Chris and I have spent our last few years eating our way through Brooklyn. Now, I feel compelled to share our faves here.
--Though I'm partial to the iced variety at Le Petit on Court Street, I'd have to concur with Chris that the best coffee is hands down Gorilla, on 5th Ave in the Slope. If you have time to wait, they'll also painstakingly make you the best latte you've ever had.
--Blue Sky Bakery on 5th Avenue. Pumpkin-apple-walnut ... zucchini-chocolate-raspberry ... anything you get there will be the best muffin of your life.
--Bergen Bagel. Oh, man. The bagels are absolutely perfect and they are complimented by the world's most dizzying array of flavored cream cheeses. Today, for instance, I had a plain bagel toasted with basil cream cheese and sliced tomato. This deliriousness was, in fact, what inspired me to write this post.
Best Egg Sandwich
--Frank's by the subway stop at Smith Street and 2nd Place. Chris just told me that the reason it's so good is because they cook their bacon in the deep fryer.
--Totally up for debate, but I think my heart belongs to the burger at Dram Shoppe on 9th Street. Imagine a Big Mac--made with foodie quality ingredients. The fries with ranch dressing are also particularly covetable. (So is the bourbon.)
--um, I've never had a bad slice of pizza in Brooklyn, so ... this one is wide open. I'm partial to Vinny's at Court and 4th and to that place next to the Bedford L in Williamsburg that I've only been to late at night so I can never remember its name. Most people swear by Lucali's; I thought it was overrated but I'm willing to try it again and be proven wrong. It's pricey, though. We got a mushroom pie there once and it was $27.
--Fette Sau. No debate. Get there early.
Best Middle Eastern
--We really love Zaytoons, with locations in Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, and Prospect Heights.
--Joya on Court Street (and its sister restaurant Song in Park Slope), but mostly for takeout, as it's so loud to sit and eat there. We also like the massaman curry and chicken spice at Nine-D.
Best Asian Fusion
--Chance on Smith Street. The Chance Chicken with its savory orange crunchiness is to die for, and their dim sum is amazing.
Best Lunch Special
--Chance, above, runs a close second to Kyoto Sushi at Smith and Atlantic, where for like $8 you get free edamame, miso soup, and salad with your delicious and large rolls.
Best Overall Sandwich
--Bierkraft at 5th Avenue near Union, especially the salami with pecorino.
Best Vietnamese Sandwich
--Hanco's on Bergen Street. Love their Vietnamese iced coffee, too.
Best Hard to Describe Sandwich
--The Turkey Leg Sandwich at Henry Public. Think Thanksgiving meets pulled pork. It's, like, shredded turkey mixed with gravy slathered onto thick slices of bread ... I mean, you kind of want to take a nap when you're done, but it's sodiumrrific.
Best Grilled Cheese
--The "Adult Cheese" sandwich at the Commodore in Williamsburg. Spicy poblano melting all over your face. Yum.
--We're partial to the burritos and quesadillas at Calexico on Union Street; we also love El Pollito Mexicano for more of a sit-down experience.
--Los Hermanos at Starr and Jefferson
--Wingbar on Smith Street. They might win cheapest pitcher, too.
--We love the funky sauces at J-Pan on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Try the Fantastic Roll, it's ... fantastic.
Best Cobb Salad
--For some reason I love the one at PJ Hanley's, the sports bar on Court and 4th. It's got the perfect amount of everything, and the bacon is always piping hot.
Best Mozzarella Sticks
--Abilene, our former corner bar. Even though most of the food wasn't that great (with the exception of their pretty good Southern style brunch), I loved going there with Chris on a rainy night and sitting drinking cider and sharing mozzarella sticks with him.
--The polenta with wild mushrooms at Fragole.
--The corned beef and cabbage slider at ... this bar that is a block away but that I can't find the name of on Google maps. Um, yeah. It's the one with the red door at 5th and St. Marks.
--We don't feel like we've tested all the options yet! But Frankie's 457, Fragole (love their rigatoni with eggplant), and Boca Lupo are all worth writing home about and using lots of exclamation points.
Best Fish and Chips
--Sheep Station, the Australian pub on 4th Avenue.
--Cafe Steinhof on 7th Avenue. Love the goulash and the sauerbraten.
--Brunching is big business in Brooklyn, which is probably why I'm not super into the trendy crowded spots like Buttermilk Channel. Instead: split a pain au chocolat with your dining partner, then order the ham and cheese crepe with salad, and finish with their milky hot chocolate, at Provence en Boite on Smith. (The best brunch, period, has to go to Oriole 9 in Woodstock. More on that another time.)
--This has got to go to the funky/vintage/cool back yard at Robin des Bois.
--The Improved Whiskey Cocktail at Clover Club on Smith. Lots and lots of runners up. I like the bourbon one with the black cherry in it at Brooklyn Social Club (whatever it's called) and Henry Public also has an impressive list.
Best Silly Drinks
--The super strong and super slushy umbrella drinks at Zombie Hut.
Best Glass of Wine
--I love getting the Montepulciano, served in a stemless wine glass, at Boca Lupo on Henry Street.
--Baked in Red Hook.
Actually, Best Dessert*
--Baked in Red Hook. Get anything. I mean anything.
(I also swooned over the pecan pie and vanilla ice cream sundae served in a tall glass at Buttermilk Channel but, I mean, anyone could make that.)
Overall Best Coffee Shop Experience
--Baked in Red Hook.
Best Baking Cookbook
--Wait for it ... Baked. From the bakers at Baked in Red Hook.
*Except for Best Ice Cream
--The peanut butter cookie dough at Louie G's! For one summer Chris and I had a tiny satellite Louie G's all to ourselves over near the Smith-9th stop. No one knew about it, which is probably why it closed down. But it's worth walking to the larger locations for any of their dozens and dozens of flavors, not to mention their ices (I love the mint chocolate chip).
Best Movie Theatre Popcorn
--The BAM. Gotta love their fill-a-bag-with-candy option, too. Swedish fish!
Best Bar Popcorn
--Angry Wade's at Smith and Butler
Best Hot Chocolate
--The Chocolate Room (locations in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope). I'm not haughty, though. The salted caramel hot chocolate at any Starbucks is also tilt your head back and drain the last drop good.
Best Healthyish Lunch
--The smoked turkey half sandwich on whole grain bread paired with the Skinny Delight smoothie at BeQu on Smith
Best Diner Omelette
--The ham and cheese at St. Clair's, Smith and Atlantic
Best French, Best Chinese, Best Pie (I mean, aside from Baked), Best Fried Chicken, Best FroYo, Best Crock of Chili, Best
I'm sorry, I've got to stop. I've made myself hungry.