Franklin ave., Prospect Heights
More than half of nearby residents will refer to this neighborhood as Crown Heights, FYI.
Here are a few observations.
Barboncino has good pizza. There are a bunch of better sit-down pizzerias in New York, but Barboncino is the only one that is on Franklin Avenue and it more than gets the job done.
Fatima, the African place, is great. Try either the okra or the peanut butter stew. The storefront looks dirty and sketchy, but they were recently awarded an A grade by the nit-picky Department of Health. Hurry up and eat there before they magically transform into a hipster coffeehouse.
My favorite restaurant on Franklin is Kelso. It's a Panamanian/Jamaican place that just has the magic touch. Everything I've eaten there has been great, and the homemade hot sauce is a candidate for best in NYC.
J's Wong and Golden Chopstick are both a 7 out of 10 on the cheap Chinese takeout spectrum. J's has superior hot and sour soup, Chopstick offers Panamanian Chinese food (basically sweeter fried rice and lo mein with a soft-yolked fried egg on top) on the menu. One of them will make you off-menu Chinese broccoli dishes, I forget which one.
I've eaten very well at Chavella's but I'd advise you to avoid the house margaritas.
The sushi in the back of Pine Tree is surprisingly good.
Lily and Fig has amazing chocolate chip cookies.
Over on Classon there's Pete Zaas for creative pizzery and the Neptune Diner for all-night dinery goodness. I personally haven't eaten at Thirst Baravin on Classon, but I've heard good things. It may be the only upscale non-pizzeria in Crown Heights, at least until the folks on Prospect and Franklin open their doors.
Plenty more options on Washington Ave (Taqueria de los Muertos, Bar Corvo, Gen, Kimchi Grill, Tom's, The Islands), on Nostrand (Gloria's, A&A Doubles, Exquisite), and on Fulton near the Clinton/Washington stop (I like Cochinita for affordable healthy Cal-Mex.)
Welcome to the neighborhood, I'll see you at Crown Inn. Haven't tried their pressed sandwiches yet, though, so I can't comment on that.
We had a meal at Thirst Bar a vin last year and thought the food was very good, everything well throught through, but the wine (maybe this has changed) was overpriced for what we got (weird for the offshoot of a wine store), the list presentation at that time, maybe its changed, via the names scribbled above the bar, which could barely be read, was strange and inaccessible, and the service was rather eccentric and lacking in welcome (overly serious). HOpefully they have loosened up, its definitely worth a visit.
re: jen kalb
We almost went there Sun. nite but they were closed. Thanks for the info nontheless. By the way, I've been on CH for some time now and I always stop to read posts by Jen Kalb. I envy not only how you really get around the NY area, but also your overall knowledge of food . Finally, I seem to remember, I think, a Jen Kalb who wrote about food for Newsday. Yes?
thanks and no, I dont write about food, except here...I hope you report back on the place. We thought it had a lot of potential foodwise but the demeanor of the hosts was strange/too serious. We wanted to tell them to lighten up and be a little friendlier.
You also may wish to check out Ortine on Washington - very limited menu but can be quite good and interesting