Quick Bites is a new monthly (or at least semi-regular) column that will wrap up all the restaurant and foodie news you can use from around Brooklyn. Here’s what you need to know for the tail end of November and first days of December. See you at the chef’s table.
Kellogg’s Diner is getting a Tex-Mex reboot in 2024
How much of Kellogg’s interior will look the same next year? Time will tell… (Scott Lynch)
Williamsburg’s iconic 96-year-old Kellogg’s Diner is about to undergo a major overhaul, thanks to new owner Louis Skibar, whose other operations include successful diner-y such spots asOld John’s on the Upper West Side and Coppelia in Chelsea. Most exciting: Chef Jackie Carnesi, formerly ofNura and Roberta’s plans on introducing a new menu that emphasizes Tex-Mex dishes.
The team is being coy for now about specifics, but evidence suggests that the Kellogg’s Carnesi era is going to rule. Carnesi has teased us with Tex-Max stuff before, includingher Texas BBQ popup at the Meat Hook last summer that was a meal for the ages, and on her final night at Nura, right before Thanksgiving, she filled the place with friends and fans feasting on a special“Texas Takeover” menu that functioned as a kind of Kellogg’s preview.
Among the highlights that night: brisket tamales, a shockingly good onion salad, pickled shrimp tostada, and some amazing Texas torpedoes, which are basically cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon. Carnesi was born and raised in Brownsville, right on the Texas-Mexico border. This stuff is deep in her DNA.
Kellogg’s had been run by Irene Siderakis since 2018 after her husband Chris Siderakis died, but the family declared bankruptcy andput the place up for sale earlier this year. The restaurant will close for renovations on December 18 — a new cocktail bar is in the works, among other infrastructural updates — and then reopen in February or March.
Kellogg’s Diner is located at 518 Metropolitan Avenue
Chef Tami Treadwell brings some uptown soul to Downtown Brooklyn
Jumbo shrimp with collard greens and mac and cheese, $20.95 (Scott Lynch)
The underground, consistently-hopping DeKalb Market Hall, located beneath the City Point complex in Downtown Brooklyn, recently added a notable new vendor to its already formidable lineup (Baby’s Buns and Buckets is a personal favorite) in Chef Tami Treadwell’s inimitableHarlem Seafood Soul.
Treadwell’s menu here is heavy on hearty oceanic delights, such as shrimp and grits, catfish nuggets, oyster po-boys, and “old school fish and chips.” Collard greens with smoked turkey, hush puppies, candied yams, and honey butter cornbread are among the appealing array of sides.
In addition to feeding thousands of people in her Harlem community since she first launched her business back in 2016 with a truck up on 125th Street, Treadwell has also focused her considerable energy on uplifting other women entrepreneurs and building a state-of-the art, eco-friendly mobile kitchen that uses a combination of solar and rechargeable battery power.
“Whenever we brought our food truck to Brooklyn, whether for Curlfest, CultureCon, or Afropunk, we always got so much love from the people here,” Treadwell tells Brooklyn Magazine. “So we are super excited to be in the DeKalb Market Hall, and to share the old school values and strong sense of community that I grew up with. We look out for one another, and I feel like Brooklyn really appreciates that.”
Al pastor and cheeseburger tacos, $10 for both (Scott Lynch)
Michael Boucicaut was born and raised in Brooklyn, currently lives in Canarsie, and when he started pursuing his dream of opening a restaurant two years ago, the only place he looked was in Bed-Stuy. “This neighborhood is very familiar to me,” Boucicaut tells Brooklyn Magazine. “My mom is a hair stylist, and has had a business here in Bed-Stuy for 35 years, and I wanted to give something back to the community where she’s made her living.”
Boucicaut’s place, which he opened about two months ago, is called The Taco Bar, and as you would expect there are plenty of tacos on the menu here, ranging from the traditional options like carne asada and birria to more unexpected fillings such as jerk chicken, a nod to his Haitian heritage. The two tacos I had tried during a quick visit this week, the al pastor and the cheeseburger, were delicious, and I’m eager to go back for more. You can also order burritos, rice bowls, loaded nachos, and snacky things like wings, empanadas, and elote.
Taco Bar aspires to be a straight-up party spot as well, and it stays open until 2:00 a.m on the weekends. The lights are low, the music is bumping and loud, and there are a dozen different margaritas on offer (strawberry, guava, watermelon, spicy pineapple), as well as a variety of shots in case you want to get sloppy. Nah just kidding, you’ll be fine, go for it my dude.
“We take pride in our food, in our drinks, in our customer service,” says Boucicaut. “So far we’re known to our neighbors but I want other people to come see what we have to offer, because I think we have the best Mexican food in Bed-Stuy.”