoy while sitting outside and drinking margaritas.
also, no one has mentioned habana outpost.
their food is nothing fancy, but their burgers and chicken sandwiches are pretty good.
again though, its mostly about the 'atmosphere'.
its a good place to sit outside, eat some corn, look at pretty girls in sun dresses, and have a frozen cocktail.
and, i am happy to report that after a year and half, they finally seem to be working out some of the kinks in their operation.
I also had a nice meal at Olea a few months ago.
Last night we ate at Scopello (Fulton & Lafayette) and had a good home-made tasting Italian meal (balsamic glazed chicken, fresh pasta with homemade sausage and tomatoes), very good service, seems like a decent neighborhood place.
Wondering why nobody ever mentions Veliis on Fulton & S Oxford. I guess it's another Bistro in Fort Greene with a lot of competition, but I've had several good meals there. The chef/owner is great, food is very good and consistant (perhaps a bit salty, but there are worse things for food to be). The service is always good - maybe cause it's never crowded. Anyway, I'd add it to your list of neighborhood places. It might not be special enough to travel for, but it's much better than Cafe Lafayette. The chocalate volcano there is good, but in general the food is very inconsistant (often just bad), and I can't stand the atmosphere or the service.
Well I LIKE Olea....Scopello too. Have not been to Cafe Lafayette but the owner recently opened Choice Cafe in Clinton Hill which has awsome pastries and sandwiches. On Myrtle is a great Korean place called Sushi OkDol. Skip the sushi and go for the Korean "casseroles"
the new burger place is pretty good, nothing amazing,but i've gone twice and had a solidly decent chicken sandwich (i know it sounds dumb - but i havent tried the burger yet - i'm watching my hourglass figure).
unfortunately, the problem (and it seems like a pretty big one) with the place is their prices. a grilled chicken sandwich with bbq sauce and bacon was something like $9.75. that was just for the sandwich. no fries, no drink, not even a pickle or some slaw. good chicken sandwich, but definitely not worth the almost $10 price tag. i will most likely go back, but not nearly as often as i would if the prices were more reasonable (especially for this neighborhood).
i really like smoke joint. there have been a bunch of mostly positive reviews on the board, whcih you can check out, but overall, good food, good set-up, good atmosphere, friendly people.
the new bar across the street (mullanes?) seems to have pretty good "pub fair" that i would probably say is a little better than your average pub fair. i had a good burger there.
i'm most excited to try bonito though, which opened last week.
What i'd like to know is who has the best brunch in fort greene, preferably from flatbush ave to vanderbuilt (West/East) and Dekalb to Atlantic ave (North/South). And I second the Cake Man Raven's red velvet. It's incredible.