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Entries in Food (685)

Monday
Jul212014

El Pollito Mexicano Expands into Space Next Door

El Pollito Mexicano, the Mexican restaurant on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sterling Place, has expanded into the space next door, a room which was previously home to a recording studio named Translator Audio.

The restaurant, which was a mediocre Italian spot called Trattoria Mangia for several years before the owners decided to switch concepts in 2009, has become one of the more popular Mexican restaurants in the area, thanks in part to its inexpensive lunch special, edible food, outdoor seating, and bottomless brunch.

The expansion, which is right next door on Sterling, seats about 30, and will be used for overflow and private parties.

Wednesday
Jul162014

Melt Owner Opening "Rare Earth" in Same Location

For those who had high hopes that the dearly departed City Sub would be re-opening in the storefront next door that was last occupied by Melt (which closed "for renovations" last September and never re-opened), some unfortunate news: a new restaurant called Rare Earth is opening in the space (on Bergen Street just off 5th Avenue), and it's from the same owner as Melt, Muguette Siem A Sjoe.

Siem A Sjoe told Park Slope Stoop that the restaurant, which posted a menu in the window, will be open shortly, in as soon as a week.

The menu (click for a larger version) is divided into separate sections, Ocean, Earth, and Land. "Ocean" includes oysters with a watermelon mignonette ($15), fluke crudo ($12), and peekytoe crab raviolo ($20); "Earth" includes heirloom baby beets ($12), garden grilled flatbread ($10), and buckwheat cavatelli with corn and dendelion greens ($19); "Land" includes porchetta ($12), a short rib burger topped with Jack cheese, tomato jam, and caramelized onions ($14), and braised brisket ($22). Each section is separeted into what appears to be appetizers and entrees.

There's also a brunch menu with options including shredded beef and eggs, baby Dutch pancakes, and chicken and waffles; a kids menu; and a few desserts. The menu also notes that the food is made with "wholesome, fresh, naturally grown ingredients, served at its peak harvest time," which basically every new restaurant is saying at this point.It will be open until midnight during the week and 1 AM on the weekends, with lunch coming soon.

I'm approaching this with cautious optimism; the menu looks creative if a bit conventional ("naturally-grown ingredients" aren't much of a selling point anymore; neither is the segmented menu approach). Utimately it will come down to the skills of the chef, and whether or not the same issues that plagued Melt (high chef turnover, alleged poor management, high price point, side-street location) will affect this one.

Thursday
Jul102014

Signage Going Up at Doughnut Plant Brooklyn

It was first announced only about a month ago that a location of the popular (and delicious) Doughnut Plant, which has two locations in Manhattan (including the original near the Manhattan Bridge) and one in Tokyo, would be opening in the building on Flatbush opposite Sixth last occupied by Yummy Taco. Construction has already begun in earnest, and signage has gone up along the corners of the triangular building.

Construction paper has also gone up in the windows, and it looks like we can expect an awning to be going up any day now. With construction going this quickly, we might be closer to getting some of the city's best doughnuts than we might have thought.

Wednesday
Jul092014

Bogota Owners Bringing Miti Miti Taperia to 138 5th Avenue

It was announced back in November that the owners of popular Latin restaurant Bogota would be opening a new arepa shop in the space on 5th Avenue between Butler and Douglass last occupied by Voodoo Lounge, but it appears as if the concept has changed: signage has gone up in the front window for a new restaurant called Miti Miti Taperia.

Miti Miti shares a name with a line of sauces and plantain chips owned by the same duo who own the perpetually-packed Bogota, Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou, and judging by the name it looks like they've scrapped the arepa concept for one centered on tapas, which certainly works for me.

Here's a post about the new restaurant that was recently posted on Constant Contact:

"We are excited to share the news of our upcoming restaurant with an expected opening date of sometime in September of 2014.  Nine years in the making, Miti Miti Taperia will be located just a hop, skip and a jump away from our current location on 5th Avenue. The name comes from the spanish slang for "half and half" ("mitad y mitad"). The menu will consist of small and large plates meant to be shared. The Miti Miti experience is meant to evoke not just sharing of food, but sharing of good times, laughter, joy, friendship, great conversation, and memories. Yes, the concept will be different but the values that have made Bogota Latin Bistro a popular dining destination both within and outside of the community will remain the same."

I've reached out to Lancheros for additional details and will update if I hear back.

Tuesday
Jul082014

Facade Revealed, Signage Up at Flatbush Avenue Shake Shack

Construction has been progressing on the second Brooklyn location of Shake Shack, coming to Flatbush Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets, since soon after the rumors were confirmed back in February, and it appears that they're getting ready to open.

The sidewalk shed has come down (revealing an attractive restoration of the facade, which had been covered with metal sheeting for decades) and signage has gone up.

The understated sign is standard for the chain, with a Neutraface font that will light up in neon. There's also a smaller burger-shaped vertical sign jutting from the brick at far left.

Meanwhile, the interior appears to be nearing completion. It looks like the majority of fixtures (including at least two televisions) have been installed, with just the finishing touches remaining. Here's a peek above the contstruction paper:

The entrance (at right) will most likely lead right up to the metal counter, with a large seating area to the left (with benches seating 4-6 along the far left wall) and more seating up against the front windows, facing the Barclays Center directly across the street.

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