I'll preface this by saying that we live in the neighborhood and routinely eat at all of the Frank's restaurants, and aside from service lapses here or there, have never had a problem. But, Saturday night, me, my wife, and my 8 month old daughter tried to dine at Prime Meats and were all but told to go somewhere else instead.
Mind you, we did not try and eat during the dinner rush. In fact, we arrived obscenely early (5:15) because we know the restaurant gets busy and it's not appropriate to bring a baby to a restaurant during the real dinner rush. But, instead of welcoming us into a near-empty restaurant (I counted one occupied table and a few people at the bar), first we were told we had to leave our stroller outside because they have a strict no-stroller-in-the-restaurant policy (no exceptions, for fear it could start a run of strollers in the restaurant, heaven forbid), then we were told we could fold the stroller up and leave it next to the door, then we were told we could only leave half of it folded up and the other half would have to be kept outside, then we were told flat-out that we should consider going to Frankie's instead. We would have just folded the thing up and left it in a coat closet or somewhere completely out of the way, we didn't need it next to our table.
Now, we know that Carroll Gardens is relatively safe, but considering our apartment building just down the street was broken into for a second time last month, I think it's understandable that we didn't want to leave our things outside. I understand if we had tried to eat around 7 or 8 pm and the restaurant was crowded; but it wasn't, it was empty. Or if the restaurant was tiny and there is no room; but it's not, there is room throughout. We probably would have been done eating before it got busy. (By the way, an email to the restaurant has not been responded to).
Instead, we left, and went to La Vara on Clinton Street, where we were welcomed with open arms and the food was delicious as usual (the lamb breast is a thing of beauty).
Incidentally, at 5:00 pm, Buttermilk Channel was packed with families and had an hour and a half wait, while Prime Meats sat nearly-empty. I'm sure they know that the neighborhood is teeming with families, some of whom, I'd imagine, like to eat-out sometimes.
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