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May 3, 2007 09:18 AM

graham 'L' train stop choices?

I'm considering moving (from ft. greene) to williamsburg near the graham L stop. how are my food choices around there? I order in quite a bit for dinner, will i have a decent variety of choices? will the restaurants around the bedford area deliver over there? also, how is the grocery store/fresh produce selection? thanks.

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  1. AWESOME. The Graham stop is the best stop in Williamsburg. It still has an older Italian community. And it has fantastic food. Almost all the Bedford restaurants (and some of the Greenpoint restaurants) deliver to the Graham area.

    GROCERY STORES: there's a basic C-Town, a good health food store, and some excellent butchers (Model T. Meats, Emily's Pork Store) and bakeries (Nunzio). There is a fruit/vegetable stand right near the intersection of Graham and Metropolitan that's excellent. Sunac is a very short walk away (Lorimer stop), if you're into have 1000 different kinds of organic frozen burritos. They've also started carrying more organic meats. And there's a fish market on the corner of Humboldt and Grand that's pretty good.

    RESTAURANTS: All the old neighborhood Italian places (Cono's, Frost, La Piazetta, Carmines) will cover off on good meatballs, sausages, and spaghetti puttanesca. Fortunato Brothers (Devoe and Manhattan) has insanely good pastries, gelato, espresso and cheesecake. DuMont is one of the best restaurants in Williamsburg, on Union and Devoe. Fanny (Graham Ave) is pretty good. Oak Cafe just opened on Graham and has an excellent menu of sandwhiches, Balthazar pastries and soon they'll have wine. Grand street is covered with cheap mexican places (Grand Morelos is one of the better ones) and Bahia (El Salvadorian food).

    Need more specific insight/info?

    13 Replies
    1. re: mms

      You really like C -Town and Rosemary Farm's and the Health Food store. On Graham and Metro. Do you think there is room for improvement at the above stores ?

      1. re: FAL

        I live here too....I love it, but every time I go into that C-Town there's some sort of fight going on between the cashiers and a customer and it takes forever. And Sunac, I suppose, carries good things but it has that 'organic supermarket' smell and their products tend to go stale really quickly so I never go in there.

        I usually just hit up Trader Joes and Whole Foods on my way home from work (the joys of living on the L train.) On the other hand, the two bodegas on Graham Ave (corner of Devoe and corner of Metropolitan) are great. Rosemary Farms has always been decent, and its really cheap.

        As for restaurants...all the usual Italian spots are covered. I love Bahia on Grand St., and El Loco Burrito is good. For vegetarian-type lunches, Phoebes is good and doesnt mind if you sit all day, use their wifi, and order a coffee. My roommates are a fan of the brunch at Harefield Road, and they're supposedly adding in a full kitchen. Also, theres a Thai place on Metropolitan that delivers and its definitely good. I dont remember the name but you'll see it. Chinese take-out is the same as anywhere. Corner Bagel is great.

        Plus, in my experience, any of the Bedford Ave area restaurants that I've called (Chai, Planet Thailand, Anytime) are willing to deliver - and I live on the farther side of Graham Ave, which is about as far as you can get and still be in "Williamsburg proper." I'm sure theres a much longer thread on here somewhere in regards to Bedford Ave.

        All in all, I would say definitely dont let food come between you and a move! At least not the food here.

        1. re: FAL

          oh, and whatever you do, DO NOT eat at Kellogg's Diner. No matter how drunk you are and even if everything else is closed. Everyone who moves here makes that mistake once (and, I have to say, I havent met too many people who have made it twice!)

          1. re: theworldaway

            this bit of advice cannot be emphasized enough!

            1. re: wleatherette

              Indeed. Kellogg's has some of the worst food in captivity. My benchmark for inedible restaurant food.

              Like a lot of ethnic neighborhoods, indeed like the Queens neighborhood I live in now, Williamsburg never developed big decent supermarkets because for a very long time most residents shopped the old world way - making the rounds of specialist stores like the greengrocer, the butcher, the fishmonger, the bakery pretty much every day. The supermarket was used mostly for picking up canned goods or dried goods and other ready-made ingredients.

              The Thai place on Metropolitan between Havemeyer and the BQE is Siam Orchid. A little carryout place that has the best Thai food in the neighborhood. Another good place on Metropolitan - on your side of the BQE - is the little Napoli Bakery. Fine loaves of Italian bread and just insanely good lard bread.

              Goodness... Fortunato's, Sal's pizza, Crest Hardware... I'm suddenly missing my old neighborhood. Is the mozzarella lady still around?

              1. re: Woodside Al

                Is that Grandma's the mozzarella lady?

                1. re: BackyardChef

                  Georgia Tedone was her name I think. Little unmarked mostly empty store on Metropolitan near Lorimer.

                  1. re: Woodside Al

                    Yes! That's it......Georgia....I think she was the one that used cardboard to smoke her mozz....

                    1. re: BackyardChef

                      Georgia is still there. Fresh mozz everyy morning; fresh roast beef on Sat. Goes well w/ Napoli bread across the st.

                2. re: Woodside Al

                  There's a new-ish Thai place on Grand St. (near Union?) that I've ordered from & it's been quite good; more dependable than Amarin, which often includes frozen shrimp(!!). It's called Lily Thai. OTT is also quite good--up in Greenpoint, at Manhattan & India.

          2. re: mms

            For grocery/organic shopping, might I suggest the Garden up in Greenpoint (corner of Manhattan & Greenpoint Aves.--B43 bus stops at Graham & Manhattan and goes right up there). It's an organic market run by polish people; really good-quality stuff, but not a gouge-fest. Also, a number of East European curiosities.

            1. re: mms

              I just ate at Oak for the first time the other day. I had a good chilled cucumber soup and a great baked pear salad with chili-spiced pecans and goat cheese. I agree that Fanny is also a good spot.

              I also like to walk a bit south of Grand and go to Mojito Loco (terrible name, in my opinion, but I've been happy with the food, esp. the yucca fries. I was told the owner is Peruvian.) and the tiny Salsa Verde.

              1. re: mms

                Is Nunzio perchance Napoli at 616 Metropolitan? I can't seem to locate any address.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I lived over there for many, many years on Devoe and while I got to know the Model T people pretty well, I wouldn't describe them as 'excellent'. They have some things and decent prices, but it's not a full-service or wide variety butcher by any means. Groceries on the n.e. side of Willy B are limited. I used to hop over to Tops on the Northside on occasion. I think Mario and Sons is a pretty good butcher on Metro. There are better options for sausage (is the Sausage Lady gone entirely?) and other Italian specialties than groceries, per se.....

                  I hated the crappy, stinky C-town and the Associated (?) on Grand St. was even stinkier. they both may have changed in the last 2-3 years, but whooo, limited options. The C-Town on Graham didn't even have produce when I used to shop there. Fortunately there are plenty of green grocers and stuff around to balance it out.

                2. i noticed a falafel place on graham, maybe a block or two from metropolitan. it looked pretty new and clean. anyone have any thoughts on this place?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Get In My Belly

                    I've eaten there and thought the falafel and the grape leaves weren't bad. A couple of friends are big fans of this place. I think it's called Najib's. That sound right to anyone else? I may have the spelling wrong.

                    1. re: Get In My Belly

                      My gf is a fan, they have stuff "off the menu" that they can recommend too (Lebanese meatloaf i think?). Mint Lemonade is apparently the thing to drink. I keep meaning to check it out but I work a block from Oasis so my middle east needs are taken care of pretty solidly (and too often).

                    2. Let me join the chorus of praise for the Italian restaurants. This is a very old-school Italian neighborhood and, unlike most neighborhoods, just about everybody's ancestors came from one specific village -- Teggiano, not that far from Naples. The patron saint of Teggiano is St Cono, and if you yell Cono on the street, chances are someone will turn around. Just about half the restaurants are named Cono or have a chef named Cono. My favorite named Cono is Cono and Sons though I haven't been there in years so it might not be as good. My favorite chef named Cono works at La Locanda; he's a recent immigrant from Italy. And dont forget the nearby Giglio festival in July, it's awesome, with some good food stalls too (though people say most of the food is so-so or worse)

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Brian S

                        Is the Frost restaurant still good? When I lived in the neighborhood they had fried shrimp in hot sauce and macaroni in vodka sauce that were both pretty darn good. It's an old, old school place...

                        1. re: BackyardChef

                          I've never been there. People I trust have said it's very good.

                          I found some old posts about the area, outdated, mentioning all these places. I liked reading them because they come from the day that Jim Leff would personally greet every new poster and Robert Sietsema was a regular poster.



                        2. re: Brian S

                          I've always been a big fan of Bamonte's on Withers. Food is old school but really pretty good. Elderly, jacketed waiters. Mirrors, Chandeliers. High hipster count, though, last time I checked.

                          1. re: Brian S

                            I seem to recall one of the Italian restaurants in the area offered half-price wine on a certain weekday. This was some time last year. Maybe it was Cono's and they don't do it anymore? Anyone know?

                            1. re: gnocchi

                              Tuesday's at Cono's, according to their website. But you should call and check; restaurants often forget to update the website.

                          2. Wanted to add Savino's Quality Pasta on Conselyea (Leonard/Manhattan) as a great place to buy favorite is the gnocchi but they also have cavatelli, great raviolis and a delicious vodka sauce. Napoli, as already mentioned, is wonderful for breads. Fortunato makes fabulous cannoli and has just such a wonderful feel to the place (popular with cops!).

                            I'm dismayed to have read earlier on this board that my favorite Middle Eastern place, Uncle Mina's on Union just past Dumont, closed. Still wish I knew where he went.

                            I greatly preferred Hana Food on Metropolitan (Union/Lorimer) to Sunac because you could get hot sandwiches at night there, and the other grocery-type products were pretty similar (just a smaller place). Way better than Kellogg's for that 5AM craving. Really pleasant staff, as well. Back before the "nicer" 24-hour places like Sunac and Hana opened up, I frequently walked to the Graham area delis, so even late at night it's not too far to go.

                            It's unfortunate that Pupuseria is no longer around, but Bahia is an acceptable substitute for pupusas.

                            I used the Lorimer Meat Market for most of my needs, but there will be plenty of butchers closer to your stop. Actually I don't even know if they are still around....I once received a notice about a request for a liquor license by a business with the exact same address as the butcher shop...weird.

                            One Italian place that always sounded good to me, very cheap, but I never tried...La Locanda. Should be very near the Graham stop.

                            Although it's a bit further from the Graham stop, I would recommend the Key Food on Grand over Ctowntown or Associated ANY day. When I first moved to Williamsburg, it felt so far removed from what I considered "normal" grocery stores like in Manhattan or more developed parts of Brooklyn. But compared to the other two, it's downright fancy. And I definitely felt they did try to cater to the neighborhood with certain Latin American and Italian products that I don't see as much now that I'm in Prospect 4-5 different kinds of crema.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: NancyC

                              I like La Locanda. Five minute walk away from the Graham Av stop. It's family run and the family running it is very friendly. After six on weekends, jammed with locals, an hour wait.

                              If you walk south on Graham, it changes into a Spanish-speaking area with Mexican and Puerto Rican restaurants.

                              1. re: Brian S

                                Sietsema recently wrote about a really good Mexican joint on Graham somewhere between Grand and Broadway.

                                1. re: bake

                                  Kiosco Piaxtla
                                  258 Graham Avenue
                                  Williamsburg, Brooklyn


                                2. re: Brian S

                                  Locanda is good. Particularly if you order the homemade pasta specials (always ask what the specials are), which can be very good indeed. But it does sometimes have the feeling of a neighborhood club to which outsiders weren't really invited. Not so much unfriendly as stand-offish.

                                3. re: NancyC

                                  Uncle Mina's closed, but the place that opened in its spot is run by Uncle Mina's neice and similar (or so she told me when I randomly walked past her on the street while complaining about Uncle Mina's being gone!). I haven't tried the grape leaves yet, which will be my personal test of how it compares.

                                  The sandwiches at Hana Food are a favorite late-night treat for us on weekends.

                                  And, yes, I also think the Key Food on Grand is the best grocery store around the area.

                                  1. re: NancyC

                                    I want to second Savino's - they have the best pasta around - the prices are pretty good too.