What's on the other side of the Park? (Ditmas, Lefferts, Windsor...)
We're planning a move from South Slope (12th St @ 4th Ave) to the other side of the park (Lefferts Garden? Ditmas Park? Windsor Terrace? - it all depends on where we find a place) and I'm curious about restaurants, cafés, and bars in that corner of the world. The posts I've found are around two years old, and I'm looking for a more current lay of the chow land. Where we live now, we tend to pick up our dinners at Song, grab late-night burgers at Bar Toto, and scarf down burritos from Rachel's (embarrassing, in light of the plethora of other Mexican offerings in that area). The greatest loss is moving away from Café Regular and their cappuccino, and I kind of can't think about it, so now seems like a good time to stop.
If you all have any tips about life on the other side, please let me know. By the way, I'm not a die-hard Sloper: I'm just sad about no longer being a two-minute walk away from my favorite coffee place in the whole wide world.
Well, the bad news is that you won't be in Kansas anymore, so you just have to get over that. I get over it every time I make a mortgage payment, but then I have a car. You will want one too.
That said, you can find a number of recent posts about Ditmas Park (Picket Fence, The Farm, Cinco de Mayo) and even a few about my nabe, Prospect Lefferts Manor Gardens or Whatever... which is pretty short on Slope-style sit-down restaurants, but has a terrific coffee shop/patisserie/lunch room (KDog & DuneBuggy)(sic) and really interesting Caribbean take out.
food options are only bleak if you dont consider the local food selection to be an option - what I see on the "other side of the park" is a vibrant but different food culture. When I was younger and lived on the upper-UWS, we just loved exploring all of the "spanish chinese" places up there - really, all that there was other than a few hang-on but good chinese restaurants. Learned a lot about chowing and enjoying unfamiliar food types in those days. I eat west indian food every sunday at my church, and while there are a lot of similarities, there are also differences from island to island and cook to cook. So I am looking forward to hearing about more great food choices from the folks moving into Flatbush, etc.
You can get a GREAT cup of coffee at KDog, and enjoy it on the subway platform which is only a few steps away. And EJC is right about the blogs; there's also http://acrossthepark.typepad.com/. Re: disco dining's query about Tavern on Nostrand, in the next post, we had a terrific family meal there shortly after it opened (no haute cuisine, but very good food in a very pleasant sit-down environment) and decided it would be our default where-to-eat-after-driving-all-day-to-get-home spot.
Now that I have my requisite food references out of the way, let me get to that "sigh." My wife and I have lived all over the city in the last 20+ years--Washington Heights, East Village, Park Slope, Tribeca, Murray Hill. And PLG is far and away our favorite neighborhood. As just one example, we've been two musicales (live performances by professional musicians) in not one but two houses on our block alone. The quality of life--the quality of people--can't be beat.
I just had a two dollar lunch from Ali's Roti shop (Flatbush and Midwood street) of two orders of doubles, a puffy bread sandwich with chana (chickpea curry( pluss a little chicken curry gravy plus hot sauce and tamarind sauce, and yes all for two dollars! I don't think this would qualify as a diet lunch but it sure is good. Ali's roti is also very good.
I also like Mikes International up the block on Flatbush for Jerk Chicken, eat in or take out. K Dog and Dune buggy has all you on the go breakfast needs met, plus soup from hale and hearty soups and sandwiches. The soups have a bit too much sugar for my taste but in general, it's a great place.
I finally tried New Peking Chinese take-out also on Flatbush (or is it Washington?) off Lincoln Rd. And was suprised to find it as good or better than other brooklyn chinese eateries in non-chinatown brooklyn. But again, I ask them to cut back on the sugar and bump up the spice of the spicey garlic chicken. No brown rice though. There is also a greaat Jerk take out down Flatbush by Parkside called Pepper's , I believe. Only been there twice but it was very good.
I heard about Tavern on Nostrand, about ten blocks away near Eastern Parkway, but don't know much about it.
Other than that, we cook at home, shoping at the PS Food Coop keeps prices down and quality up. Or we bus in Sushi on the B41 or Q train from Geido or other food destinations.
Jonny "disco dining"
I'm all about these issues.We live in Kensington. Please don't come! :) I don't want to have to leave again. Pretty soon I'll be back in my grandmother's kitchen on Brighton Beach (she was a better cook than my aunt on Ocean Pky).
Here's my skewed as usual take: The way I see things below Church, between OP and McDonald, is that it's a very hard working family oriented neighborhood. There are lots of produce stands and Helal places owned by and serving the Russian, Jewish, Indian, Pakistani, Polish, Mexican people. There's little need for or value put in restaurants. All of the pizza pretty much sucks. There's a better than you'd expect Chinese place, Yen Yen, that delivers. Inside its fairly 70s style Brooklyn/LI dark red "column A/column B"! There's a Thai place too up by Albermarle that is shockingly OK. On McDonald at Church however is a totally great Bangladeshi steam table place that bathes almost everything in yellowy mustard seed. But, my wife gets skeeved out by steam tables (so, I don't make her go to Fujan places). Though the young men behind the counter can be very happy to have her come in, she feels uncomfortable in what is very clearly a male environment.
There's no Fresh Direct delivery to us yahoos below Church, and the Foodtown at Albermale is not downright dismal but has little general selection and below average produce and meat.
There's a Chinese fish store on Church I've never been to and plenty of Polish and Russian places for meat and light provisions. But I don't even bother.
So, yeah, the point is you'd do well to have a car. I've always been some combination of musician, parent and dog owner so I've rarely been without wheels in my life. Those bills have always been included. But it gets you to DiFara's of course, on Ave J., Picket Fence when we don't feel like walking to Cortelyou., and Pho Hai on Avenue U. We're 5 minutes from World Tong on 18th St.; a jump over the Gowanus to Fairway (and Red Hook restaurants); and of course have our choice of the Slope...and outer Brooklyn and Queens (wasn't Chowhound built on exploring Coney Island Ave and furrowing beneath the 7 train?).
Yes, I'm having a slow day at work.