Jul 6, 2023
Eleven dishes to eat in Brooklyn this summer
A 'dankwrap' supreme? Sidewalk dosas? Chicago dogs? Because winter bodies are made in summer. Get out there and eat these treats
Summer means beaches, sweating, block parties, long nights, unexpected flings, sweating, bike rides, park hangs, sweating and music in the air. And for us it means fun, delicious things to eat, often outdoors, usually with a party (or party adjacent, or party postmortem) vibe. There are dozens of good options all the time in Brooklyn, but here are 11 current favorite bites that are sure to be in our regular rotation this season.
The Dankwrap at Super Burrito in Williamsburg
320 Bedford Avenue, between South 3rd and South 2nd Streets
Super Burrito instantly became one of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants when it opened last January, mostly because that headliner, a San Francisco Mission- style monster, is indeed a super freaking burrito. But then they added this insanely delicious, hella gloppy Dankwrap to the menu, which is essentially an amped-up Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme with seasoned ground beef, cheese, crispy tortilla chips and three kinds of sauce stuffed inside a griddled flour tortilla and, oh man, I could eat this beast three times a week and not get bored. And this summer I might do just that. Bonus: The very chill cocktail bar in the back is open now too, with a special Late Night Burger. What a win for Williamsburg.
Tavern-style pizza at Patti Ann’s in Prospect Heights
570 Vanderbilt Avenue, at the corner of Bergen Street
Greg Baxtrom has had a busy year. After opening Five Acres in Rockefeller Center last holiday season, the chef turned his focus back to Vanderbilt Avenue, first flipping his skewer spot Maison Yaki into a terrific French bistro called Petite Patate, then revamping most of the menu at his family restaurant Patti Ann’s, now anchored by Chicago tavern-style pizzas. These are thin-crusted pies, crisp but not too crackery, heavily charred, the toppings evenly spread across the whole 12 inches, and, as is custom in that Midwestern city, sliced into bite-sized rectangular pieces. The Italian beef and giardiniera offerings are great, as is the vegetarian one with artichokes, roasted red peppers and olives. But you can get pepperoni or fennel sausage or just straight-up mozz-and- marinara on top as well.
The vegan Bake & Saltfish at Aunts et Uncles in East Flatbush
1407 Nostrand Avenue, between Martense Street and Linden Boulevard
This all-vegan cafe in Flatbush’s Little Caribbean, opened in 2021 by Mike and Nicole Nicholas, is one the prettiest little restaurants in all of Brooklyn and also sells some of the dopest swag in town, in addition to a ton of outstanding food. The All Green Everything bowl, for example, with sautéed okra, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and pesto, blows me away every time. Mike grew up around the corner and is well aware that selling vegan versions of island classics like Bake & Saltfish and Fish Cakes (both made with hearts of palm, and both superb) could be controversial in the community, but the food at Aunts et Uncles is so good, and the vibe so warm and welcoming, that it’s become a neighborhood favorite. This place rules.
Lechon at Patok by Rach, at Smorgasburg Williamsburg and Prospect Park
At both Brooklyn Smorgasburgs through the fall
I first ate Rach Sabron’s superb lechon up in Harlem, at the monthly Uptown Night Market, and last year she brought the piggy party to Industry City, but again, only once a month. This summer, though, you can get her roasted suckling pig twice a week at both Brooklyn Smorgasburgs, on Saturdays at Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Williamsburg, and on Sundays at Breeze Hill in Prospect Park. With its juicy meat, tons of fat, and crackling skin, all piled onto a fried rice ball, the Filipino favorite at Patok by Rach is almost too rich. But not quite, especially if you cut it with the vinegary sawsawan, or dipping sauce.
The masala dosa at Brooklyn Curry Project in Fort Greene
Saturdays at the corner of Willoughby Avenue and Washington Park
Every Saturday morning, usually around 10:30, Swetha and Venkat Raju set up their Brooklyn Curry Project tent across from Fort Greene Park, and for the next however many hours a long line of regulars happily wait for the couple’s fantastic dosas. With batter made from scratch, the masala version gets liberally seasoned and stuffed with mashed potato, and the lunch combo comes with pickled vegetables, a crunchy little moong sprout salad and a ladleful of khichdi, a daal (lentil) dish. So great. The atmosphere is relentlessly convivial, making this one of Brooklyn’s great gathering spaces.
The Crackerjack sundae at Brix Haus in Prospect Lefferts
406 Rogers Avenue, though the entrance is on Sterling Street
A pandemic project that became a permanent establishment last November, Tara Glick’s excellent ice cream parlor Brix Haus seems poised to become a big hit this summer. Mostly because Glick’s ice cream, a unique combination of Italian and American styles, is delicious, with a rotating menu of flavors like mint chip, coconut mango sorbet and hot honey crunch. But it’s Glick’s Brix Haus Crackerjack sundae that’ll get me here all season, with its scoops of popcorn ice cream, caramel sauce, lots of housemade caramel corn and peanut brittle, and a generous dollop of whipped cream. She invented it during her time as pastry chef at the tony TriBeCa steakhouse American Cut (it’s still on the menu there), but it’s maybe even better out here on the sidewalks of PLG.
Vegan ‘hangover soup’ at Kimchi Kooks Kate’s Kitchen in Bay Ridge
119 Bay Ridge Avenue, just west of Colonial Road
Chef Kate Kook and her son WooJae Chung opened this cute little grab-and- go spot a couple of summers ago, an offshoot of their successful farmers market business, and it’s a great source for all sorts of prepackaged Korean kimchi and bachan, including eomuk (fish cakes), spicy pork or dubu (tofu) jorim; chicken and vegetable muchim, which means it’s seasoned and lightly dressed; and geran mari, a rolled egg omelet. Equally exciting, there are also several composed dishes available as well, like Kook’s restorative “Seoul Remedy’’ soup, which is rich, vegan and reputedly a cure for even the worst hangovers. Take it all to nearby Owl’s Head Park for a picnic and gawk at the weird trees.
The Chicago dog at Dog Day Afternoon in Windsor Terrace
266 Prospect Park West, between Prospect Avenue and 17th Street
Hot dogs are having a moment right now in Brooklyn, with the likes of Glizzy’s in Williamsburg and Bobbi’s Italian Beef in Cobble Hill slinging first-rate franks. My favorite of the new breed of dogs, though, remains the Chicago at Jay Kerr and Joe Boyle’s original Dog Day Afternoon in Windsor Terrace (they’ve since also opened a window at H&H Reserve in Williamsburg). It’s dragged through the garden in the most authentic way, with a pickle spear, spicy sport peppers, tomatoes, raw onion, yellow mustard, celery salt and that weird neon- green relish all piled on a Vienna Beef beauty on a poppy seed bun. The chili cheese dogs here are rad too.
The Greek Bagel at Baby Blues Luncheonette in East Williamsburg
97 Montrose Avenue, between Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue
In summery weather we like to get up and out of the apartment early and, if it’s not a beach day, that means meeting the crew for a brunch-type meal. And one of the best new spots to do exactly that is Baby Blues Luncheonette, Costa Damaskos and Jake Marsiglia’s sunny space on Montrose that pays homage to the classic Greek diner without descending into theme park territory. There’s lots of great food here, but the signature dish is probably the Like a Greek Bagel, a slab of dense, grainy sourdough slathered in a salty whipped feta with a pile of smoked salmon and slices of heirloom tomato on the side for stacking. Start your day with this and watch everything else just fall into place.
The aguachile at Mitica in Greenpoint
222 Franklin Street, at Green Street
Mariscos el Submarino opened in Jackson Heights in the summer of 2020 (though they didn’t finish renovating the space for another year), and chef-owners Alonso Guzman and Amy Hernandez instantly wowed us with their generously portioned aguachile, a Sinaloan specialty uncommon in New York City that’s like ceviche, but livelier. Now the couple has expanded into Brooklyn with a full table-service restaurant in Greenpoint called Mitica that features aguachile plus a bunch of other traditional dishes. The motto here is: “Walk in like a person and leave like a legend.” Which, hell yeah.
The Roll-N-Roast Beef N Cheez at Roll-N-Roaster in Sheepshead Bay
Emmons Street, at the corner of Nostrand Avenue
It’s been more than 50 years since Roll- N-Roaster started feeding the folks of Sheepshead Bay their cheesy roast beef sandwiches, and the interior of this fast-food restaurant still feels like a Carter Administration time warp. If you want to know what 1970 looked like, this is the place. Anything drenched in their signature “cheez” — cottage fries, burgers, chicken, clams (?) — will hit the spot, but the foundation of the place is that roast beef, sliced thin, covered in gravy (and cheez of course), stuffed in a soft seeded bun. It’s perfect after a long bike ride to the end of Bedford Avenue, or as a swing- by snack on the way home from the beach. Bonus, if you splurge for the $60 bottle of Moët, you get a free pizza to boot.
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