You New Yorkers don't know how good ya got it. I know Junior's is considered not in the same league as 2nd Ave or Katz's - but if there was a place like this near Boston, I'd live there.
I haven't been to Brooklyn in five years - a week long business conference started with a day of fruit and bagels and muffins and moved on to nicely grill marked chicken breasts at lunch. The group decided to go to the hotel restaurant and follow with the bar to watch the last game of the playoffs (Basketball in June - well, to be honest, I might have watched if the Celtics were playing). I begged off - just not enough sleep last night, I say...
I snuck out the back and walked to Juniors.
First - the pickles. You just don't get full sours this crisp up north. They can taste pretty good. You can get crisp half-sours. But full crisp tasty full sours... wow...
Then a chicken soup with a giant matzoh ball that was just polka-dotted with fat - schmaltz - and intense chicken flavor. The matzoh ball was fantastic. I like them more light and cloudy - dumpling like - rather than dense. When you see a smooth large ball, you tend to think it's gonna be a dense one - get ready to swing away. But not this one! I put the spoon to it and could tell right away that it was going to be very light. It was great. But the soup, boy, oh boy, what a soup.
The chopped liver appetizer was a huge scoop. Very good - lots of big pieces of egg in an overall more wet mix than I normally like, but I couldn't help finishing every bite.
And the final piece - their famous brisket. I make my own using their recipe (from the Junior's cookbook) so it was familiar - but delicious, nevertheless. Now - here's the kicker. They gave me a choice of mixed vegetables or collard greens, and of course, I went for the collards. I love the fact that Junior's has succeeded all these years by updating their menu. It's as eclectic as you might expect in downtown Brooklyn. The collards were great - and went very well with the brown mushroom gravy on the tender brisket and mashed potatoes.
Well - I pity the poor fools that ate in the hotel... I'm sure it was a fine meal. But it wasn't Junior's.