A highly-rated Indian restaurant in Bushwick that turned out to be well below average – this is becoming so common in Brooklyn, so why was I not surprised? This is definitely Desi food for waspy palates that first had a korma in college and wouldn’t dare cook curries at home. Everything was bland, creamy and insipid. Naan was firm and light, but the salmon tikka masala (interesting choice of fish – all the flavour was in the chunks) swimming in a sweet-sour sauce was terrible. The consistency of the saag paneer made me wonder whether they’d used creamed spinach directly from the freezer bag, and lacked any discernible spice. Service is all over the place, stressed and rushy at slightly busier periods, with a smile and a few words when it’s time to pay up. Decor is likewise terrible, with undersized Taj Mahal pics floating around with random hangings and paintings on an exposed brick wall. No redeeming qualities here, and there are far more Indian restaurants to try out, so this will be our first and last experience at DG.
Subway: Jefferson St (L)
This must be the best street food stall in the city; never have I felt such exhilaration accompanying each bite of their spicy, complex creations. The beef brisket cholas (BBQ sandwiches, $10, or $5 for a smaller cholita) rubbed with rocoto and cracked black pepper were wonderfully rich and juicy, and the cliza salteña – oyster mushrooms and quinoa in the Bolivian pasty pie (just don’t say empanada) – was served with a wickedly sticky salsa. Papitas (fries, $7) come in cones, and the Parmesan-garlic ‘super frites’ we got with a cilantro dipping sauce were relatively cooling after the wild peppery excess of the sandwiches. Staff are friendly and hard-working, and don’t forget to pick up a ‘Fuck Empanadas’ badge to wear with pride.
Brunch at this French bistro is a popular neighbourhood activity, since there really isn’t much around but a paucity of bars amongst an abundance of random pawn shops and fried chicken joints. Mominette stands out – not in frontage but in quality – and their outdoor space at the back is delightful. The spinach & goat cheese croissant ($10) is a crowd favourite, and the French toast ($9) is colourful. The Sunday special oyster Benedict was wonderful, with the shellfish deep fried and placed on sturdy poached eggs and English muffins. I also had a tasty beets’n’bourbon cocktail that was begging for some ice and a taller glass. Though it can be expensive, service is great, and the kitchen is quick to fulfill orders at busy periods.
This restaurant will surely go down as one of the forerunners in Bushwick’s blossoming.
Subway: Jefferson St/ Dekalb Ave