Carroll Gardeners holla back!
I have an unexpected day off today, and I'm going to check out my favorite ex-nabe, Carrol Gardens.
Any recommendations for a day of hounding in the hood? I'm looking for lunch, followed by grazing, food shopping, and dinner if there's room. I'll be on foot, starting at the Carrol St. F. It's been about 5 years...
Thanks in advance!
Thanks everyone for the recs. Here's how it went down:
First stop was Ferdinando's... because I usually show up at closing time. Had a rice ball (special, with sauce and cheese) and the tripe. Its taken 39 years for me to get around to ordering tripe. At least now I know I don't like it. Smells too much "of the barnyard" for me, combined with the wiggly texture and bitter burps later. I could see it as a flavor in a complex stew maybe, but never again will I order a plate of the stuff. The warm white bread served along with lunch is nice on its own, or as a sauce mopper. Everyone who worked there was welcoming...
Next stop was Mazzola's bakery for a shot of espresso to wash away the tripe, consumed al fresco on their one bench.
By the time I got to Joe's Superette, I thought I could fit some prosciutto balls in my belly, so I ordered six, as suggested. Downed these in Carrol Park, what a beautiful way to spend an autumn afternoon. The p-balls at Joe's seemed to get at what this website is all about (for me) hidden gems under your nose... thanks Pupster.
Next, did a little shopping at Stinky. Had a pint at Ceol, which had a good & lively crowd for a weekday afternoon. Ate four "girls" and a brownie from One Girl. Drooled as I passed by the Taqueria on Court which used to be around the corner, but I was full at this point. More shopping at American (the beer store) and Espositos, a quick and unremarkable duck into Schnaak, and I was done. I'll save Porchetta for the next time... the fixed price menu looks like a good deal.
Thanks everyone for the ideas, I had a good -filling- afternoon!
And here is another set of choices: Across the BQE on Union go to Ferdinando's and get a Panelle Special (Fired chick pea fritter on a bun) and/or the octopus salad with a glass of cheap wine or a bottle of Brooklyn lager. On Columbia St. between Sackett and DeGraw there is an Australian Meat Pie place called DUB pies. I've never eaten there, but their menu looks perfect for grazing. Also on Union is Schnack that lots of folks on this board like very much. And on Union and Henry you can get a slice at Nino's and a lard bread at Mazzola's bakery. And for dinner, there is Bouillabaisse 126. I'd also suggest the new Pizza Place, Lucali's, on Henry between Carroll St. and 1st Pl. for dinner, but if you're alone, I'd think that a whole pie would be a little much (they don't sell slices).
Get off at the front of the train (if you are coming from Manhattan or north of CG). Exiting from the subway, start up Smith St, your first stop must be Joe's Superette to order some fried prosciutto balls. Start with a half dozen at 50 cents each. These are like crack, so you may have to go back. (They have rice balls too but those pale in comparison to the prosciutto balls.)
Then just walk down Smith and nosh at what takes your fancy.
-A stop at Stinky for some cheese.
-Further up are banh mi purveyors Hanco and Nicky's. Both don't really compare with the best of Sunset Park and Manhattan, but they are good for the neighborhood.
-A quick stop at Chance. This French-Chinese has a cheap lunchbox, but if you're just noshing stop in for one or two dimsum dishes. (They'll let you cuz they're pretty empty for lunch.) The soup dumplings here are pretty good.
-One Girl Cookie is a good stop. I don't love their cookies, but they are decent one-biters if you need a snack.
-Once you hit Atlantic, you can veer right and try for a taco or torta from Fast and Fresh Deli (over on Hoyt), a cupcake from Downtown Atlantic, or some peach cobbler at Soul Spot. Or you can head left on Atlantic and get some nice turnovers at Damascus Bakery or Sahadi. (Or a deep fried Snicker at Chip Shop.) Feel like a beer and a burger? Waterfront Ale House is right there.
-Head back down Court. Hit Marquet Bakery for a good croissant or a decent madeleine.
-Quick stop at the old Tuller/new Cobblestone for a looksee (I haven't seen much I want in there yet.)
-Caputo's Bakery for a loaf of ciabatta or olive bread to take home. (Or over to Mazzola on Union for cheese or lard bread. Further on Union, you can hit Ferdinando's for a spleen sandwich or Schnack for a slider or hot dog. Dub Pies for an Australian meat pie is around the corner.)
-A slight detour to Chicory on Degraw for a munchie -- the homemade sea salt and vinegar potato chips are a good choice. While you are over there, perhaps a stop at Bocca Lupo the new wine-and-cheeser on Henry -- not my favorite but CHers seem to like it.
-Back on Court, Esposito's pork store for a sample of the homemade soppresata (get the spicy). Fish Tales is on the way, if you need some marine life instead.
-Must stop at Court Pastry for a cannoli or an Italian ice.
If you have room for dinner after all that, you are a better (or bigger) man than I!
If you are still hungry for dinner, I'd go to Lunetta (I think a better choice than Bocca Lupo) for Italian small plates.
And you absolutely cant miss a stop at Sample. Best bar on the street imo. And they have wonderful cheeses.
I'm going to have to try those proscuitto balls!
Best lunch, IMHO, is Frankie's (457 Court Street) - their BLT in particular. Sided with some broccoli rabe (sauteed in garlic, served at room temp) and a glass of white from the Veneto and I'm set. Sample is a good place to graze over cured meats and inexpensive wine. The best new food shops are Stnky, a cheese shop, on Smith, and One Girl Cookies, on Dean right off of Smith. I'll let others chime in with dinner recs.