Restaurants & Bars

Getting to know Greenpoint and Williamsburg

lucye | Apr 22, 200804:16 PM     43

I recently moved to Greenpoint after years in Alphabet City, which became a culinary mecca over the course of the time we lived there. I'm trying to get my bearings here (with the help of Chowhound,) and we don't have a kitchen set up in our new place so it's even more dire! We tend to eat mid-range (sit-down or delivery, but not too pricy). So here's what I've hit so far and what I'm interested in. I'm hoping to help other new Greenpointers and to hear from the old guard. Feel free to weigh in, Brooklynites!

Cafe Grumpy: Thank God for Cafe Grumpy. Leaving my beloved 9th Street Espresso was one of the hardest things about moving. I think that other than Everyman (13th and 4th in Manhattan), Gimme (Lorimer and Grand), Grumpy has the best coffee (drip, French Press, and espresso). Also, it's great to sit and do work in because the back area is kept quiet - everyone else is working too.

Eat Records: This place is cute, has okay coffee, and is a nice place to work in the mornings when I need "real" food (not just baked goods). Their breakfasts are good and not too expensive. The only problem is that the music is too good and the sound system is too good. If you're easily distracted by music, don't go there to work, just to chill.

Queens Hideaway: One of my biggest disappointments in Greenpoint. Mediocre food (we went with friends, so we were able to sample quite a few things and nothing broke the mediocrity barrier). The prices were truly outrageous for what we got, both quality-wise and portions. The service was inattentive and impolite.

Greenpoint Coffee House: I really like this place, atmosphere-wise. Okay coffee. Some of the food is dynamite (omelettes, soups, pancakes), some of it is blah (burgers, desserts). Service is good. I wish the menu were larger and more varied, but I will continue to go here regularly. I also love that they have breakfast food all day.

Brooklyn Label: I haven't tried any of their higher-end things, but their sandwiches and egg dishes are yummy. Most of all, their vegan cookies are INCREDIBLE (and I'm not vegan, but I am a serious cookie-lover). Also, their service is consistently great - perfect level of attention, uber-friendly, drink always filled, etc. Wish they were open Sundays, but I'm happy to hear they're going to be staying open later.

The Garden: Good sandwiches. Really good sandwiches. Also, good produce selection.

OTT: We chose this Thai place over the 1/2 a million others in the neighborhood for the important reason that it delivers late. Not bad, but definitely nothing special. Waited about 30 min for delivery, which seems a bit much, but not ridiculous.

Thai Cafe: Whew- spicy! I'm sure this place is more "authentic" or something, but we just about burned our mouths out. Prices aren't bad and open late, but next time we'll emphasize MILD.

Sweetwater: Absolutely perfect. On a nice day, sat outside in the back and had a sensational dinner. I recommend highly their corn-fed chicken breast over lentils and spinach (so tender) and their plum/ricotta dessert. Good beers and wines, too.

Egg: This place seems seriously overrated. My eggs were so runny they were barely cooked. My friend's biscuits were positively dough. Maybe the gas wasn't on the day we went? On top of that, after waiting for 30 min, you'd think we'd have decent service. On the contrary, the server seemed, well, . . . frustrated. Not that I don't understand how frustrating it would be to deal with that many people, but it was unpleasant.

Miranda: This place was great. The food was delicious, the wine was good, the atmosphere was lovely. The servers, in particular, were marvelous. Great special occasion place.

Oslo: Decent espresso, but overrated. Doesn't hold up to 9th St, Everyman, Gimme, or Grumpy. More equivalent to Joe, the Art of Coffee in the West Village. I like their newspaper table though and it's close enough to the train and park that it's a good meeting place.

Peter's Since 1969: Quality seems to vary here, but I love the comfort-food sides, especially their very buttery green veggies and fluffy spinach. I also love how close it is to the Bedford L stop, so I can stuff my hungry face within minutes of getting off the train.

Verb Cafe: Don't bother. Coffee is awful. Espresso drinks are awful. Music is awful. Didn't try the food and I'm glad.

McDonalds on Greenpoint and Manhattan: Now, it was late and they're 24 hours. I went in to a get a grilled chicken salad (seemed palatable) and they didn't have any chicken. So, that ought to tell you something.

Tonight, we're going to Baci & Abbracci. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

There are still a ton of places left that I'd like to try. Some of the tops: Paloma, Cafe Riviera, Enid's, Acapulco, Divine Follie, Lokal, erb, Sapporo Haru. We'd also like to figure out where to eat Polish food because the choices are overwhelming and we don't speak Polish. My hopes are high for Paloma's burgers: I need a good burger 'round the neighborhood!

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