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Entries in Open For Business (211)

Tuesday
Jul142015

Open for Business: The Perfect Potato, 172 Fifth Avenue

A Belgian-style fry shop called The Perfect Potato has opened at 172 Fifth Avenue, betwen Degraw and Sackett. There's a rather limited menu, as can be expected: just fries, poutine, and milkshakes.

European-style fries are fried to order and served in cones, and there's a wide selection of sauces: ketchup, Dijon mayo, mayo, and malt vinegar are free; coconut curry, zucchini basil, heirloom tomato, gorgonzola tarragon, wasabi mayo, sriracha ketchup, thai chili lime cashew, miso roasted red pepper, and Moroccan tagine with apricot sauces are are available for $2.

There are also several varieties of poutine (the uber-popular Canadian dish of fries topped with brown gravy and cheese curds): classic (with curds made specially for the shop), mushroom, roast pork, and "hangover cure" (with gravy, curds, fried eggs, onions, peas, and candied bacon). As for milkshakes, they're available in creative flavors including peanut butter and jelly, preserved lemon, mango lassi, banana cream pie, plain vanilla, and Bourbon pecan.

The shop was absolutely packed when I dropped by on Sunday, and while nothing looked especially healthy, it all looked delicious; the fries were golden brown and freshly-fried, and the poutine looked gutbustingly tasty.So far, Yelp reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

Belgian-style frites shops aren't easy to come by in this city; the most popular one, Pommes Frites, was sadly destroyed in the East Village explosion in March and is still working to get back on its feet. That shop was nothing short of beloved, and this seems set to be a success as well.

The Perfect Potato, 172 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: (917) 909-0465.

Wednesday
Jul012015

Open for Business: Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, 259 Fifth Avenue

Park Slope's newest burger joint, Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, opened a week ago today on the corner of Fifth and Garfield. Thankfully, it looks like some real care went into both the menu as well as the design.

The dimly-lit restaurant is run by two friends, and they've sourced their ingredients from a host of local purveyors, including Baked in Brooklyn, Balthazar, and Brooklyn Brine. Grass fed meat comes from Boerum Hill-based butcher Dellapietras, and is a 50% chuck, 50% brisket blend. All patties are eight ounces.

The menu is fairly expansive; you can choose from a wide variety of patties, buns, toppings, and sauces, or choose from one of their creative burger options. Those include their flagship B&B Burger (bacon, brie, onion ring, special sauce, and arugula on brioche); The Motherload (bison patty, truffle mac and cheese, and bacon on brioche); and the Blue Moon (topped with turkey bacon, blue cheese, garlic aioli, and a sunny side up egg). Other options are made with lamb, tuna, black bean, and kobe patties, as well as fried chicken. There's also plenty of of appetizers (wings, maple bacon, fruit guacamole), sliders (pork belly, crisy fish, falafel), and sldes (three fries, corn on the cob, onion rings, cucumber apple slaw). It's really clear that it's all about the burgers here, which is a good thing.

The space is smartly laid out, and there's a very solid selection of beers on tap as well as cocktails, many of which are beer-based. So long as there's a market for burgers in this neighborhood (which there certainly is, even though there's plenty of competition), I see this place doing very well. Cheeburger Cheeburger this ain't.

Wednesday
Jun172015

Open for Business: Fresh Bite, 168 Fifth Avenue

A new corner deli called Fresh Bite opened on Sunday on the corner of Fifth Avenue and DeGraw Street, in the space last occupied by bodega Magic Deli.

It's a fairly straightforward if no-frills sandwich shop, with a decent selection of Boar's Head cold cuts, cold salads, and other supplies needed to make a wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches. There's also a small selection of hot foods in the steam table. All breads and other baked goods (including bagels, which looked surprisingly decent) are delivered daily from a wholesale bakery in Long Island City.

Along with sandwiches, there's a decent variety of sodas and other beverages as well as chips and salsa and other snack foods, with an emphasis on healthy and organic items. The owners are friendly and seemed quite happy to be open and serving the neighborhood. While there's certainly no shortage of places like this in the area, that doesn't mean that they're not good to have around.

Monday
Mar302015

Open for Business: The Estaminet Brooklyn, 107A Seventh Avenue

A new French cafe called The Estaminet has opened on the corner of Seventh Avenue and President Street, in the space last occupied by eyeglass shop Spectacles on Seventh.

“A hug in a mug, coffee, and more” is the shop's tagline, and the small space only fits a counter and a handful of tables. The coffee menu includes espresso, ristretto, macchiato, afogatto, Americano, cappuccino, latte, mocha, hot chocolate, and frappe. Prices range from $2.50 (espresso) to $6.50 (large hot chocolate).  There's also a selection of savory and sweet crepes averaging about $8, juices ($5-9), and yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast.

Unfortunately there's no Facebook or Twitter page and the website is inexcusably bad (95 percent of it still seems to be a generic "cafe" template, complete with lorem ipsum text), but at least the shop itself seems to be well-planned. There are several other places in that general area to get a cup of coffee (including Cafe Dada and Cafe Regular du Nord), and the small space doesn't really invite hanging around with your laptop, so it'll be interesting to see if another grab-and-go coffee shop will do well here.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Ollie & Ry Now Open in Bageltique Space on Fifth

A new bagel and sandwich shop with a cheffy twist opened last week in the space that was last occupied by Bageltique, on Fifth Avenue between Carroll and President Streets. It's called Ollie & Ry, and it's owned by two chefs who named the restaurant after their young children.

The the northern half of the double-wide storefront is a coffee bar selling a nice selection of coffee drinks, the southern half is a seating area, and like Bageltique orders are placed at a counter in the back. Just about everything is made in-house: there are two varieties of lox, one made from salmon and the other trout; bacon, roast beef, and pulled pork are all fresh-made; and bagels (which sell for $1) are made locally by one of the owners' friends.

You can get all the familiar bagels and toppings here, as well as breakfasts like eggs and pancakes and sandwiches including roast beef with Korean barbecue sauce and kimchee slaw; pulled pork with Chinese five-spice, hoisin, and cabbage slaw; pulled chicken with chimichurri, lettuce, tomato, and mayo; top round roast beef melt with melted cheese and onions; chicken salad; and even grilled cheese with Spam. There are also several salads and fresh-squeezed juices.

This restaurant elevates your usual bagel shop a bit; the bagels are tasty, the sandwiches are well-prepared, and the housemade bacon and cured salmon are definitely a nice touch.