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brooklynsabra's Profile

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Unheralded Brooklyn Restaurants

I am a fan of Boboroncino too--fun atmosphere with a nice outdoor patio and bar, and good pizza.... We used to go much more often--until Wheated opened in our neighborhood (Kensington), offering similarly good pizza and vibe--minus the outdoor patio, though...

On that same Franklin Ave. restaurant strip where Boboroncino is located, I really like Mayfield--which I guess you would describe as New American : a restaurant with a nice energy/vibe and really solid food that I don't hear too much about--I also like Guerros for tacos--on one of the side streets in that area--but really hate the cramped space and overly hipster-ish vibe. But the tacos are good--if a bit overpriced.

In Queens, I recently fell head over heels for UFC--Unidentified Flying Chickens --which serves amazing Korean Fried Chicken in Jackson Heights--I have tried a number of the go-to places in Manhattan and in imho, this place blows them out of the water. I am plotting and scheming for a chance to go back!

Jul 26, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Thanks so much for your report! Am so glad you liked Hometown! (their brisket in particular is great!)

And it looks like we are on the same page re: Do or Dine--which I think I tried to "save" you from... Seriously, I don't get the hype at all re: this place... Everything sounds great on paper but the execution is really, really lacking.

That passionfruit donut from Dough is one of my absolute favorites. If you come in the fall / winter they do a blood orange glaze that has that same sweet/sour tang--and it is equally amazing. There was a recent thread in which a couple posters didn't seem to get the appeal of Dough--but I love it and I don't even like donuts all that much.

Sorry to hear re: your mixed experience at Scratch. I mostly love this place,though on my last visit, I got some sort of breakfast in a cup thing that I really disliked--all the flavors were really muddled and I coudn't figure out what I was tasting. It really bummed me out and I have not gone back since...

The Kolachy place is fun--though I grew up with these in the Midwest and there is really no comparison (what I grew up with blows these out of the water).

And I totally agree re: that ramen burger. Fun to try once.

I am headed to Canada soon--not Toronto, sadly...but we're going to Ottawa and Montreal--and I am trying to get a feel for Ottawa's food scene..such as it is..

Thanks again for the detailed report!

Jul 26, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

I am not sure if the Red Hook Ball Fields would be worth a detour. There was a time I would have said, "definitely," but a few years ago, the city cracked down with regulations and a number of vendors dropped out. The tacos and papusas are still good (based on my experience last year--I have yet to return this year)...but you have to time it so you don't have to wait in line forever (perhaps earlier?) and there isn't the variety of food choices there once was....

Maybe check it out if you happen to be in the area...but don't go out of your way... If you go, it is helpful to bring a blanket to lay on the grass and make a picnic out of it.

Jul 16, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Doughnut Plant Prospect Hts.

I think both Dough's donuts and Donut Plant's need to be eaten fresh to fully appreciate them. Once the playng field is leveled, as it were, I'd rather eat a donut from Dough any day. I think what you refer to as frosting is more like glaze--and if you stick with the more tart flavors you will never be disappointed. I have not enjoyed their chocolate version all that much...or the afforementiond coconut.... though their cafe au lait flavor is lovely. I just think that served ultra- fresh, their pastry component is better than Donut Plant's....

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Doughnut Plant Prospect Hts.

Thanks for letting us know about this, Jen... The original location is just a few blocks from my bro's place on the LES... and I am a fan of their square-shaped coconut-cream filled donut...but not much else.

I much prefer the fluffy, pillowy donuts from Dough in Bed-Stuy....but with the caveat that I get them directly from their bakeshop and eat them fresh. I made the mistake of buying from elsewhere and they are not the same...they have to be fresh. If you are lucky enough to be able to make the trek to Dough... their tart, citrusy flavors--like lemon poppyseed, passionfruit, hibiscus, and blood orange--are the best IMHO. But I digress...

I actually prefer the coconut donut from Donut Plant over Dough's version and will be looking forward to their opening--though am sure it will be a mob scene--since the LES location is always packed with people incl. many tourists.

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Best Casual Ottawa Eats?

Thank you, Yq214 and bytepusher.... I am open to "fine dining" in Ottawa...but don't want to get burned in terms of paying big bucks only to be disappointed... My tween is a fairly adventurous eater and fine with dining somewhere more formal-ish...but if it makes more sense to stick with casual eats I am good with that (NYC has an amazing ethnic food scene and offers some great budget options that are often more satisfying than some of the higher-end choices...so we often eat that way...) At any rate, thanks for the recs and interesting explanation re: egg rolls!

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Casual Ottawa Eats?

So I recently posted re: other food-centric cities beyond Toronto that would also offer some fun activities for my tween... It looks like, at this point, that we will combine Ottawa with a couple days in Montreal. There seems to be a lot to do in Ottawa for my kid--so I am sucking it up... even though I am not really feeling their food scene...(My apologies if I am mistaken, but it *seems* like they may have a few gems here and there...but foodwise, it is a city that is very much a work-in-progress. At any rate, I was thinking we'd do most of our splurges re: food in Montreal (we have been there twice before) and seek out more casual spots in Ottawa.

I read thus far, that the city is renowned for its schawarma, Beaver Tail pastry and egg rolls? So I am open to recs for those and any other specialties / local cuisine. We're from Brooklyn and pretty much have it all here...so any unusual / unique to Ottawa/Canada eats are really what I am looking for.... I was also reading about Susi Q. Donuts.. Are they worth trying? Are there any outdoor food markets worth visiting? Fun supermarkets (where we often pick up local treats on our trips)?

Thanks in Advance!

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

Wow. I hadn't checked this thread for a few days! Thanks all for your responses! I will need to sort through them...

Jul 13, 2014
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Moderately Priced (about $20-25 American per entree or so) French restaurant in Montreal?

Vabou, yes, I think I was torn between Lemeac and LaLoux on our last visit... happy to hear Lemeac has my beloved liver. i have across the other recs that were suggested too, though Au Cinquieme Peche may run a bit more than we want to spend... but thank you!

I was just reading about Brasserie Bernard in the Outremont area--from the same people who have Restaurant Holder, the place I so enjoyed on my first visit... Has anyone been? I am also open to lesser known gems in out of the way neighborhoods... Since we will have a car and have been to Montreal before, I am very much open to exploring non-touristy neighborhoods. Many thanks again!

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Food Cities beyond Montreal & Quebec City?

thanks, finefoodie55--we have actually been to quebec city and loved it; we also spent a day on the isle d'orleans--where we bought some amazing black currant salad dressing among other things--but it was really rainy--so i know we missed out a little and i would love to return. in quebec city, we went to a highly recommended creperie (i don't recall the name) and our server suggested a visit to charlevoix--it sounded lovely--and i have long wanted to go whale watching!!

all of this being said, my tween was a bit bored in quebec city with all the eating and walking around and not much else to do (that i could find anyway--there were little things here and there for sure , but nothing like montreal or toronto--though again, my husband and i loved our trip there!) and aside from whale watching, i am not sure what else i could find for him to do--so a return to this area may have to wait until it's just me and the husband.....and i look forward to it!

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Moderately Priced (about $20-25 American per entree or so) French restaurant in Montreal?

So I have been to Montreal twice and am likely to return again this summer. It has become a bit of a tradition to try a French restaurant during our visits. During our first visit, we went to Brasserie Holder (I think that was the name) and I remember really liking the energy in the dining room and the food (I still recall loving the calf's liver I ordered--I am a huge fan of liver!) On our next visit we went to LaLoux, which was much, much more low key. I remember enjoying our meal, but nothing stands out about what we ate--it was just solid.

I would love to try someplace new on this visit--nowhere stuffy or pretentious--somewhere family friendly--though my son is fairly adventurous (loves charcuterie, pate, and recently, liver...weird kid). And speaking of liver, I'd love a place that serves calf's liver, which truly is a treat for me. Many thanks!

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Is Au Pied De Cochon Still Good?

This was a restaurant my family and I really enjoyed on a previous visit a couple years ago-both food and atmosphere--and I am wondering if it is worth a return visit to try other things? I had chosen this over Joe Beef--which sounded a bit chaotic--especially with a kid-- with its only in French chalkboard menu.... I am curious re: Joe Beef still, but would return to Au Pied if it's still as good as I remember... Thanks in advance!

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Food Cities beyond Montreal & Quebec City?

A huge thanks to everyone for all your recs! Am now leaning toward maybe staying in Montreal and doing a day trip, perhaps to Val David (per Deborah's rec--thank you), with all its restaurants etc. Though we have been to Montreal twice, I am realizing we were never visited the Planetarium or Science Museum, which my tween would enjoy... and we have a hotel there we love (Hotel de L'Institute) with the best beds ever--across from Mme Claffoutis (Love!) So that is what I am thinking now....though am still open to more recs. Many thanks!

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the amazing recs! I am particularly drawn to the idea of Hamilton--I did a little "research," and their food scene sounds interesting, indeed. It is also close enough to Toronto to maybe do a day trip there... We really loved Guu on a previous visit to Toronto. I would love to return and maybe go to Second City's summer matinee for families--which we also loved on a previous visit... I would also need to figure some more tween-friendly forms of entertainment... I found it interesting to read that there is some sort of "rivalry" between Toronto and Hamilton?

Jul 09, 2014
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I actually remember going to Portsmouth very briefly for a quick refueling as a pit stop on our way home from Portland a couple years ago--I recall it being a cute town that we wished we had more time to explore--so thanks for that rec.

We also spent a little time in Burlington for dinner while in Vermont on another trip. We went to American Flatbread which we very much enjoyed, but now apparently, there is one in NYC... We also did the Ben & Jerry's "tour in that area;" not much of a tour, really, but fun for us all. In fact, we love tours like that and have gone to the Pez Factory in CT, Jelly Belly in WI, and a small chocolate factory in the Finger Lakes... if there are any others in NE, I'd love to hear about them!

As for Camden / Rockland, that area sounds interesting foodwise for sure and I am going to look into it. Thanks!

Also, like the idea of the going to a big Arcade like the one suggested. My kid loves stuff like that and also bowling, mini golf, batting cages, go karting etc

If we wind up in NE (Canada is also on the table..or maybe we will combine them as we often do) I will report back!

Jul 08, 2014
brooklynsabra in Northern New England

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

Hello All,

So I am a Brooklynite with a love for road trips up North to escape the hellacious NYC heat every summer. One summer, we spent a couple days in Portland, ME and really fell in love with the food scene there. Are there any similar cities we should consider for a visit? Even better if there are other things to do to entertain a tween who is totally over his parents' perpetual quest for good eats.

Thanks in advance!

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Northern New England

Food Cities beyond Montreal & Quebec City?

Hello All,

So I am a Brooklynite with a love for summer road trips to Canada. So far, we have hit Quebec City and Montreal (plus Toronto) and loved, loved, loved all of them. I'd love to do another Quebec trip and was just reading about the Laurentians, which sound interesting... so perhaps I could combine that with Montreal? But I am open to all suggestions re: interesting Quebec food cities--not any further than about a 10 hours drive or so from NYC. There also needs to be enough other things to do for a tween beyond food.... One of these days, we really want to make it to Vancouver for its food scene, but for now, we need to stick with road trips from NYC.

Many Thanks in Advance!

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

Hello All,

So I am a Brooklynite with a love for road trips to Canada. Every summer for the past 3 years, we have driven from NYC to explore Canada. Last year, we went to Toronto and fell in love with your food scene, among so much more--and I would love to explore -- via roadtrip--more of Ontario...but am ISO of a great food scene---and enough other things to do to keep a tween occupied... Are there other cities in Ontario that fit the bill? (fwiw, we also went to Montreal and Quebec City and loved both) But what's left? One of these days, we really want to get to Vancouver, but for now, need to stick with road trips from NY.

Thanks in advance!

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Woops re: the Portland, Maine pit stop and Lobster Rolls...We actually stopped there on our way home from Quebec City the summer before. Not on your way at all...

The Finger Lakes make a nice pit stop though. We stopped in Ithaca--where they have a lovely farmer's market with lots to snack on... and went othe lengendary veggie restaurant, Moosewood, among other places... not as great eats as Portland, but a pleasant stop nonetheless...

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Okay...I just thought you might have an idea re: what other Canadian cities offered great dining... Thanks...

I have not been to the Lobster Pound but have heard good things; still after eating Lobster Rolls in Maine last summer on our way back from Toronto--I just don't don't think anything NYC has to offer will compare (Portland, ME makes a great food-centric pit stop between Toronto and NYC btw...) But yeah, Lobster Pound is very close to Hometown and also Baked, and Steve's Key Lime Pie...

You can also apparently get Lobster Pound Lobster Rolls at SCHMORGASBURG I saw them offered at the Waterfront/Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo one yesterday... I also tried a RAMEN BURGER there... interesting to try once but not so sure it was actually good... And you can also try bbq sandwiches there from MIGHTY QUINN--another popular BBQ spot in the East Village... though stick with the pulled pork--was not a fan of their brisket...

I hope I have not overwhelmed you!

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Yes, Steve's key lime pie is great---but fwiw, they do serve it for dessert @ Hometown. What they don't serve at Hometown, however are Steve's chocolate covered frozen key lime pie slices on a stick--called Swingles, believe... They are great, and though it's been awhile since I was there, if memory serves, the setting outside Steve's is pretty.. DeFonte's is great too; very old school Brooklyn. Huge sandwiches...limited hours though I believe....

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Yes.... Porcetta & Co. & Bahn Mi Boys! Ironically the Bahn Mi @ the latter were just okay; it was all about the baos. And Guu... we fell in love with the whole experience as you say...especially my son who found all the mayhem hysterical...but the food was great too. I remember trying an oreo-filled croissant during the height of the cronut craze not too far from Nadege...and that I did not like. at all.

Re: Montreal...yes, I think I went to the Kouign Aman bakeshop you mentioned.... In a little neighborhood either in or near the Latin Quarter? We also stayed at a hotel (that doubles as a hospitality school; great place) right across from this boulangerie called Madame Claffoutis. Lovely everything there, incl. their namesake claffoutis..

Re: Do or Dine, honestly just thinking about our experience makes me angry. I totally fell for all the hype. And we wound up meeting the Chef that night and based on his less than charming (just really introverted and shy) interaction with us... I can see why the Food Nework never gave him his own show...but I digress. If you decide to go, I hope you will report back...I also hope you will consider going to either XIXA OR TRAIF instead... Both have fun atmospheres and are really solid... really better than solid choices food wise (esp. if you do their tasting menus) Re: Pok Pok, I think I am just really biased re: the Thai restaurants I love in Queens--but without them as a standard, I could see where maybe it would be a fun experience to try it once.

If you are at all interested in BBQ, we recently tried HOMETOWN in Red Hook...It would be a schlep from Bed Stuy...but it's near the waterfront--and a great view of the Statue of Liberty and not too much further than Pok Pok. Anyway, the place is like what I imagine a Texas Honky Tonk to be like.. Food is served cafeteria style and it's every man for himself for a table. There is live music (if I recall correctly) and you can actually smell the smoke; it's just a fun atmosphere assuming you get a table and the line for food isn't too long. As for the food, we really loved the brisket (the best we have tried from BBQ spots in NYC by a longshot), and the pulled pork and jerk baby backs were great too--the latter *almost* fell off the bone--which is about as good as it gets in these parts) They are apparently known for their lamb belly but they were out when we were there. Their Mac & Cheese side was surprisingly good too; it was nice and creamy, with a spiy kick... The owner (also pitmaster) is a big gregarious guy who goes from table to table and schmoozes--which adds to the experience (he is the anti-Justin Warner--Do or Dine's Chef)

Hometown is near a lovely bakery called Baked (famous for their brownies) among other treats--where you could pick up dessert (though I think they close pretty early). The restaurant is also near a few interesting looking bars where you could grab a drink afterward.

Sorry for getting so carried away! (Also, I am wondering if you could recommend a town in Canada, (driveable from NYC) that would have some fun food options--other than Toronto, Montreal, or Quebec City...) Am curious... Thanks!

Jul 07, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

ps.. We also ate at Chantecler (in Toronto..a lovely experience) and wound up chatting with our twentysomething server who was planning a visit to Brooklyn. She was excited about trying MAISON PREMIERE for seafood in Williamsburg... I have not been there... but you may want to Google it...

Jul 06, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Hi,
I noticed Do or Dine on your list and just wanted to say that personally, I would avoid it! We had a TERRIBLE experience there a few months back. I was soooo looking forward to trying it, but everything and I mean everything we tried was mediocre to downright bad. I do not know if it was an off night or what...but we were very disappointed and angry. Especially because we don't often splurge on restaurants in this price range. While the menu descriptions were all cute and appetizing sounding... all I can say is...just don't. If I were you, I'd go to Wlliamsburg and try XIXA or TRAIF instead. Plus both do reasonably priced 10-course tasting menus in the $40.00 range (though I think you may need 3 people, they will sometimes make an exception).

I went to Pok Pok once and while I did not hate it, I felt it was overhyped and overpriced and that SRIPRAPHAI in Queens totally trumps it.

Scratch Bread, on the other hand, is great!

I was in Toronto last summer for the first time btw, and fell in love with your food scene! We especially loved Guu and had these amazing porcetta sandwiches in this cute little neighborhood and incredible (tofu!) baos at this quick service type place.. We loved Nadege as a patisserie... And I remember this amazing Duck Poutine Pizza. Oh and we had some lovely Dim Sum too. Having been to both Quebec City and Montreal before, I have to say the one thing we really missed from those cities, was good French breakfast pastry like croissants, pain au chocolat, kouign amman (sp?), clafoutti
etc. And I preferred their outdoor food markets. But we really did fall in love with Toronto. You are very lucky!

Jul 06, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Locally Made Par-Baked Pizza Crusts?

Original poster here...come to think of it, you may be right! I am having a flashback of going to Royal Crown in Staten Island for their chocolate bread and then spotting a bag of pizza crusts, which I also purchased. Thanks. I think I will try the Brooklyn location--but am also certainly open to other places that may carry the same thing.

Jul 01, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Locally Made Par-Baked Pizza Crusts?

So a few months back I bought a pack of 4 smallish par-baked pizza crusts with grill-marks on them from a lovely Italian market in Staten Island whose name I sadly cannot recall. I forgot all about them and recently unearthed them from the back of my freezer only to fall in love with how convenient they are--especially as it gets warmer out. I normally buy pre-made dough that I roll out, but with a kitchen as hot as mine gets.... these could very well be a lifesaver. I am just about to use my last 2 crusts and would love to find a more local--as in Brooklyn--resource for these... (and I am familiar w/ commercial Bobboli type crusts and am not a fan) I am looking for crusts that are locally par-baked using minimal ingredients--and ready to use. Am willing to travel to just about any Brooklyn neighborhood... Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks in Advance!

Jun 30, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Good new pizza joint in Windsor Terrace

Jack--I had a chance to try Fina and would agree that it is refined old school while Wheated is indeed more innovative in the style of Roberta's in Bushwick. As far as my experience at Fina goes, we had a pepperoni pie that was so ladled with sauce that it became soggy and floppy almost right after serving We also got a sausage pie that had a more durable--and more charred crust that I far preferred. Both crusts seemed a little too thick, but the ingredients all seemed top notch. I also really found myself longing for an appetizer or salad and while I know that Lucali's does a super minimalist menu successfully, I know I'd be more likely to return if they had a few starters on the menu and am guessing others must feel the same. I will probably give this place another try once they have their liquor license. I definitely sensed a lot of potential!

As for slices, they are $4 for a regular slice and $5 for one with a topping. That's pretty steep. And I know they may not be shooting for the middle school crowd at all in terms of offering a special.

Jun 13, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn or Queens pizza joints

Definitely Wheated in Kensington! Boborocino on Franklin Ave in Crown Heights is not quite as good, but they have a nice garden (perfect for summer) and the atmosphere is fun (it is at Wheated too, but a bit more low key). Franklin Ave. is actually pretty up and coming in terms of restaurants. A bit of a digression since it's not pizza related, but Mayfield is a great restaurant to check out around there.

Jun 06, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Good new pizza joint in Windsor Terrace

I am a huge fan of nearby Wheated on Church Ave. and am wondering how this place compares both in terms of the pizza and also ambience? (Assuming you have been there too). And if you have not been to Wheated, you most definitely should check it out... I am assuming they do not offer any appetizers or salads... just pizza and calzones? I think I read they will eventually serve beer and wine... At any rate, I am in the 'hood and this sounds very promising.

My son goes to the middle school across the street and I think they should offer some sort of slice special for the kids during the day--their slices are pricey for the average kid wanting to stop in for a snack. Fwiw, my son tried it already, but went in on a whole pie--rather than slices-- with a group of friends and they all raved.

Jun 06, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO of Brooklyn Breakfast for Dinner Spot that also serves Wine/Beer

Hi,

Original poster here. Thanks for all your recs! I do really want to keep it Brooklyn-centric--though we are willing to drive to other neighborhoods from Kensington. I remember trying to do a search for last year's "breafast for dinner" celebration re: Brooklyn diners that serve beer/wine and actually do not recall finding many. So if anyone knows of a specific Brooklyn diner that serves beer / wine, I'd love recs for those. Thanks!

Jun 04, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs