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Jan 28, 2011 12:36 PM

Van Horn Sandwich Shop now open

Had lunch today at Van Horn Sandwich Shop on Court St. Cute space, much more welcoming than previous establishments in that location.

Simple menu of sandwiches, sides, and salads -- if I remember correctly, sandwiches and salads are in the $8 to $12 range, sides about $3 to $5. Decent selection of local beers and US bourbons and ryes as well. (Wasn't in the mood for drinks, but noticed a couple of bottles of Michter's.)


Mac and cheese ($5) -- almost a cheesy lasagna with an oven-roasted tomato on top, delicious and creamy, but could have been warmer. Smallish portion, but it's a side and it's super rich; a bigger portion would be overkill unless they offer as a main

Hush puppies ($3) -- ridiculously good. Fluffy and crisp, served with honey butter for slathering. Four to an order, some of the best unadulterated hush puppies I've had in a very long time.

Sweet P.L.T. Sandwich ($8) -- Sweet potato, lettuce, and tomato, my wife enjoyed it and it's a nice vegetarian option, served on well griddled bread and served with potato salad. Only thing we didn't love about the meal was the potato salad -- my wife was meh about it, I thought it served its purpose although it was a tad mealy. (I was unfamiliar with the style, so it may represent a local version of Southern potato salad that I've not come across. Far from a dealbreaker and I ate every bit of it.) Pickles were tasty, too, although I really was hoping they were bread & butter.

Bacon, Lettuce, Pimento Cheese Sandwich ($8) -- Are you kidding? Of course it was awesome -- mild pimento cheese (which probably works better for sandwiches than my pickle juice and Duke's mayo-blasted version I make at home), peppery bacon, and Boston lettuce on that great griddled bread.

And that's it. Will definitely be going back, although I imagine that the next time it will be much more crowded. It's a great spot, fitting in well in a neighborhood with plenty of mid- and high-end Southern (Char No. 4, Seersucker, Buttermilk Channel) but nothing on the lower end. (You could get a sandwich, side, and beer for $20; let's face it, that's not bad in Brooklyn these days, especially when the food is of a decent caliber.) The staff was friendly and professional, although not much business today as the weather was still pretty lousy.

Oh, and I'm very excited that they have Brunswick stew on the menu. It's somewhat of a rarity in these parts and I generally only get it when I'm traveling through Decatur, AL on business. (Big Bob Gibson's makes a mean one if you're ever in that neck of the woods.)

Char No. 4
196 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

329 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Van Horn Sandwich Shop
231 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. Thanks for the report. I've been wanting to check this out and I especially love a good Brunswick stew.

    1. Ive stopped in twice recently and really like what these guys are doing.

      Tried the signature fried chicken sandwich, which was great even though it traveled pretty far with me (i got it to go on my way to a ball game) the slaw and pickles and griddled bun are great. 12 bucks is a bit pricey, but it feels worth it for the quality of the ingredients and the impeccable execution. The fried chicken was fried fresh to order and perfectly moist and very flavorful, ever so greasy in a satisfying kind of way.

      Have also had the bacon lettuce and pimento cheese, which was as lambretta described - a great guilty pleasure, something that struck me as i was eating it as an awesome late night snack id love to grab out of a truck parked outside a bar at 3am. the proportions were just right, the pimento cheese wasnt overly mayo-ey or procces-ey and the lettuce played a big part in adding a freshness and textural break from the smooth pimento cheese and crispy bacon. on the whole this was greasy junk food of the best kind.

      the sweet potato lettuce and tomato sandwich was very interesting, with sliced and fried sweet potatoes standing in for bacon on a traditional blt. i thought it would have been even better with bacon in addition to the sweet potatoes, but again the balance between the veggies was just right and the seeded bun was again really well griddled.

      the side of beets was large for the 4 dollars, well seasoned and deliciously sweet with a tiny touch of parsley and oil, and a good bit of pepper.

      they have a full bar and maybe 6 (mostly?) local beers on tap, and a really nice garden in the back that is comfey and homey in a back yard kind of way.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tex.s.toast

        I did balk at the price, but that fried chicken sandwich is darn near perfect!

        1. re: Carol Gardens

          agreed. i'd like to think that a commitment to quality ingredients is enough to justify the prices, but in my financial situation they really need to be on point . . . and they are. I know the price will deter some but i hope they are successful and definitely plan on getting another beer and a sandwich on their patio before too long.

          1. re: Carol Gardens

            I'm afraid I found it a bit dry and tasteless. And the price is way too steep, particularly when compared with the fabulous fried chicken sandwich which can be found at Ft. Defiance in Red Hook, for just $9.

            Fort Defiance
            365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            1. re: BGRose

              I agree with BGR, it was dry, and mine was extremely salty. Especially at that high of a price point for something that should be $6-8, I'm afraid I'll never even bother giving it a 2nd try.