for the past few months, i have been dragging the family out nearly every weekend, several times a weekend in fact, to try out the many spots on my list in brooklyn, but so far at least, we have failed to find spots that meet the cherrypatter standard of excellence. so while i tend not to write about the places not to go to, i thought i might share today at least some of the flops, or maybe bad beginnings, that we’ve been experiencing of late. of course, there are plenty of places yet to try which could fill my “outer borough food slot” including the huge assortment of asian and latino spots in queens, a few in sunset park, some destinations in the williamsburg/greenpoint hood i haven’t yet visited (fette sau for one, along with peter pan donuts and of course this market) and mimi’s hummus out in ditmas park (purple yam wasn’t a winner either unfortunately). so if you all have any thoughts as to what i’m missing please send them my way. but for something close to home in the south slope area, things have been a bust.
first off, benchmark. this place is right on our block so we were hopeful. but our meal was overpriced, and very very bland. the thickest hollandaise we’ve seen in a long while. we’ve heard better things about dinner (we sat outside for brunch) but given the pricing and the really unimpressive canned juice in our mimosas we won’t be back.
our third visit to buttermilk channel was not the charm. while the space is lovely in an “easy to digest way”, the service is always a little bit off, and the food frankly just isn’t spectacular. even their much beloved almonds with bacon snacks (above) were not fresh — a little soggy and not at all appealing. not sure why buttermilk continues to be so crazy busy but for the same money i would opt for prime meats or frankies.
other recent visits include calexico (pictured up top) which was fine for cheap, mexican food but nothing to go crazy over (locally, i prefer maria’s), and sue perette was just a little depressing. i had seen saipua’s rave review but for our meal, the foie gras was cool and dull, the fries overfried and coolish, and the hanger steak and lamb were not of the best quality. and even more sad the place was empty so i think it might not be long for this world. i also checked out the new scoopz on 5th avenue this weekend. i could really use a good ice cream in our hood but scoopz doesn’t do the trick. their chocloate gelato was watery and too sweet. maybe their ices will be more successful.
lastly, two new spots didn’t quite hit the mark with us. first up was fornino. that place was packed to the gills. however, i don’t think my favs – robertas, franny’s or motorino — need to worry. the fornino service was way off (no idea how to deal with kids despite the much maligned kids’ menu), the appetizers were unremarkable and the pizza was like a big cracker with cheese. we also checked out seersucker a couple of weeks ago. the chicken and dumplings, while a little salty, would be great for those cooler days, and i did like the crispy catfish appetizer (super spicy mayo based sauce) and the biscuit box. the iceberg salad (above) and the grilled steak though were pretty meh, and i was no fan of the shrimp and grits. it was too mushy and didn’t work. i love the space though, and the service was kind, and given that there were some highlights we’ll be back to see if they improve more generally.
so i clearly need to get ready for some eating far from home, and hopefully we’ll all be the better for it.