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Nov 9, 2010 05:33 PM

SF Hound coming to Brooklyn for long weekend

Hi Brooklyn Hounds! Husband and I are heading East to visit friends for a long weekend (Fri to Tues) in a couple weeks. We will be staying in Brooklyn. The only thing planned is Friday late night dinner at Babbo (super excited; missed it last time I was in town). Looking for recommendations for the following:

1. Bagels for breakfast and snack.

2. Can't miss cheap eats (example, if someone were coming to SF, I'd recommend heading to the Mission for a big, fat al pastor burrito at Taqueria Cancun).

3. Pizza - I love the thin and the thick so long as the sauce is dynamite! (I love Pizzaiolo in Berkeley but I also like North Beach Pizza).

4. Breweries to check out - we have some great microbrews in the Bay...are there any in Brooklyn?

5. Reasonably priced ($15-20/entree) restaurant for dinner or lunch. Interested in trying just about anything.

FYI, I'm going to post a similar post on the Manhattan board.

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  1. You'll find fabulous pizza in Brooklyn:
    Luacali Cobble Hill
    Tottonno Coney Island
    DiFara Midwood
    L&B Spumoni Gardens for unique Sicilian pizza

    Head over to Nathan's Coney Island for a hot dog. Eat it on the boardwalk if the weather is nice
    Brennan and Carr for a great Roast Beef sammich. Order it triple dipped
    Juniors for excellent cheesecake and pastrami sammiches
    Roll and Roaster in Sheepshead Bay for just about anything slathered in cheese sauce
    Tripoli on the corner of Atlantic and Clinton for authentic Syrian/Lebanese
    Alma in Red Hook for excellent Mexican. Ask for a table on the roof for a great view of NYC

    I'm getting hungry thinking of all of these great places

    L&B Spumoni Gardens
    2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223

    3 Replies
    1. re: Motosport

      Will definitely go to Nathan's. I can't believe I've never been to Coney Island and at least one of the pizza joints.

      1. re: yehfromthebay

        I wouldn't go to Nathan's expecting good food, but a trip to Coney Island is fun. Tottonno's pizza out there is great.

        I highly recommend Tanoreen in Bay Ridge for Middle Eastern food. It is worth the trip IMO.

        7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

        1. re: yehfromthebay

          I love Coney Island and get out there 3 or 4 times every summer. That said, it's a summer place best seen when the rides are open and the people watching is choice. In December it's desolate. As for Nathan's, it would definitely be fun in the summer but there's really no point taking a long subway ride just for the hot dogs alone. They serve identical franks at their other locations. Your time is limited and Coney Island isn't close to anything else you'll want to see. You'd be spending 45 minutes traveling each way to eat a hot dog that you can get at lots of other places.

          To finish on a positive note, I'd recommend hitting Sunset Park for food and sightseeing. There are 2 major ethnic strips worth checking out.

          8th Avenue (between 40th and 60th St.) is Asian - lots to see and lots to eat. Ba Xuyen has the best banh mi in the city. A block away is Prosperity Dumpling. At 5 for $1 you can't go wrong. Further down the street is Gia Lam and Nha Trang Palace. Nothing is better than a hot bowl of pho on a cold winter day.

          A few blocks down the hill on 5th Ave. there's a Latin American strip that's just as unique as 8th Ave. in it's own way. Again, there's plenty to eat and lots to see. My current favorite is Tacos Matamoros. Their cemitas are terrific.

          For your beer drinking pleasure I recommend Waterfront Ale House (good pub food too), Brazen Head, and the Double Windsor. All of them have 16 to 20 beers on tap.

          If you want to head up to Williamsburg and can tolerate the hipsters Mugs Ale house is a great bar. They serve a widwe selection of beers and ales including some from the nearby Brooklyn Brewery.

          Welcome to Brooklyn.

          Ba Xuyen
          4222 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

          Gia Lam
          4810 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Nha Trang Palace
          5906 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Waterfront Ale House
          155 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          The Brazen Head
          228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          The Double Windsor
          210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          Great Taste Dumpling
          4317 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

          Tacos Matamoros
          5717 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

      2. This statement will probably start a fight, but I don’t think of Brooklyn as the same kind of food destination that SF is. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are plenty of options and there are food centric places all over Bklyn, but between living in Bklyn and visiting SF on a fairly regular basis, I think that SF is more uniformly food obsessed. Since I don’t know where you’re staying, I’ll keep things mostly in the Heights, Cobble Hill, etc area. So here goes my feeble attempt to come up with recommendations.

        1 – Bagels, I can’t come up with anything that is head and shoulders above the rest. What you want is a decent bagel with a schmear of cream cheese and then some real good lox. That’s NY. The problem I always run into is that the places that have the decent bagels don’t have the fine lox so you got to go and assemble it yourself. In the Heights, that means going to Hot Bagels or Bagel Delight and picking up the salmon at Garden of Eden.

        2 – The area of cheap eats gets real interesting. Since you will suggest a burrito in SF, I will keep with the ethnic theme and tell you to go middle eastern in Bklyn. On the western stretch of Atlantic Ave there is Fatoosh, Waterfalls and a bunch of others. Lots of choices and all reasonably priced.

        3 – Motosport covered pizza.

        4 – Sadly no micro breweries here like on the west coast. A couple of breweries like Brooklyn and 5 Points, but nothing like what I think you’re thinking of. Instead, go to a bar that will have a great choice of beers as well as some good pub food. Pete’s Waterfront Ale House or Brazen Head are in that theme. For something fancier there is Strong Place.

        5 – Go to Bklyn’s Chinatown and compare it to yours. I like Lucky 8.

        Garden of Eden
        180 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        Waterfront Ale House
        155 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        The Brazen Head
        228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        Strong Place
        270 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bkeats

          Thanks for the tip about Middle Eastern restaurants. Sadly, we have very few here in the Bay Area.

          1. re: yehfromthebay

            An excellent MIddle Eastern restaurant is Bedouin Tent, on Atlantic Avenue near Bond Street. Fun middle-eastern groceries are at Sahadi's, further west on Atlantic Avenue between Court and Clinton. Sahadi's is closer to the aforementioned Fountain Cafe and Fattoush, which are very good middle eastern restaurants, too. It's closed on Sundays.

            This part of Brooklyn is known for its Italian. Frankie's Spuntino on Court near 4th is very sceney with food that ranges from fab to OK. For more consistently fab, Al di La on 5th Avenue & Carroll Street (Park Slope) is great food No reservations at either place, so show up early or be prepared to wait. They are not so cheap, either, although if you skip wine you can keep it to a reasonable cost. Other restaurants of this kind include Bino (Smith Street) and Fornino (Park Slope, right by Al di La). Others can probably fill out this list.

            For bagels, an interesting choice might be Mile End, on Hoyt Street between Atlantic & Pacific (Boerum Hill). They import their bagels from Montreal, and they are supposed to be special, although I've never had one. Check the website -- they might have to be special ordered and I think they have them only on Saturdays. Mile End also makes Montreal-style pastrami and "smoked meat," which are deservedly praised. No reservations. Long line. Cheapish.

            Since you are from San Fran, you can skip Alma. You didn't come here to eat Mexican, anyway. Enjoy! Mangia!

            276 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

            Bedouin Tent
            405 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

            Mile End
            97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

            256 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          2. re: Bkeats

            Your post is pointless...uh, what I mean is, your post is one point less....Ok, what I mean is the name of the brewery is Sixpoint, not 5 Points. They are excellent, well done crafted beers. Nothing sad about them or Brooklyn Brewery's beers for that matter. Brooklyn Brewery has short tours on weekends, with $5 beers. Many of the bars near the brewery in Williamsburg serve Sixpoint, Brooklyn, and Captain Lawerence (Westchester County) brews on draft.

            Brooklyn Brewery
            79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

            1. re: Silverjay

              Got me. My mind was wondering geographically and I guess I was stuck in the 5 points area of the lower east side. I agree that "6"point is a great beer, but my other "point" was that there really are no brew pubs that I am aware of in Bklyn. Places that make the beer they serve and where the guy who runs it is a real beer nut and iconoclast..

              1. re: Bkeats

                True, but one can do worse than starting a beer crawl at the brewery (the chocolate stout is probably pumping now!), then moving on to modest beer Mecca places that serve local brews like Mugs Alehouse, The Gutter, The Diamond, Barcade, dba, Fette Sau (which serves beers brewed specifically for them by Sixpoint), and Spuyten Duyvil- which, while not serving local stuff, is probably the ultimate in iconoclastic beer nuttery in the city.

                Fette Sau
                354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                Spuyten Duyvil
                132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          3. I'm frequently puzzled by responses to these sort of inquiries. We should be directing the OP to things that are best in and/or unique to Bklyn (and other boros). I'm happy to see this is mostly the case in this thread.

            However, if there's a shortage of true Mexican food in SF, I'd direct the OP to any 5th ave/Sunset Park thread or Taco Truck thread or similar discussions about Queens. I'd also recommend researching Central American chow, and frankly good down home Dominican. That's especially a source of what's become unique NY food kulcha.

            I wouldn't recommend any SF/Tex-Mex or Sushi (and probably other Japanese cuisines), and no one has. If various Chinese cuisines are an interest, the OP would need to do some deep research here. I haven't been to SF in over a decade, but I'd hazard to guess what we have in Flushing at least might beat their Chinatown offerings.

            Not sure why an SF native would have beer on their list - but, perhaps Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint are different enough to warrant a taste. I'd also recommend checking out tasting schedules at places like Bierkraft and Grab.

            I'm always surprised by the Nathan's hate on CH, but I'll again recommend it for my favorite garlicky all beef hot dog, and unique fries, more often done correctly in the winter months. I'd also promote going to Coney for the culture and the view, both quite different than similar venues on the West Coast.

            Again, I'll heartily recommend Luigi's for pizza. It's not trendy, precious, or subject to two hour waits and insane pricing. And, the OP would meet actual Brooklyn natives on either side of the counter. Tell Gio, (the big guy) you're visiting Bklyn and came to his place because of CH and you'll make a friend for life. Have a supreme slice and the gramma slice with a root beer in good old fashioned waxy cups (saying "fountain" is redundant, they don't sell bottles or cans).

            Finally, I consider the bagel thing quite simple. I personally don't like Montreal bagels, and don't see the point of going to Mile End if you're looking for NY stuff, not that it's not good. (Um, Katz's would be quite appropriate on this visit, but this is the "outer" boros board.) Bagel Hole is the place to go - ask for well done and you'll get it - onion, poppy, sesame, salt, garlic, everything. I joyously eat them dry, especially around 9-10am, fresh from the second round. I agree lox (and any fish) is lackluster at this or any other local joint, in comparison to fancy modern places, or classic places in the city - Russ & Daughters, Greengrass, and the like. I feel butter, or scallion CC (I highly recommend saying "not so much", it's way more than a smear - like most bagels these days, the portions are way, way too huge), lets the flavor and especially and perhaps, more importantly, the texture come through. At this point, I know no other bagel place that makes smaller (though still large by ancient standards), or crustier bagels.

            191 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

            Luigi's Pizza
            686 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            Bagel Hole
            400 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            Brooklyn Brewery
            79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

            Mile End
            97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

            1 Reply
            1. re: noisejoke

              The rec for Alma's was for a SF hound to experience Redhook, Brooklyn which would probably be a treat. Sitting in the rooftop dining area give you a breathtaking view of Manhattan. Although the Mexican food is good it's probably not any better than an good SF place.
              If you decide to try Alma or just take a trip to Redhook check out the piers near Fairway and stop by Steve's Key Lime for a Key lime pop.
              There is ferry service to and from Manhattan and Ikea in Redhook. I don't know if there is a charge or not but it would be a pretty cool thing for an out of towner. Great views of the Lady in the harbor.
              Once again, Coney Island is a must see. I always say that a Nathan's hot dog tastes best out in the salt air on the boardwalk.

              1 Beard St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            2. Is your omission of Queens, a large and populous landmass contiguous with Brooklyn sharing a common transportation system with both Manhattan and Brooklyn, intentional? If not you will get a wider choice of options from the posters.

              1. I'll let everyone else sort out the food. Brooklyn has amazing restaurants, high end, casual and neighborhood gems.

                I love SF as a beer town. So many tasty little places like Magnolia and the Thirsty Bear. Unfortunately, I think due to price per square foot, there are no true brewpubs in Brooklyn. In Manhattan you have Chelsea and the various Heartland locations but that's about it. If you are planning to drink in Brooklyn, check out places like the 4th Avenue Pub, Pacific Standard, Mission Dolores or the Gate. All have great NY Craft Beer (and NJ and PA etc) on draft. My favorites are Sixpoint (BK), Captain Lawrence and Ithaca (from upstate). Enjoy.

                Pacific Standard
                82 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                Mission Dolores
                249 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215