It’s time for our second installment of What to Order at Brooklyn’s Bib Gourmand-winning Restaurants. Because while the Manhattan-centric Michelin guide couldn’t bring themselves to award actual stars to more than two of our eateries, they’ve lavished reduced-priced love on a plethora of local spots (the Bib Gourmand highlights excellence on a budget, defined as two courses plus wine or dessert for $40 a head). So here’s how to best mete out your allotted bucks.
The General Greene: 229 Dekalb Ave., (718) 222-1510
Two Courses: Between Bar Snacks and Share Plates, Vegetables, Sides and Mains, there are a lot of ways to get to $40 at The General Greene. Veggies are what they do best, and tend to me more cost effective, so we recommend the Kale Salad with roasted butternut squash and pumpkin seeds ($10) followed by the Vegetable Pie with local swiss chard, ricotta, leeks and black-eyed peas ($19).
Wine or Dessert: We say go sweet after such a virtuous supper. Try the Banoffee Trifle; decadent layers of vanilla pound cake, housemade dulce de leche, fresh bananas, and housemade whipped cream ($8).
The Good Fork: 391 Van Brunt St., (718) 643-6636
Two Courses: Ordering the signature “Steak and Eggs” Korean style ($25) will leave you dangerously low on funds, even if you go for the gently-priced Shrimp and Scallion Pancakes ($9).
Wine or Dessert: Either way, you’re going to be over budget by a few dollars. Throw caution to the wind with a wedge of Double Chocolate Cake with chili caramel and black sesame granola.
Gran Electrica: 5 Front St., (718) 852-2700
Two Courses: Go for a trio of tacos like Rajas with poblano chilies and potatoes, Carnitas, or Suaderos (beef brisket), all $8 each, accompanied by a plate of crispy Fried Yucca with chile salt and lime ($5).
Wine or Dessert: It’s way worth committing an extra dollar towards the Margarita de Remolacha, a gorgeous, fuschia-colored concoction of Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, Combier, and fresh beet juice.
Marlow & Sons: 81 Broadway., (718) 384-1441
Two Courses: Since entrees are a tad pricey, you’ll get more bang for your buck out of three smallish plates, like a Spanish Potato Tortilla ($7.50), a salad of Kale, Breadcrumbs and Shell Beans ($12), and a hearty bowl of Roasted Cabbage Soup ($9).
Wine or Dessert: Desserts are snoozable; stick with Farnum Hill Extra Dry Apple Cider ($10).
Mayfield: 688 Franklin Ave., (347) 318-3643
Two Courses: The fried shellfish here is actually a steal, like Oysters with house-smoked salmon, celeriac remoulade and horseradish cream ($12). That means you can afford to spend a little more on pristine raw starters, like Local Fluke Ceviche with grapefruit, mint and pickled Fresno chilies ($11).
Wine or Dessert: Our preferred accompaniment to seafood is either beer or sauvignon blanc, like the Clos de la Grange 2011 from France ($10).
The Meatball Shop: 170 Bedford Ave., (718) 551-0520
Two Courses: You can go nuts with $40 at a place like this (even hoity Michelin-type folk like to slum it sometimes). We generally prefer the $7 Naked Balls (beef, pork, veggie or specials, like buffalo chicken with bleu cheese), smothered in tomato sauce, mushroom gravy, pesto or parmesan cream. Another $5 will buy a side of freshly milled polenta, the daily risotto, roasted vegetables or a market salad.
Wine or Dessert: In this case, you can go for broke with both beer (a pitcher of Sixpoint is only $20), and a $5 ice cream sandwich (brownie cookie on the top, peanut butter on the bottom, with a scoop of house-made espresso ice cream in between!)
Mesa Coyoacan: 372 Graham Ave., (718) 782-8171
Two Courses: At three per order, the $9 Tacos are a great deal; our favorite is the vegetarian version with mushrooms, cactus salad, salsa borracha and huitlacoche (Mexican corn fungus). And that leaves plenty of green to spare towards a plate of Pollo al Pipian ($16), roasted organic chicken in a traditional pumpkin seed sauce.
Wine or Dessert: What’s a Mexican meal without a shot of tequila? You can spend your last $15 on premium oak-aged Cabo Wabo Anejo, served with housemade sangrita, lime wedges, spiced salt and grasshoppers.
Northeast Kingdom: 18 Wyckoff Ave., (718) 386-3864
Two Courses: Fall is an excellent time for foraging, so you can bet owner Paris Smeraldo gathered the mushrooms for the duxelle that tops the infamous house Burger ($15), as well as the farm eggs and earthy sunchokes in the savory Stone Cut Oat Porridge ($9).
Wine or Dessert: The determinately autumnal menu makes us apple happy…order a pint of the Virtue Red Streak Cider ($6).
Two Courses: You’re in luck…the inexplicably tasty Double Decker Broccoli Tacos are only $8, so you can keep the gonzo Mexican theme going with a Ginger Chicken Tortilla Casserole with swiss cheese, avocado, ricotta and radicchio ($20).
Wine or Dessert: Sweets run to Blue Marble ice cream and crème brulee (yawn!) so resign yourself to spending $12 on a cocktail, like the Touch of Evil with tequila, grapefruit and chilies.
Paulie Gee’s: 60 Greenpoint Ave., (347) 987-3747
Two Courses: $40 to burn at Paulie Gee’s? Solid! You can get a whole fancy pie for $17, like Anise and A Nephew with braised fennel, anisette cream drizzle, Berkshire guanciale and fresh mozzarella, and still have cash to spare for a bowl of Arnold Brothstein ($8); parmesan-infused pasta, prosciutto and escarole soup.
Wine or Dessert: Mike’s Hot Honey Sundae ($8)is a must — Van Leeuwen ice cream topped with candied walnuts and drizzled with the chile-infused honey made and sold by a former Paulie’s pizzaiolo.
Pok Pok Ny: 127 Columbia St., (718) 923-9322
Two Courses: Although everyone talks about the chicken wings, our favorite ‘starter’ is the Hoi Thawt ($15), a broken egg crepe with steamed mussels and sriracha. Getting anything else but the Papaya Salad will send you over budget, but order the Kaeng Hang Leh anyway ($16), pork belly and pork shoulder curry flavored with ginger, pickled garlic and tamarind.
Wine or Dessert: Unless you groove on durian custard, go for unique tipples featuring Andy Ricker’s famous Som drinking vinegars, like the Lord Bergamot ($12), a muddle of vodka-infused tea with honey Som, orange liqueur and soda.