Brooklyn Agony/Ecstasy: "General Greene" and "Ruthies"
Hit General Greene (229 Dekalb Ave) for lunch. Burger was decent, but the combo of very fatty meat plus a big fat wad (not a smear, a wad) of mayo yielded a mouth full of grease. Ick.
Fries had been fried in the same oil as the calamari. And that oil clearly hadn't been changed in a while...plus, its temperature was too cold. So the fries were greasy, undercooked, and tasted like fish and nastiness.
I ordered a Uinta black i.p.a., and the keg had obviously been on for a couple of weeks. The beer was infected, oxidized, and undrinkable.
The bartender left the building for quite a while, leaving me waiting to pay my check. Upon returning, he grabbed my money while taking away the plates, but paused to ask whether anything was wrong with the (undrunk) beer. I replied that it had obviously been on forever and was undrinkable. He nodded in agreement and cheerfully said, "Yep, it's been on quite a while" over his shoulder as he walked away with my money.
I said, "Wait, you're going to charge me after agreeing that this beer - which I had one single sip of - is unfit to serve?" He grinned a smug grin and kept walking.
The good news: Ruthies Restaurant (560 Myrtle Ave, near Classon; 718-399-2400) doesn't seem particularly notable, but something drew me in, and I discovered, to my delight, that it's the new location of the soul food place of the same name formerly on DeKalb near BAM. Same nice people, same terrific cooking. That was always one of my favorite soul food haunts in NYC, and I'm thrilled to see them still in operation (though I'm not sure how many of their old fans realize they're now here)!
Thanks, Jim! I was sad to see Ruthie's gone now that we live in this nabe and will be glad to go to the Myrtle location. General Greene we've been to for breakfast only. I've had the grits by themselves and as a side, and each time felt kind of ill afterwards from the over-the-top richness. I don't cook lean, believe me, but I think their fat meter is way off.
re: Amy Mintzer
Hey, Amy, good to see you're still hounding!
Same as you, fat doesn't offend me. But when it's used cynically like this, to stand in cheaply for stuff we all seek - love, care, talent, soul - (you can almost sense the scowling chef larding on grease, cigarette dangling, muttering about how this oughta hold the little bastards), the result is just sort of repulsive.
I think Ruthie's will put a smile on your face. You'll recognize the old flavors in a single bite!