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Jun 16, 2007 02:48 AM

Good food near 'Celebrate Brooklyn' Venue?

I'm going to be attending Richard Thompson's Celebrate Brooklyn concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell this coming week and I'm looking for suggestions of

a) Places for takeout suitable for eating at the venue while waiting for the show to start.


b) Places for supper after the show.

Not interested in chains (obviously, or why would I be posting here) or anything very expensive. Bars with good food, neighborhood favorites, ethnics of almost any stripe, would be fine.

In case you don't know, the Bandshell is on the northwest side of the park. The closest park entrance is at 9th Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope.

I'm meeting some friends from out of town and want them to enjoy Brooklyn as much as the show itself. I know the Slope has many good places, but I don't get down there much (I'm in northern Queens), so I'm hoping you guys can help.



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  1. Ahem. We don't have chains here in Park Slope.

    There are plenty of places along 7th Avenue and 9th Street (where you'll be leaving the F train). There's a good organic/vegetarian place that does picnics called Second Helpings pretty much right there at the 7th ave entrance to the subway, and Dizzy's is at the 8th ave entrance. Naidre's, on 7th avenue btwn 11th and 12th streets also does picnics.

    If you're looking for someplace afterward, try Bar Toto at 11th St. and 6th ave (which is my pick since they have outdoor seating), NoNo (haven't been there, but it is on 7th ave around 7th/8th St); Cafe Steinhoff if you're in the mood for austrian (7th avenue at 14th or so), the new little place that opened on 7th Avenue and 10th Street, Scalino, which I've heard good things about, and then there's Chinese and Thai sprinkled around 7th as well. Oh, and Anthony's is around 13th on 7th. If I were you, I'd just walk up 7th ave till you see something that sounds good to you.

    Oh, there's also Johnny Mack's on 8th Avenue at 12th St. (which is pretty standard) or 12th Street Bar and Grill right across the street (a neighborhood standard).

    And though it probably falls into the "expensive" category, Applewood is on 11th St. btwn 7th and 8th avenues.

    14 Replies
    1. re: bebevonbernstein

      Thanks for the long list of options!


      1. re: Jophan

        Following up on the earlier post, Second Helpings is good for take out and you could also try Russo's on 7th and 11th for some prepared Italian dishes (decent prepared dishes, depending on the day, and very good fresh mozzarella). For after the concert -- Applewood would definitely be my first choice, with Little D on 7th off of 14th Street a close 2nd. I also like Bar Toto, but it's much more basic than the other two, which are really excellent places. Anthony's is pretty good pizza and 12th Street Bar and Grill is pretty good, if not as innovative, as the others (although I think it has new owners/chef -- in the past at least it was a definite cut above Johnny Mack's across the street). All are easy walks from the bandshell.

        1. re: shiffy

          I'm going to voice a dissenting opinion about Second Helpings. The food there always seems so heavy and so bland and everything is a dull brown sort of color. I guess if you're into vegan cuisine ('m not) maybe it's as good as it gets but there are many better options for picnics. You should know that they sell food and drinks at the bandshell. It's catered by the local restaurant Two Boots, a Cajun/Italian joint. The menu is almost totally Cajun and sounds pretty interesting (jambalaya, red beans & rice, bbq and grilled chicken, etc) but is mediocre. It'll do in a pinch, though, if you don't have time to get anything else. And you are not allowed to bring bottles or cans into the bandshell.

          I wish there were better sandwich options in the neighborhood. Tempo on 7th Ave at 3rd St has decent sandwiches - nothing truly amazing but not bad.

          And we sure do have chains in Park Slope - last time I looked, McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks etc. Also Taco Bell, KFC and others on 4th Avenue - admittedly the fringe of Park Slope but still. Chains don't fit the way we like to think of ourselves (we Park Slope residents are nothing if not pretentious) but they're here.

          1. re: angelhair

            I don't consider those part of the Slope proper . . .and I was thinking Applebee's, Chili's et al (where one would actually get a meal) -- I think every neighborhood has a McD's, DD, etc. There certainly aren't any chains on 7th Avenue (and here's where you call me on Starbucks).

            As for Second Helpings, I've not been there in ages now, so can't speak to how the food is or isn't anymore, though I used to love their fake BLT, and I'm not at all a vegetarian. I would also second Russo's for salads, sandwiches, and their homemade mozzerella (you could get a bunch of mozz and salami and bread from them and be very, very happy).

            You're not allowed to bring in your own wine -- but then again, I've done it numerous times. There's a couple of wine stores near the F train: Big Nose Full Body on 7th avenue and 11th, and Prospect Wines on 7th avenue btwn 8th and 9th streets.

            1. re: bebevonbernstein

              One more suggestion: If you want to come earlier, you could head up to Grab on 7th avenue around 14th or 15th street and get some cheeses. On second thought, if you're driving (I assumed you were coming by subway, but maybe not, since you're coming from Queens), this is what I would do if I were you: drive over to Fairway, show your guests the excellent view out the back (including the statue of Liberty), get a bunch of cheese, a roast chicken, whatever else floats your boat, then leave Red Hook via 9th street and it's a straight shoot over to Park Slope and the bandshell.

              1. re: bebevonbernstein

                I really like the idea of a stop at Fairway, but unfortunately for that plan, I'm a true New Yorker, i.e., no car. (I've had a license since the 70s, and I've never used it. Go figure.

          2. re: shiffy

            I went away and read about Applewood and Little D. Both sound really nice and worth trying at some point. For this time, though, I'm leaning toward Bar Toto, partly because it's a tad cheaper, but mostly because it stays open an hour later.

            Offline friends have mentioned a few places I'd be interested in hearing opinions about: Olive Leaf (7th Ave.), Laila (7th Ave. near 15th St.) and Kinara (5th Ave. between 10th and 11th). However, those also close at 11 on Thursday, which still gives Bar Toto the edge for this occasion.


            1. re: Jophan

              You should search the threads for discussions of those places, but from what I've gathered, OL and Laila are probably not your best options. Have to say, Bar Toto is my mainstay, and though sometimes the quality of the food is better than others, I always have a pleasant evening outdoors there (and had a very nice long lunch there yesterday). And you really can't beat the price.

              And though it's probably not something you want to do, you CAN take the F train to Smith and 9th, then the very speedy 77 bus to Fairway, if you were so inclined. The 77 comes straight back to 5th avenue and 9th street, which is then just a few blocks from the park entrance. Though you could also do the takeout thing at Russo's and probably be just as happy . . .

        2. re: bebevonbernstein

          There are plenty of Chinese and Thai, but they all suck.

          1. re: bebevonbernstein

            "and then there's Chinese and Thai sprinkled around 7th as well."

            But not one halfway decent one.

            1. re: Peter Cherches

              That's OK. I live in Flushing. I can have great Chinese whenever I want. (Have you guys been following the discussion of the hole-in-a-wall places in the various Main St. food malls? There's some amazing stuff there.)

              Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!


              1. re: Jophan

                Hi, I'm reporting back to let you guys know that all eight people from the Richard Thompson list who made it to Bar Toto after the wonderful (if very wet!) RT show were very happy with the restaurant. It was a bit further from the Park than I'd pictured -- those avenue blocks are long! -- but worth the stroll. The Cubano Italiano Panini I had (with excellent shoestring fries) would be worth going back for on its own. Thanks again for the recommendation. I hope to try some of the other places that were mentioned as well.

                Viva Chowhound!


                1. re: Jophan

                  If you want to get a take-out dinner to eat while you are saving your seats at Celebrate Brooklyn, another option is Scalino (7th Ave. at 10th St.) I know, Scalino has gotten mixed reviews on this board, and I wouldn't recommend the heavy dishes on a summer night. But my friend and I really enjoyed our take-out arugula salad, antipasto and grilled chicken before a performance recently. The owner packed our little picnic with bread and foccacia too.

                  1. re: parkslopemama

                    I just wanted to chime in and say I tried Second Helpings last night thanks to the suggestions on this board, and I really liked it a lot - perfect to take to the park for a picnic. I had a delicious tempeh reuben and their cumin potato chips were divine, plus the people who work there are so friendly and sweet. I've gotten so many great suggestions from Chowhounders and I'm grateful for all the tips!