1) open, airy, cool/mod decor -- bench tables (with backs), subway tile, beautiful fixtures, open kitchen.
2) they were packed to the gills. Sixty people (at least) at 2PM. Needless to say, DUMBO needed this place (as it does many other food options!)
3) opening day jitters (long wait to order, expedite, etc.), but they will surely smooth this out once they get their sea legs
4) REALLY nice staff (and lots of them!)
5) Menu is large and well-conceived. Lots of sandwiches (and not just paninis); many burgers; eggs and pancakes and waffles; rotisserie; lots of salads (greens; grains, veg; etc.); huge bakery operation featuring everything; chicken pot pie, roast sausages, mac and cheese; and a kids menu. Smart. And they deliver. And are open late. As in dinner. Huge for DUMBO residents.
6) No idea how the food is -- got a rotisserie chicken to go for dinner, but it smells great -- lots of herbs, good skin, and resting on a bed of roasted potatoes. Nice touch.
7) I hope they kick the General Store's ass (or motivate them to get it together). Pardon the rant, but this is the perfect opportunity to vent. I eat at the General Store two or three times a week. I love the vibe and the staff are wonderful. But the menu is stale. it has hardly changed in years except for the short-lived recent dinner experiment featuring southern-accented world cuisine...some of that food was actually pretty good (shrimp and grits), but the concept was a disaster, and it was gone before we knew it...plus,the lunch menu never changed the whole time! Meanwhile, they still run the same specials every freakin' day -- banana pancakes (and they already have regular pancakes on the menu) and eggs with grits. Snore. Most days, they also have a soup (which they are very good at churning out), but not all days -- including 'dead of winter' days. WTF?!! It wouldn't take much to offer sandwiches that aren't paninis (they used to do this, then yanked them entirely) or just put a soup or two on the regular menu, or even come up with an inspired special, Meanwhile, they are now offering a simplified comfort food dinner menu which I have yet to try that features roast chicken, garlic shrimp, mac and cheese, etc. Frankly, they really ought to turn themselves into a pop-up Italian restaurant at night -- that's what the 'hood needs. Five or six excellent pastas, some clean, bright salads, etc. In the meantime, their breakfast/lunch biz is going to take a major hit due to Choice. This is the perfect opportunity for them to revamp their lunch menu -- how about a turkey club, for instance, or homemade chicken salad, or a caesar salad...among others. If they don't freshen up, it's going to be ugly. Fingers crossed they make the effort and the neighborhood profits from not only expanded options, but better food due to healthy competition!
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