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Jul 25, 2006 02:19 PM

New to south Slope and starving

I recently moved to 16th St & 5th Ave. and have found the food options to be pretty dismal. I love Nuevos Mexicos but delivery is $10 and I, as a single person, cannot eat that much food. I've gotten delivery from a couple places off 7th (Beet - terrible, overpriced; that Austrian place on 14th & 7th; Bar Toto has been a mixed experience but the service sucks) but I'm not impressed overall. Is there decent restaurants that won't require me to walk below 9th or up to 7th? What about brunch? Takeout? And is there a grocery store that isn't of the Met/C-Town ilk that might have organic produce?

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  1. er, yr really closing in your options. truth is, 7th ave north of 9th street has a nice group of food choices. you have applewood which is my favorite brooklyn restaurant (but thats more of a nice dinner type of place), you have tea lounge which i oddly dont mind on some fall/winter nights, tozt which i think has excellent paninis and salads (second to ino in my opinion), little dishes which is decent, anthonys which is also decent, and cafe steinhof which is nice for a beer and some austrian food. some other places like laila and that indonesnian place arent bad either for variety.

    as for down by 6th and 7th ave, they opened up some new coffee bar/bar/cafe on 6th ave and 12th street i think...havent heard much about it yet. they are opening a bakery on the southside of 9th street at 6th avenue. on 5th ave, the choices are definitely less. you have the spanish place on 15th street, joe's pizza on 12th i think, kinara which is decent for indian on 11th street, cafe regular which is an excellent cafe on 11th off 5th ave, those 2 bagel shops (on 14th and on 17th), and you have the soup/tamale shop on 4th ave and 10th street. catene on 9th and 4th is great for sandwiches and subs.

    i havent been but they opened some cafe/restaurant called kitchen on 20th and 6th ave if i saw correctly. reviews have been good. bar b que on 20th and 6th as well is barely passable...if only for a craving.

    pizza on 5th ave and 16th...lenny's i think is also pretty decent.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sam1

      My thing is, when I'm hungry I'm hungry and I don't want to take a trek (especially not an uphill one) when my blood sugar is plummeting. But honestly, I'm surprised there isn't more food options catering to the huge influx of young professionals that have been moving into the area, especially in the high teens/lower twenties.

      Don't get me wrong - most of those restaurants on 7th are lovely but I just can't spend $30 for dinner on a weeknight, especially if it's a to-go sort of thing. I'm looking to keep it low-brow and under $15/person. Unfortunately the new apartment has a kitchen (literealy) that fits into a closet so there is a lot of take out in my future.

      Bagel-wise I think the place on 5th and 17th is really good, mostly because they offer whole-wheat versions of everything bagels and have a variety of cream cheese.

      I will definitely try some of your suggestions - thanks!

      1. re: erikka

        Anthony's on seventh makes a pretty good margherita pizza for about $10 dollars (better than franny's in my opinion). It's definitely enough for one person and since it is at 7th and between 14th and 15th st, it's pretty close to you once you get up to 7th.

        1. re: erikka

          Tost, on 7th Ave between 14th & 15th has great panini on Sullivan St Bakery bread for around $8. I really like this place. Parco, the little coffee shop nearby has pretty good croissant sandwiches and the like for around $3. Jack's on 5th has good food, but the lighting is so terrible that I can only get myself in there occasionally. They do tons of delivery though. Blue Apron on 7th Ave near the corner of 15th now has sandwiches in addition to their great cheeses, breads & charcuterie, and also has the excellent croissants and pain au chocolat from Dumbo's Almondine.
          Don't go to Dunkin Donuts. The new coffee shop on 12th & 6th is called Red Horse Cafe, and it's a great place to hang out, very comfy leather couches, tables for laptop users, free wi-fi. Cafe Regular on 12th St is one of my favorite hangs, and in addition to great coffee, serves a variety of pastries from Marquet Patisserie. Colson Patisserie on 9th St & 6th Ave should be opening any day now.
          BTW, there's extremely frequent bus service up & down 5th Ave. You could be in Sunset Park's Mexican neighborhood in 10 minutes or anywhere in the north slope in the same amount of time, greatly expanding your options.

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            you can catch the bus on 9th st to Red Hook for Fairways too.

            1. re: subinai

              Really?! I have the worst bus luck but I will have to try this - grocery shopping is pretty miserable down there., especially produce Thanks for the tip!

      2. Whoa, a fellow hounder on my street.

        There is a tiny organic/health food type shop on 8th ave. I think its between 16th and 14th.

        There is also Second Helping which has healthy and organic type sandwiches/soups/salads on 9th st and 7th ave. I believe they deliver.

        The coffee shop on 6th ave and 12th street, Red Horse Cafe has sandwiches. They use frozen coffee chunks for their ice cubes in the iced coffee, which I'm obsessed with.

        I wouldn't limit yourself stirctly to South Slope. Theres a lot of options and finds in the neighborhood.

        5 Replies
        1. re: subinai

          Hi, neighbor!

          That coffee shop sounds divine - I, too, am obsessed with good iced coffee. I've been hiking down to Dunkin Donuts on the weekends to get my fix but this sounds much better.

          I noticed some strange hole-in-the-wall health food store on 5th around 11-12-13 st area (memory is failing me). Is it any good? There's also a diner on 5th in that same area (but on the other side of the street) that looks to be a cleaner version of a greasy spoon. I'll have to stop in and see if they deliver.

          1. re: erikka

            There's not a single good diner on 5th Ave. I've tried every single one, from the old skool places to the one I think you're referring to, Daisey's.

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              What about...sorry, memory is failing me here...Bonnie's? The place next to Blue Ribbon that seems to keep bad hours. I've heard good things about the burgers, do they deliver?

              1. re: erikka

                Pretty sure they don't deliver, but they do takeout. It's a quick bus ride.

                1. re: erikka

                  Bonnie's burgers are very good and the wings are excellent. Worth making a trip. Bad hours? They're open -

                  Mon-Thu 5pm-11pm
                  Fri 5pm-12am
                  Sat-Sun 1pm-12am

          2. I would suggest you check out Jack's (on 5th Avenue between 13th and 14th). The ambience is a bit grim (to say the least), but the food is good and quite reasonable. They do take-out and a very brisk lunch/brunch business.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Marion Morgenthal

              I've walked by it a million times and as silly as this will sound, everyone in there always looks so sad. And yeah, ambience is pretty grim. I will have to try brunch there - thanks for your suggestion.

              1. re: erikka

                I'll add another recommendation for Jacks. The food is good and the prices are low - perfect for those "don't feel like cooking" nights during the week. The ambiance leaves a lot to be desired but the place is clean and service is fine. I wish it was in my part of the Slope.

                Their menu -

                I'll also second Peter's rec. of Tost - this place is really outstanding. Perfect for a light meal.

                Although lots of neigborhood people disagreed with me I really disliked Little Dishes. (You want trouble on Chowhound? Criticize a restaurant that opens up in a neighborhood with few options. It's like you said one of their kids was stupid and ugly. People are so grateful that any new place opened up that they get really cranky when it's criticized.) Little Dishes is bland and with their prices it's also not what you're looking for as a single person looking for some inexpensive meals during the week.

                I'm surprised that you're down on Bar Toto. They serve solid pub food with a very good burger and a good lamb sausage panini. The service can vary but I'm not shy about getting up and walking over to a server who seems to have forgotten that I'm there. It works wonders. As a single you could also eat at the bar.

                The South Slope is still lagging behing the North in the number of restaurants but the gap has closed a lot over the last year.

                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  I've ate at Bar Toto about six times now and it's been really inconsistent. The service was ALWAYS bad, across the board. The brunch was fairly mediocre and didn't have enough variety in the offerings, especially if you're not a huge fan of eggs. I really wanted to make them a regular brunch spot since they are so close and have outdoor space, but when I browsed through the menu there wasn't a single thing that looked appetizing. Every now and then I'll get a panini burger there or a pizza but nothing there has blown me away food-wise.

                  In terms of Thai, there seems to be a million places within walking distance. The only ones I have tried are Beet (horrible, overpriced, nearly inedible) and Watana, which I thought was respectable, especially the tom kah gai. Is there any consensus among chowhounders when it comes to the best PS thai restaurant?

                  1. re: erikka

                    Ah ... brunch. No wonder I didn't notice that Bar Toto did a bad job. I haven't eaten brunch since I was 25 (and that was awhile ago.)

                    Further down the thread you mentioned that you've been mail ordering Johnsonville brats. For some reason I can't reply to that specific post (there's no "Reply" button on it.)

                    I'm a big fan too and since I own a car I've been able to pick them up in New Jersey. But I have good news for you. Last weekend I just noticed that the 5th Avenue Key Food stocks them frozen. They're in the meat freezer section on the far side of the store (not the regular frozen food aisle.) If you stand in front of the Nathan's Franks (and they have the good natural casing variety) the Johnsonville brats are on your right about 15 feet down.

                    They also have the Johnsonville Stadium Brats but those are pretty widely distributed.

                    1. re: erikka

                      I cant respond to Bob's post below, but Costco also carries Johnsonville brats lots of the time. Maybe, if you are not a member, you can persuade a friend to pick some up for you.

                    2. re: Bob Martinez

                      Thank you for the Johnsonville tip - I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am at the prospect of eating brats tonight! I have been hoarding a package in my freezer waiting for a special occasion - I found a cheddar brat in Greenpoint and haven't seen them since. You have made my day - I'm going there right after work.

                    3. re: erikka

                      Just imagine you're eating in a Hopper painting.

                  2. For grocery shopping, I suggest you walk down and check out Eagle Provisions at 18th St, as well as Lopez bakery across the street between 18th and 19th. Hopefully, Nuevo Faro at 17th will open again soon for hispanic groceries.

                    Eagle's produce has slipped a bit lately with the competition but they carry surprising stuff from time to time and their overall selection is staggering for such a small store. Lopez has some terrific breads - I like their "sourdough", multigrain and alsatian particularly. There are two little coffee joints on those two blocks that might be worth trying.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I went to Eagle on a weekend in early July- their beer selection is simply astounding - but their hours downright suck. I usually get home from work before 6 and they're usually closed. I remember the cashiers being very cute and it was clean and well stocked. Is that storefront undergoing construction Nuevo Faro? It looks like they're making some progress, albeit quite slowly.

                      1. re: erikka

                        about the beers at Eagle - better skip the belgians, they look good but sit there too long. Unfortunately, the same is true for some of the fancy foods, like olive oils or pate - dont buy without checking the best by date if you have any doubt. Eagle is open early in the morning if that helps.

                    2. Haven't looked lately, but I'm pretty sure Eagle is open to 7 PM on Thursdays and Fridays. And Eagle has a good selection of homemade polish style prepared foods in their chilled along with lots of home made cold cuts.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: bobjbkln

                        I went to Eagle this morning and they're open till 7pm throughout the week.

                        I've never been before. Their beer selection is huuuuge. I was impressed. I didn't get a chance to look around too long though.

                        1. re: subinai

                          Their meat selection is very good. Better than a comparable supermarket (even the very good Key Food on 5th Ave in the north Slope.) Prices are $1 - $2 a lb. less.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            As has been mentioned many times, Eagle has a great selection of homemade style keilbasa - about 6 to 8 varities.

                            1. re: FastEddie

                              What about bratwurst? It is damn near impossible to find good bratwurst in this city. I usually mail order then from Johnsonville or eat at Loreley (which is not as much fun - I usually beer-boil my brats and then grill them)

                              1. re: FastEddie

                                You're some years too late, but there used to be a deli on 7th ave that made great bratwurst (Jensen's).

                                In the old days the Slope was full of German delis.

                                1. re: FastEddie

                                  Even better is the keilbasa at Jubilat, on Fifth Ave. a block or two south. Great stuff.

                                  1. re: FastEddie

                                    Yes, Eagle has good brats and even has weiswurst.

                                    1. re: FastEddie

                                      You can find good bratwurst in this city. The best IMO is from Shaller and Weber. Why do mail order?

                                      1. re: FastEddie

                                        Jubilat (5th Ave between Prospect & 17th) is a great place. I love their pate, headcheese, hams, almost all made in house. Very friendly folk too.