Help me plan an afternoon and an evening in Brooklyn
- grocerytrekker Mar 5, 2007 10:56 AM
I am not familiar with the Brooklyn dining scene, although I lived in New York years ago (Manhattan).
I've already lined up enough of the likes of WD-50 during my visit (in a couple of weeks) and I will be tired of those and will want something more soulful. Something hard/impossible to get in San Francisco, something unique to Brooklyn, perhaps.
One consideration - no car. Meeting friends for lunch in Brooklyn Heights. (Don't know where - but I'll let them decide.)
Afternoon schedule will depend on where I decide to go for dinner.
Interesting restaurant choices I gleaned from other threads to give you some idea of what I am looking for. Some are taken from older posts. Some may not be convenient - I haven't looked up their locations yet.
Istanbul Turkish Seafood Restaurant
Cheskel's Shwarma King
anything Arabic on fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge
Jay & Lloyds Deli
Mill Basin Deli
A few extra points for being in the Heights/South Brooklyn/Park Slope area, but as long as it's a convenient subway ride away, it will be fine, although it'd be nice if I don't spend too much time getting back to Manhattan after dinner.
A million points for food impossible to get in San Francisco.
Based on your geography preference I would recommend Yemen Cafe on Atlantic Ave. (dividing line btw. Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill). Also on Atlantic is Sahadi's, a favorite store of many in search of middle eastern ingredients. From there you can walk down Court St. and/or Smith St. both have a lot of shops, restaurants, bars, etc. From Smith you can jump on the F train to Park Slope (only a few stops away) and explore 5th Avenue which has a mecca of restaurants. Not sure if any place will qualify for a million points, but it's a starting point for your explorations.
Although you can definitely get pizza in San Fran, I would think about checking out Lucali's for dinner. It is Henry Street in Carroll Gardens (near the heights) and is some of the best pizza around. Also, the vibe is very Italian neighborhood Brooklyn.
to kick off a great brooklyn day, meet your friends on the manhattan side of the brooklyn bridge, then walk across to lunch in brooklyn heights.
smith st. and 5th ave. are good post lunch walk-arounds (stop in at cafe regular off 5th for a great cappuccino) a long stroll from one of those nabes to another takes you over the wonderfully weirdly beautiful gowanus canal.
for dinner, i'd say Frankies 457 on court. great food, great atmosphere. maybe there are similar places in SF but, to me, Frankies says "brooklyn"
I'd avoid Mill Basin Deli and Jay and Lloyd's. They're both pretty sub-par Hebrew National places. Lalezar Turkish Restaurant, howver, across the street from Jay & Lloyd's has great veal and lamb meat gyro, Turkish bread, baba ganoush and other Turkish foods. The trip by subway might be a tad long though
There's also M&I Market (Russian) on Brighton Beach Ave. You can take the Q train to the Brighton Beach station, walk a few blocks to M&I and pick up some hot food to bring back or go upstairs and eat in the cafe. Nathan's flagship is about a mile from there. Great clams on the half and awesoume fries. The Q line is one of the better lines that run betwen Brooklyn and Manhattan..
I highly recommend Brighton Beach as a destination. If you go there, you might want to check out some of the Georgian places, Georgian Bread, etc. Do a search for Georgian or Brighton Beach on this Board and you will find them. Brighton is a fun shopping and people-watching area and if its a nice day you can walk the Boardwalk,
Taci's Beyti and nearby Gulloglu (a Turkish bakery with stuff flown in from Istanbul) are are on the same block on coney Island Ave Coney Island Ave - you could take a bus up there from Brighton Beach, continuing on up CIA toward Ave J - into the orthodox Jewish flatbush neighborhood you will come to Olympic Pita, the Orchard, a stupendously good and expensive fancy fruit store where you can taste , and Di Fara's, on Ave. J. (
I completely agree w/ you on Olympic Pita, it’s definitely NOT worth a special trip for when there’s so much else to eat and do. Kind of bland actually.
One place for a good slice that wasn’t mentioned is L & B Spumoni Gardens, one of my favorite places to get a square. It’s near the el that goes along 86th street (not sure of the train line). I also heard, but never experienced myself, that their cooked dishes are very good.
Thank you for your suggestions. It's time to narrow it down.
I am getting a clearer idea of what I'd like to do.
I hope I'll have some time to stroll on Court, Smith, or Henry street (in which case I can do Yemen Cafe, Lucali's, or Frankie's 457), but I'll probably do 5th Avenue and rest a little in Prospect Park.
I appreciate your suggestion of Coney Island/Brighton Beach, which brought back memories of Nathan's and the boardwalk. The area must have changed quite a bit (last visit about 5 years ago?), and I'd love to check out Georgian places and such. Turkish stuff, too, but another day perhaps. Although Q train is convenient, I'd probably go only as far as Avenue J this time.
DiFara's is such a logical choice - I will definitely check it out. Just one slice.
I like buses, too. Am still thinking.
The places on your list are really not near each other. Bicycling is possible, but not a good idea with a group. Assuming you really mean Near Park Slope:
Take F train to Church ave. Jinuk (Bangladeshi) near exit Church and McDonald. You can also walk to Cheskel's Shwarma King (Not sure if they are open late), they are closed Fri night and Sat.
On the border of PS is Sugar Cane:
Sorry I wasn't clear.
The general outline of what I intend to do -
First, walk around 5th avenue & 9th street area in Park Slope, then over to
Prospect Park, then,
Down Coney Island avenue to avenue J for DiFara's.
No Turkish places, Bay Ridge, Coney Island or Brighton Beach on this day.
Di Fara's has become so crowded at times that it is no longer dining as theater but dining as farce. Sometimes I go just to laugh at the people waiting a hour for a slice while staring at the master bumbling about trying to figure out what his pies need.
The list is the posts, they really are not near each other, which seems to be your criteria.
Near Park Slope is Suger Cane (upscale Caribbean) on Flatbush.
If you travel down CIA to ave J, you can go back up on Flatbush an get a trini style Roti at numerous places.
Sybil's on Church and flatbush has a often has really good Jerk Chicken, and sometimes not.
Further up walking toward Prospect park are 'Image Restaurant' take out roti, and Scoops for 'Ital' style vegaterian food. There are numerous other similar places.
Although, Suger Cane is really the only Caribbean place that I would call 'fine dining'.
If you can get a hold of some bikes there is a bike path along the Ocean Parkway pedestrian mall that will take you to avenue J. Down load the official New York bike map, or get one at most bicycle shops free.
there's not much around 5th and 9th that you prob can't get in san fran (though I suggest stopping in the soup store on 4th between 10 & 11 for a good tamale--i like the oaxaquenos the best)
I'm with the poster down below. go to difara's for a slice, but get there between 2 and 5 or it might be a madhouse.
Then, on the way back, travel up flatbush and stop for 2 things that I bet you can't get as well in san fran: doubles from a trini or guyanese shop (doubles are two small rotis with curried chickpeas sandwiched between. they cost a dollar and are one of the world's greatest snacks) and jerk chicken (preferably from peppa's--look it up on this board or see sietsema's review in the voice)
Doubles sound intriguing.
I frequented Jamaican places in Washington D.C. Never had Trini or Guyanese. (Unless I thought they were Jamaican, too!)
I'd love to be able to tell the Trini/Guyanese/Jamaican food apart.
Looking up on the SF board, there are a couple of Caribbean places which I haven't tried yet. It will nice to compare them to what I experience in Flatbush.