Has anyone else seen Urban Spoon’s list of “The Best American Restaurants in Sheepshead Bay?” The restaurants are, in order:
- Brennan & Carr
- Paradise Garden
- T.G.I. Friday’s
- Cherry Hill Gourmet
- Restaurant Sabor Latino
Anyone else find it to be just a trifle… off?
The first time I saw the list, I inadvertently glossed over the word “American,” and just read it as “The Best Restaurants In Sheepshead Bay.” I don’t know why. You know how that sometimes happens though, right? Still, going through the list, my first reaction was a simple, understated, “WTF?” I then showed it to our venerable publisher, who asked me why I found it so odd, and then, magically, the word “American” appeared.
Upon realizing that the criteria was somewhat different from the first time I had viewed the list, my thoughts reverted to yesterday’s post about L Magazine, in which I had listed a handful of Sheepshead Bay’s fine dining and food institutions. We do agree that Brennan & Carr, Roll-n-Roaster, Randazzo’s, Chicken Masters, Jordan’s Lobster Dock, Clemente’s, and Wheeler’s have some of the finest “American” food available in the Bay, yes?
If yes, then WHY is Brennan & Carr the only “American” restaurant on Urban Spoon’s list?
I’ve never been to Paradise Gardens, so on that I cannot comment, although its website describes it as “a Russian restaurant,” and Buckley’s is a neighborhood institution and my old job used to hold the occasional holiday party there, so I have no issue with Buckley’s either. But… McDonald’s? Twice, no less? Come on. Which one? The five star bastion of fine dining on Nostrand between V & W, or the palatial charcuterie on Sheepshead Bay Road?
I can’t really knock TGI Fridays or Applebees either. I haven’t eaten in either of those places but once in my life, and barely remember the experience. In fact, I could barely tell the two places apart. Some days, when I ride my bike along Emmons, I’m still half expecting to see The Sizzler where Applebees is now, but I digress.
Now, Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. I shopped there once. Which is kind of the point. It’s a supermarket, no? Where one goes food shopping, not sits down to eat, right? Maybe they have a hidden café, which I could have managed to overlook. I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt here.
What did perplex me the most was the inclusion of Restaurant Sabor Latino. Now, Robert Fernandez of “The Bite” had high praise for the restaurant’s Latin American fare — even noting that their “hearty, bone-warming stew” reminded him of “the stews of mi abuelita” — but at this point we should be hearing a screeching record come to a complete eardrum-piercing halt.
No wonder we get no respect. Some nice, unassuming family from Dubuque, Iowa, or Butte, Montana, might wish to visit Sheepshead Bay one of these days, and the parents — traveling with their iPad — will look up some good “American restaurants” to eat at in the area… and this is what they will find: McDonald’s, McDonald’s, a bunch of generic franchise restaurants, an exotic supermarket specializing in imported Eastern European fare, a Russian restaurant, a Latin American restaurant… and Brennan & Carr.
Methinks Urban Spoon is messing with our heads with some April Fool’s in September.
If you had to make your own list, what would your top 10 “American restaurants” in Sheepshead Bay be?