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Two Toms on 3rd? (brooklyn, that is)

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Gnu23 Aug 20, 2007 09:30 AM

I've been meaning to go to 2 Toms for some time now but just can't seem to get motivated. I'd like to know more about it. Anybody been there lately? What is it like? I did a search but all the entries where from a few years ago.

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  1. prunefeet RE: Gnu23 Aug 25, 2007 08:15 AM

    I have never been, but I live across the street and can tell you what I have heard. The food is served family style, so bring some people with you. I believe there is a set $40 price that includes a lot of food. The unanymous consensus is that the pork chop is amazing, more than anything else, this is what is mentioned. I have not heard great things about the pasta, but that info is very old. THe place can be very rowdy, it's often filled with off duty firemen, policemen and sometimes the boys from the social clubs in the area, if you catch my drift. If you are in the mood for family style dining and a possibly rowdy but probably really fun atmosphere, give it a try. One of these days I will get around to it myself!! Please post if you do go.

    15 Replies
    1. re: prunefeet
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      isellny RE: prunefeet Aug 25, 2007 08:23 AM

      I've been. It was a strange experience. the food wasn't particularly memorable. I would go once and only for a true New York experience that can only be found there. There was only one other party there when we were. that was a large table of men in their late 30's to mid 40's. Firemen? Police? Made members? Who knows? Who cares! I just didn't want to get on their bad side.

      1. re: prunefeet
        Steve R RE: prunefeet Aug 25, 2007 10:25 AM

        Stop retelling my old stories :-) Ginny & I havent been in at least 10 years but the place is a legend. It is NOT a "chowhound find" type of place. It is one of the last vestiges of old Brooklyn, like Farrell's bar (that was written just to piss Bob M. off... wait for his eventual response). The family who runs "2 Toms" does (did?) incredible chops... pork, veal. They always overcooked the pasta and the sauces are what grandma used to make if grandma was my grandma (who didnt make good sauces). The beer and wine was in the picnic cooler on ice in the front and you'd go get your own. Before cell phones, my pager went off and grandma brought me into her apartment to use her phone. Friendly beyond belief if they like you and know you, not necessarily so much otherwise (a slightly couched warning to picky 'hounds... you know, the type who hassle Dom for the flies or Ali for being cramped in or want a place with "professional service"). And the casket company is across the street if you really piss someone off (drop my name, an old friend is the manager... good discount). Get the idea?

        1. re: Steve R
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          Tay RE: Steve R Aug 26, 2007 06:25 AM

          Steve R Thanks so much for the vivid. real person account of this place. It sounds like a more rough & tumble version of an old watering hole/Restaurant on 4th Ave and 69th St in Bay Ridge called Major;s. They served huge portions of everything from good bar food to mediocre regular menu food. The patrons were colorful and their regulars were there every day, regaling us "kids" with stories from their younger days. I got the sense that it was more of an Irish crowd. When I worked on 3rd Ave, used to love going there for lunch. Definitey a place from a wonderful, unfortunately, bygone era.

          1. re: Tay
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            HankyT RE: Tay Aug 26, 2007 06:34 AM

            That's exactly right. 2Toms is a piece of Brooklyn that is disappearing before our very eyes. So get thee there right away or forever live in regret. Go with a crowd and with a sense of humor. Throw a birthday party there. Don't be too hard on the food and you may end up liking what you get very much (I've had some great things [veal saltimboca] and some not so great [pork brasiole]). Be friendly and open and you probably won't be disappointed. Earplugs optional. We all have to fight to keep at least a vestige of old Bklyn around.

          2. re: Steve R
            Bob Martinez RE: Steve R Aug 27, 2007 09:40 AM

            Steve knows me too well. :-)

            I only ate at Two Toms once, years ago. There was no menu - the woman taking orders just asked us what we wanted, said we could order anything at all. I suspected that "anything at all" really meant "any standard Italian American dish" so I ordered chicken parmigiana. It was OK, nothing more.

            Years later I got to sample the legendary pork chops. On Sundays during football season I hang out in this bar that shows out of town games on satellite TV. One of the regulars had a connection at Two Toms and they had a table set up in the back where they had the leftover pork chops set out on big aluminum pans with sterno burning underneath to keep them hot. You may think that this doesn't sound too appetizing but you'd be wrong. These pork chops were *great.* Juicy, full of flavor, tender, and thick beyond belief. It was like there was this special breed of giant pig that they raised especially for Two Toms. Massive things, as big as 3 ordinary chops. One of these would hold you through 5 or 6 hours of beer drinking. And best of all, they were free!

            Well, good things don't last. In time the bar expanded and they put a kitchen in. The free pork chops went away, to be replaced by very respectable hamburgers served at fair but full prices.

            Ah, the good old days. If I went back to Two Toms I'd order the pork chops and see if they're still the same.

            As for Farrell's, I've never been but I've lived in the neighborhood long enough to attempt to warn off a friend who wanted to visit recently. He didn't take my advice and lived to regret his visit.

            1. re: Bob Martinez
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              Mr. Particular RE: Bob Martinez Nov 29, 2007 10:19 AM

              Which sports bar shows the out of town games, Bob M? Got the cowboys/Packers tonight...

              1. re: Mr. Particular
                Bob Martinez RE: Mr. Particular Nov 29, 2007 12:11 PM

                Johnny Mack's - 8th Ave. and 12th St. The TVs are kind of small but they have outstanding burgers and very respectable bar pizzas.

                The game tonight is being broadcast nationwide so no need to go out if you don't want to.

                1. re: Bob Martinez
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                  Mr. Particular RE: Bob Martinez Nov 29, 2007 12:36 PM

                  Thanks for the info, BM. FYI, my understanding is that the game is only on the NFL Network, which Time Warner doesn't carry. Unless I'm mistaken?

                  1. re: Mr. Particular
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                    Mike R. RE: Mr. Particular Nov 29, 2007 05:11 PM

                    Yep, that's correct...and thanks to DISH Network, I'm watching right now...have you tried 200 Fifth?

                    1. re: Mr. Particular
                      Bob Martinez RE: Mr. Particular Nov 30, 2007 08:19 AM

                      Sorry I gave you bad information on the Cowboys/Packers game. This year the NFL Network has siphoned off some games and is selling them exclusively through the Dish Network.

                      Best to call the bars directly to confirm they subscribe to the NFL network. Mike R.'s suggestion of 200 Fifth is a good one. I know they've got a satellite dish and their food is solid. Mack's (which also has good pub style food) is at the other end of the Slope so whichever one is more convenient would be a good choice.

                      (More and bigger TVs are at 200 Fifth.)

                      1. re: Bob Martinez
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                        jakeyd RE: Bob Martinez Nov 30, 2007 08:52 AM

                        NFL channel is not exclusive to Dish, Directv carries it as well, Downtown Atlantic had the game on last night on Directv.

                2. re: Bob Martinez
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                  hmacleish RE: Bob Martinez Mar 13, 2008 10:35 AM

                  listen, haters. Farrell's is the best bar in its [low] class. Far be it from me, a native brooklynite, to be "above" drinking draft beer from a styro cup.

                  1. re: hmacleish
                    prunefeet RE: hmacleish Mar 16, 2008 07:27 AM

                    Bob also doesn't like TImboo's, which I think is a lot of fun, so we can agree to agree on food and differ on bars. :)

              2. re: prunefeet
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                parkslopemama RE: prunefeet Aug 28, 2007 10:36 AM

                When I went many years ago, the family's son started to take our order. From the middle of the room, he yelled back at the kitchen "MA, WHADDAYA GOT?"

                I had pretty good veal rolatini, and the whole experience reminded me of my Italian-American family, in a good way.

                1. re: parkslopemama
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                  brickscoli RE: parkslopemama Aug 28, 2007 06:01 PM

                  My grandfather's bowling league in bay ridge has an annual dinner celebration there. Place is awesome. Locals only!

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                citygrrl2000 RE: Gnu23 Nov 30, 2007 02:08 PM

                My family has been going to 2 Toms since the 70's. Stay away from anything Italian and order whatever meat they have. But be polite or you might get smacked.

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                  grspiegel RE: Gnu23 Apr 22, 2008 02:42 PM

                  I've been eating there for 26 or 27 years, I dont think you'd like it

                  1. k
                    KRS RE: Gnu23 Apr 22, 2008 05:34 PM

                    There are restaurants you go to once in a lifetime, but not twice -- Sammy's Rumanian, for example. 2Toms is a place you shouldn't go to even once. It took us forever to attract the rude waitress's attention, and another forever until the food arrived. I had the "famous" pork chops, each bigger than a baby's head and so tough I had to saw through them even with a really sharp, aggressively serrated knife. It's everything bad about the old-fashioned places and nothing good. Never again.

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