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Category: Diner

Delicatessen

Gourmet deli in SoHo featuring items from the Mac bar next door, and a wide variety of brunch beverages.

What We Had

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I had the Brick Chicken – All natural chicken breast grilled under a brick with frisée, pine nuts, grapes, feta, and aged vinegar. The chicken was dry but well seasoned and the little salad was nice, but I wasn’t full.

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My DH had the Signature Burger – Special blend of ground beef, crisp pork belly, charred tomato and fried egg on a brioche bun lathered with warm “cheese sauce”. Really fuckin good. Tender, juicy, rich & decadent. The cheese sauce was perfect. Good fries.

Decor

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Lively current dancey music.

Open and airy decor with mirror, weathered wood and slick white.

Service

Slow bar service. our food order got messed up and the burger took forever and 3 days to come out after my chicken, but it was comped without having to ask.

Busy on a Sunday brunch day.

Overall Impressions

There were some real hits and misses.

3.5 out of 5 for a fabulous burger, and tasty but dry chicken. And, although the burger came out years after the chicken, at least they tried to make it right – can’t fault them there. The drinks were nice, that’s a plus.

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Junior’s

Junior’s is an apparently famous deli in Brooklyn – I’d never heard of it before moving here, but I get the picture that it is a nostalgic favorite. The DH was craving a big beefy sandwich, and I had heard theirs was good, so away we went.

What We Had

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I had the corned beef & pastrami combo sandwich w potato salad. This comes as two separate sandwiches on onion rolls. A generous portion, but not an insurmountable one.

The pastrami was better than the corned beef (it at least had some good taste) – both were fairly fatty, but not horrible. Lots of bread to meat ratio. Good potato salad for what it was.

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My DH had the brisket melt w fries. I didn’t like the bite I had very much at all – I think I got a really fatty bite – the meat was underseasoned but somehow over garliced, and very greasy; DH ate most of his sandwich then had to tap out. His steak fries looked good.

He also had a vanilla milkshake, which he said was good.

I was not a fan of the table food – boring slaw, dirt-tasting beets & not my speed half-sours.

Décor

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Lots of orange, large open space, wood paneling, celebrity pictures. Kind of circus-y but not quite.

Service

Our server was ridiculous – either he had brain damage or was screwing with us – he couldn’t remember iced tea as my beverage – twice, after confirming twice at the table, and kept cracking almost jokes that seemed to keep himself used. I was not, to say the least.

Overall Impressions

Meh. There are better options out there.

Rating

2.5 out if 5 for ok food – nothing terribly got to run out and have it, but perfectly edible.

Birdsall House

Cute little modern American local/seasonal joint in Peekskill. The kind of place when hearing I’d be near town, my good friend that lives there immediately thought ‘I have to take her there.

What We Had

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The DH and had gone hiking that afternoon and were so starving we thought we might die. We ordered the Charcuterie starter – triple cream cheese, pork & barleywine sausage with house mustard, and duck & cider sausage with caramelized apples. Yum all around. Killer sausages, really good cheese.

We also had a red cheddar-like cheese with light stink that came as an option for the brunch item. This was also a nice offering.

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I had the Goat Cheese En Croute – roasted zucchini, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms & goat cheese baked in puff pastry with Dijon cream & mescalun salad. The first half of this dish was really good, but I got really tired of the croute portion about halfway through. Maybe it’s me and my general lack of eating too-rich foods very often lately, but I would have liked twice the veg and half the croute.

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My DH had the Blackened Shrimp & Grits – Mascarpone wild hive soft polenta with blackened shrimp, collard greens, Cajun cream and house made smoked andouille. This dish was fantabulous and I am jealous I didn’t order it. Though to be fair, the DH did find the polenta itself in the underseasoned side and if memory serves, he was salted out by the end.

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The friend had the Weekly Omelette (asparagus, goat cheese & sundried tomatoes) with hashed brown tart & mixed salad.

She ordered a fry substitution, but the dish came out with the tart anyways, and boy am I ever glad it did. That thick, creamy, lemony, thyme-y tart was the single best item of the day. It’s hard to top a good shrimp n grits, but this dish did it in spades.

The Fries (which came out shortly after) were great – the Birdsall House makes a killer honey mustard, and a really good home made ketchup. I would highly recommend getting both.

Décor

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Minimal but cute in an old bar sort of way. Really cute punky baroque bathroom.

Service

Serviceable. Nothing standout-ish either way.

Overall Impressions

Looks like the friend was right. This is exactly the type of place I love — local ingredients, homemade where possible, highlighted to their best ability. And home made charcuterie? Please. You’re preachin’ to the choir here.

Rating

4 out of 5 – if you’re anywhere near Peekskill, this is the place to be.

Parkview Diner

Shiny diner on a hill in Sheepshead Bay near Coney Island – right off Belt Parkway.

What We Had

My DH and I both had brunch specials. Brunch specials feature a menu entree + fruit + alcoholic brunch beverage or juice + coffee or tea. A ton of food for $16.95.

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I had the corned beef hash & eggs – the hash was of the Dinty Moore dog food variety, but delish all the same.

The hashed browns were awesome and almost tasted like fries. I could have eaten a pound, but luckily the grease caught up to me with a reasonable amount left on the plate.

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My DH had the challah french toast w eggs & bacon, breakfast sausage & ham. The French toast was good – nice and French toasty.

The sausage was fresh and good for what it is (although strangely haunting since I’m still thinking about it 2 weeks later), the ham was nice and griddled, the bacon was limp and unpleasant, but the toast wasn’t bad.

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The fruit salads were great – no added sugar, very fresh; a real delight.

Our beverages (a bloody Mary and a bilini) were run of the mill but not bad.

Décor

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Nice shiny optimistic 50s decor with cool Coney Island & vintage inspired artwork.

Service

Friendly and apologetic that the food was slow (we didn’t notice).

Overall Impressions

We will be back. With this diner’s huge menu, there is something for everyone at any time of day. All baking is done on premises and delivery is available 24 hours.

Rating

3.75 out of 5. Convenient, huge menu + alcohol, good big food.

Little Purity

Little corner diner serving a little bit of everything in Park Slope.

What We Had

My DH and I both ordered lunch specials.

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I had the Summers End Panini – pulled chicken, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cucumber, mayo and mustard with mixed green salad. This sandwich was nice and light, just like the name advertised, with good crusty bread. The side greens were also nice – all deep greens with cruets of olive oil & red wine vinegar alongside.

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My DH had the Pulled Pork Sandwich – pork shoulder marinated & slow roasted and topped with tangy sauce.

My DH and I are heavily biased toward eastern Carolina style pig, so to us it was too sweet, with not enough smoke or vinegar. Objectively, it wasn’t bad. A little on the sweet side. The sandwich wasn’t finished, but the side of fries was decent.

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We also had table pickles & slaw.
Great fresh sour pickles; throwaway too-bland slaw.

Décor

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Lots of sun and lots of orange. Cheery.

Service

Not bad. Efficient.

Overall Impressions

Not a bad place to stop for a bite after a morning of heavy-duty walking and green market shopping, but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it.

Rating

3.75 out of 5

B.A.D Burger

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Burgers, breakfast & more in Williamsburg.

What We Had

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I had the Wake & Bake Burger – 2 beef patties topped with bacon & eggs. The burger meat was well-seasoned and juicy, and the whole big sloppy hot mess was fantastic for the first half (even though I lost the bacon early on). Then I came up for a breather/attempt to reposition everything back on the bun and the sheer amount of grease I had just consumed caught up with me and I couldn’t finish. It was great, but I couldn’t rally without running the risk of exploding.

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My DH had the Dirty South Sandwich – fried chicken breast with pepper jack cheese & bacon. This was also a well-seasoned and juicy sandwich with great attention to flavor combinations. Not quite the hot mess the burger was.

Each sandwich came with fries and a little side of slaw. The fries tasted exactly like the fries you get at the fair. I don’t know how these wizards managed to capture that magical flavor, but they are now my junk food gods and I must stay far, far away until I am firmly entrenched in the exercise regimen I’ve been supposed to start since November.

The slaw was also surprisingly good. If I hadn’t just consumed enough meaty potatoey grease to choke a kitten I would have enjoyed it more. Having silverware would also have helped.

Décor

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Cute rock n roll diner theme with flames, movie posters and rockabilly waitresses.

Service

The service wasn’t awesome and the food was s-l-o-w. So slow they must have a lone one-armed, one panned chef. With a dull knife. That, or they had to hunt the wily cow. Or find a fair from which to source the fries. Take your pick.

Overall Impressions

B.A.D or Breakfast All Day has a little for everyone, with a whole host of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. And we’re not just talking a Gardenburger, either. These guys are serious about catering to special needs diets.

It’s just too bad the food took so long (we’re talking over 45 minutes in a restaurant with 4 tables seated – 2 of which had their food already).

Rating

3.5 out of 5 because it took so long for the food to come out we both felt like we were grounded. If you happen to be walking past and happen to have an afternoon to kill, stop in. The fries alone are worth a trip. Consider calling ahead and picking them up at the to go counter.

Mirage Diner

Huge shiny old school diner (with liquor) in Gravesend.

What We Had

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I ordered the Roumanian Steak & Two Stuffed Mushrooms Combo, which came with soup, salad, potato and vegetable. I opted out of the salad, and took matzoh ball soup, broccoli and mashed potatoes.

The matzoh ball soup tasted like someone’s nanna was in the back making it – flavorful broth with that particular mouth feel only present with home made stock, lots of chicken, light matzoh balls – this was a satisfying cup of soup.

The Roumanian Steak (more familiar to me as vaco or flap steak) was tender but under seasoned – still tasty though, and surprisingly cooked to temperature (rare). The mushrooms gave me flashbacks to the “fancy” stuffed mushrooms my mother made when I was a child – mushrooms basically stuffed with a crab cake – moist and flavorful too-salty stuffing with small dice krab broiled in a large button mushroom cap. Too salty by half, but still yum. And it went downhill from there: the potatoes were real, but mealy, underseasoned and gross; and the broccoli was a sad little dish of watery steamed-to-death greenery better left as a garnish.

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Things did not improve with my DH’s dish. He ordered the Chicken Santa Fe Sandwich with fries – I’m not sure what was ‘Santa Fe’ about this sandwich — a badly cut and pounded sad breast of chicken cooked until bone dry and topped with cheddar cheese and limp bacon. At least the fries were good.

Our meal also came with a wide variety of generously-portioned table food: cole slaw, pasta salad, and an assorted breads basket (challah slices, whole wheat cranberry rolls, sesame sticks, and something I can’t remember). The slaw was ok (rather like KFC), and the pasta salad was another edible childhood throwback. Where’s the jello salad?

Décor

Very 80s – lots if hunter green and pink.

Service

Slower than molasses. Most of the black vested servers were bordering on retirement age; ours was not, but I think we expended his English and I have a feeling his youthful muscles were in high demand in the back.

Overall Impressions

These people are hell bent on stuffing you to the gills before you leave. If you walk out the door even remotely close to not collapsing into a food coma, it’s your own damn fault. And, with the crazy amount of dishes on the menu, everyone you know is liable to find something they want to eat.

This place also has crazy deals – There is a large specials menu with soup or salad, appetizer, entree & dessert for $19.

The clientele (at least during our visit) was in the over 60 category, which might just explain the lack of seasoning.

Rating

3 out of 5 for the tenderness of the steak and the selection. Don’t go for the chicken. Bring your own seasoning.