Archive for the tag 'restaurants'

dunkin-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts will soon open at 273 Avenue X, replacing an independent coffee house with a franchise.

The storefront, at the corner of Stryker Street and a block shy of McDonald Avenue, is the former home of Amori Baci,, a nice Italian cafe that served gelato and crepes in addition to standard coffee house fare. Amori Baci opened in 2011, but we’re not sure when it shuttered.

Dunkin’ Donuts appears to be making moves in the area. Another location is popping up on Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, as well as on Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach. Those are the ones we know about, and their website lists dozens of existing locations in the area. With the latest additions, it’s nearly at the point where you’ll be able to find a D-n-D within five blocks of any spot in the neighborhood.

We’re not so sure that’s a good thing. What do you think?

Photo by John H.

Photo by John H.

Tipsters let us know that Pizza D’Amore is preparing to open up shop at 3003 Avenue U, the former storefront of Pizzeria Del Corso and Sammie’s Pizza.

It’s the latest outpost for the pizzeria, which also has locations in Mill Basin and Bensonhurst’s Ceasar’s Bay. The storefront is being fully renovated and the exterior got a major facelift.

The previous tenant, Sammie’s Pizza and Restaurant, opened in 2011 and closed up shop some time ago after failing to make much of a mark in the neighborhood. And, to be fair, they had big shoes to fill after taking the spot over from Pizzeria Del Corso, run by pizza prodigy Nino Coniglio.

We’ve heard good things about Pizza D’Amore, though, and readers of our sister site Bensonhurst Bean nominated it as one of that neighborhood’s best slices.

Best of luck to the new owners, and we look forward to grabbing a bite soon!

ms-pizza

Pizzeria number four is coming to the space at 2224 Avenue U, where signs for Michael & Sophia’s Pizzeria went up recently.

The new pizzeria will replace Grandpa’s Pizza Cafe, which closed in May after four months in business. Prior to that it was South Brooklyn Pizza, which had served up pies for less than a year. Before South Brooklyn Pizza, there was Calabrese Pizza & Restaurant, which was also short-lived. Before that, there was Tai Yuan, which was open for only a few weeks. Tai Shan preceded that – again, surviving only a few months.

That would make this business number seven in five years.

We wish Michael & Sophia’s the best of luck, and truly hope they succeed in breaking what appears to be a curse on this address – at least for any eatery. We hope to let you know when they’re open.

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Walking past the Emmons Avenue staple Randazzo’s Clam Bar on Monday, we spotted that the restaurant overhauled its iconic lobster sign.

Gone are the days of single-color neon red lighting lining the lobster above the 2017 Emmons Avenue storefront. Good ol’ claws has been modernized. More color. More flashing. More lobsterrific.

I set up to take one photo of it, but couldn’t decide which color I liked best. So I took as many as I could and stitched the photos together into an animated GIF. In real life, the colors don’t change as quickly. But here at Sheepshead Bites, we do everything faster. Try not to have a seizure.

Here’s one I art-ed up a bit for you:

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Gourmanoff, a new gourmet supermarket from the folks behind NetCost Market, is now open at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue, taking up the ground floor of the former Millenium Theater.

The owners celebrated the grand opening Monday evening with an invite-only party, with Vegas-style cocktail waitresses handing out champagne and a full display of the market’s culinary talents. Here’s our photo tour.

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“We want Gourmanoff to be Lexus to NetCost’s Toyota,” said executive chef Zack Hess, pictured above. “It’s a different caliber than NetCost. Our products are super high-end.”

Hess, 32, said the market only sells organic meats, and all seafood is shipped fresh from Alaska, Maine and Long Island.

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The third-generation chef comes to Gourmanoff after stints at Manhattan restaurants and ritzy country clubs. Now he oversees Gourmanoff’s prolific kitchen, which produces dozens of hot items served along the market’s perimeter. From sushi to shashlik, lobster rolls to olivier salads and a huge display of smoked fish, Hess, a Sheepshead Bay native, has a hand in all of it.

His favorite items on the menu are the scallop ceviche and short ribs, which we can attest were among the best of the dozens of samples offered Monday night.

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dunkin-donuts

Brighton Beach will be home to a new Dunkin’ Donuts in the near future, with construction set to wrap up soon at 361 Neptune Avenue, on the corner of Brighton 3rd Street.

The lot has been home to the shell of an old gas station and garage for quite a number of years, and it looks like plans for the franchise coffee and sweets shop have been in the works since late 2012, judging from Department of Buildings records. The plans were finally approved in January and work began thereafter.

It doesn’t look like they’ll have a drive-through operation, but there will be parking for as many as 13 cars in the lot – which has yet to be paved. It looks like they’re still working on the interior, too, and the cracked, weed-covered sidewalk around the perimeter will probably be redone as well.

What do you think – good place for a Dunkin’ Donuts?

The same lot in 2012. Source: Google Maps

The same lot in 2012. Source: Google Maps

fridays

Source: Fridays

Thank the lord for America’s independent, free press, delving into the weightiest and most controversial of issues, serving as a public watchdog, the fourth estate, protecting our freedoms… and eating mozzarella sticks for 14 hours so we don’t have to.

In case you haven’t heard, T.G.I. Friday’s launched a new promotion at select locations, giving patrons the chance to eat an unlimited amount of appetizers for just $10. Creatively, it’s called “Endless Appetizers.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Psha. Endless? Yeah, right. They’ll crack down on you by hour three and start demanding you order something or get out.” Especially in the no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble Sheepshead Bay location, right?

That’s what Gawker’s Caity Weaver thought too. So she did her journalistic duty, trekked down to Harkness Avenue, ordered some endless mozzarella sticks (you only get to choose one of seven appetizers – madness!), and sat their for four… teen… freakin’… hours.

Forget Israel. Forget the Ukraine. Somebody get this lady a Pulitzer and tell all those other reporters to go home.

What resulted from the effort was a whopping 6,000-word opus to utter self-contempt in a nearly minute-by-minute breakdown of her stay. All-in-all, Weaver didn’t eat all that much; just 7 orders, or 32 mozzarella sticks in total. That’s an amount most of fat, big-mouthed jerks behind keyboards think is just pitiful, but Weaver attributes it to the fact that Friday’s mozzarella sticks, which have been gussied in up in vain with a Parmesan and Romano dusting, were just god awful. And I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, because by the end of it she so clearly hated herself in a way that suggested she ate three times that amount.

The conclusion? Well, the Endless Appetizers deal is unlimited, although Weaver potentially sabotaged the report by disclosing to management before she began that she was there to test the policy. So further research must be done. (We’re on it.)

Other takeaways? Friday’s mozzarella sticks reportedly suck. Heinz makes you do too much to participate in their back-of-the-bottle promotions. The daytime service at Fridays is nice; in the evening, not so much. Weaver doesn’t care much for Plumb Beach channel, which she describes thusly, “as nice as any scenic bay or rainbow gasoline puddle.” There appear to be a few creeps who hang out there and say weird things to pretty girls covered in mozzarella-stick-grease.

Oh, and Caity Weaver is funny as hell. Read this thing. It was the best part of my day.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

It was just last week that Brennan & Carr was named one of New York City’s most iconic meat dishes by Eater NY. Was rival roast beef peddler Roll-N-Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue) going to be ignored?

C’mon. Nobody puts Roll-N-Roaster in a corner. They put them on “Best of” lists. Specifically, CBS News “Best of” lists, which has to be among the best “Best of” lists because they once named us Best Local Affairs Website and obviously have good taste.

The news outlet calls Roll-N-Roaster one of eight best sandwiches in Brooklyn, describing it thusly:

While “You can have CHEEZ on anything you PLEEZ” would be enough to entice even the strongest will-powered man into Roll-n-Roaster, there are reasons galore to visit – though most do include said CHEEZ. First and foremost is the wonderful roast beef sandwich; thin slices of beef with a pink center arrive piled high on a soft bun, a sandwich that would put to shame that fast food sandwich chain that claims to make these.

One week, two local roast beef sandwiches on “Best of” lists, and never a consensus on which is better.

Congratulations to both of our meateries!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Oh, the struggles of life in Sheepshead Bay. A beautiful waterfront. A glut of mass transit options. Prideful mom-and-pop businesses lining the commercial streets.

Sounds like hell, right? That’s the way some residents make it sound. If I had a nickel for every time a reader has told me we need one corporate franchise eatery or another – Starbucks! Outback Steakhouse! Red F’ing Mango! – I’d have enough nickels to give up this journalism racket, open up a 7-Eleven, a shove taquitos down everyone’s face-hole while yelling “ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? ARE YOU?!”

The latest is this open letter by Sheepshead Bay resident DJ Alex Edge to Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer. Edge has just finished up Meyer’s book, “Setting the Table” and it made him hungry for a “beautiful cheese drenched Shake Shake [sic] double.” But Manhattan is oh-so-far. Forty freakin’ minutes!

Rather than take the hike to the bland, corporate Disneyland that is Manhattan, Edge goes for the more dignified approach. He begged… and gave the finger to Sheepshead Bay’s existing dining options.

I am not sure why but my neighborhood is pilfered with hundreds of sushi joints, Turkish shish kebab eateries, and Russian dens filled with lavish French delicacies. Even though I am from the part of the world that enjoys a good plate of caviar, I am a simple fellow Danny. One who enjoys a great burger that’s cooked just right. A burger that’s served with a generous amount of fries, a perfect smidgen of sauce and a smile that’s ripped right out of the pages of your hunger inducing book.

Hey, man. I’m all in agreement that the Bay would benefit from more variety, but our Russian dens and Turkish eateries are the tops, and the sushi joints… well, at least they’re cheap.

Anyway, Edge goes on to provide three reasons why Shake Shack should set up shop in Southern Brooklyn sooner rather than later. Which, quite honestly, are mostly good reasons for almost any business to be getting into the game down here:

  1. Coney Island. The same iconic Coney Island that has been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. As much as Coney Island recovered from the destruction, imagine the impact you can have on the community when you build the ultimate family destination for delicious food. The number of jobs such an enterprise would create. The amount of positive PR and feedback it can generate for your brand and the area in general.
  2. Frozen Custard. As I’m sure you know Danny, frozen custard was invented in Coney Island by two smart fellows, Archie and Elton Kohr. What better way to honor the memory of these two beautiful geniuses than by slinging frozen custard in the land of it’s forefathers.
  3. The Timing. Yes, Danny as you can tell by now I read your book carefully. The timing for this is perfect. Where 20 years ago something like this would never be possible, the amount of people who crave a better product in our area is huge. I see it every day. The sad sunk in faces of young couples consuming sushi. A family of four pretending to love a gyro. Come on. We all know a gyro doesn’t come close to the satisfaction of a burger.

I don’t know, man. I like my gyros. And the sushi… well, at least it’s cheap.

What do you think? Does Sheepshead Bay need a Shake Shack? Or would we do better to see a homegrown burger joint come into its own and take over the rest of the city?

Source: wallyg/Flickr

Big ups to Brennan & Carr, featured this week in Eater NY’s roundup of New York City’s 21 most iconic meat dishes.

The 3424 Nostrand Avenue business has been serving up hot beef dipped in broth and slapped on a bun for 76 years, and remains a family institution. It’s a frequent competitor for best roast beef in the city and is locked in fierce competition for that title with Roll-N-Roaster. Undisputed, though, is that our area has the city’s best roast beef. Just which of the two locales dishes it up is an internecine battle we’ll watch from the sidelines, thank you very much.

Anyway, Eater, having to explain the quirky, exotic behaviors of native Southern Brooklynites to New York City’s army of transplanted foodies, goes into anthropologist mode:

[Brennan & Carr serves] a roast beef-filled Kaiser bun that’s liberally doused in a thin, salty liquid known as “the broth.” Many customers choose to get this sandwich double dipped, while others order this same sandwich with cheese whiz.

Mhm, yes. And some who order it can even use sign language to demand a banana.

Anyway, Brennan & Carr contends with Nathan’s Famous hot dogs as the cheapest items on the list, which also includes a $145 côte de boeuf and the Peter Luger porterhouse. That’s some fine company.

Now, a question nearly as eternal as which local roast beefery is the best: what neighborhood is Brennan & Carr in? At Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U, it’s solidly Homecrest in my book, which, for lack of any stature as an actual neighborhood, passes as Sheepshead Bay. But Marine Park residents have for years tried to claim it as their own. Eater refers to the restaurant as a “beloved Gravesend institution,” which makes me wonder if they’re using a mid-19th Century map, and others still have called it – gah – Midwood!

Thoughts?

[Other Brennan & Carr shout-outs we've covered: Eater NY in 2011, Man v Food's Adam Richman gives some praise, Urban Spoon names it the top neighborhood restaurant in 2011]

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