Grass fed beef patties, wasabi sauce, kale, soy cheese, pickled onions on a gluten-free bun: Pick Your Park Slope Burger

I thought the Park Slope BBQ renaissance was going to stop the burger trend, but now two new burger joints are opening in the Slope, Chez Bibis and Burger Bistro. This brings the grand total of burger-centric restaurants in Park Slope to 11. (And that’s not including restaurants that make great burgers like Dram, Bonnie’s, or Johnny Macks.)

I know the “common wisdom” is that burgers are a child’s favorite food, and Park Slope is the playground mecca of the east coast. But I still don’t see how this neighborhood can support this dizzying array of artery clogging dining establishments. So here are the pros and cons of each burger palace:

Burger Bistro
Pro-The Bay Ridge location is very popular
Con- While both are part of Brooklyn, to much of Park Slope, Bay Ridge may as well be Dubuque, and I’m not talking about the burger restaurant of that name in Carroll Gardens.

Chez Bibis
Pro- Their burger and beer concept will go well with the young urbanites.
Con- Parents might get upset in wrongly assuming it’s a french baby store.

Bare Burger
Pro- Organic beef + PS 321 next door =line out the door
Con- No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

5 Guys 7th Ave
Pro- Across the street from Methodist Hospital/Free Peanuts
Con- 5 Guys now seem like Old Guys/Peanut allergies are a big concern with the Park Slope parent set

5 Guys Flatbush
Pro- New arena may bring more traffic to the area
Con- New arena traffic may keep locals away from the area

Cheeburger Cheeburger
Pro- Very kid friendly/Name is fun to say
Con- Not even an ironic nod to the health conscious/And does anyone under 40 even get the SNL reference?

67 Burger
Pro-People go eager to try their beer milkshake
Con-People never come back after trying their beer milkshake

Corner Burger
Pro-Middle school only 2 blocks north
Con-McDonalds only 2 blocks south

Brooklyn Flipsters
Pro-A great location
Con-Maybe a not so great location,this place has been at least 5 different restaurants in 7 years

Pro- McDonalds restaurants never go out of business
Con- McDonalds restaurants never go out of business

Maybe the Slope can support all these burger joints, at least until an I-N-Out Burger or Talde opens a burger restaurant and runs them all out of business.


A Couple of Brooklyn Roulette Lunches

I rolled the dice twice on Brooklyn eats this weekend, and threw 2 sevens.

On Saturday we went to Jabcob Riis Beach, beautiful weather, warm water. Then before the beach got too crowded, we went to Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay for lunch. Nate loved the waves, the cherry stone clams on the half-shell…not so much.

And then on Sunday we hit the Red Hook ball field vendors. Nate slept through lunch, which was good, because I would not have wanted to share my pork and cheese pupusas and shockingly pink curtido. I don’t know what makes it pink, but mmmmm boy, good stuff.

Raw clams, fried stuffed tortillas, and pink fermented cabbage, and not a single Tums all weekend.

Not Such a Mack Daddy (or Mommy)

Stroller Shuuned at Mack’s Bar and Grill

My recent Saturday afternoons have me taking Nate to a toddler swim class at the Y, then taking care of some shopping chores, then running him ragged at the playground to induce a delightfully deep nap.   The I get to meet my wife for a peaceful lunch out while Nate snoozes in his stroller.

This afternoon I thought we’d check out the newly open Mack’s (formerly Elementi, formerly Snookys.) It was empty, 2 people at the bar and less than 5 people eating in the back. We made our way to one of 4 empty booths in the front, and a waitress informed us that the owner didn’t like strollers in the front.  We said that we didn’t want to wake our 2 year old up and we were happy to sit anywhere, and slide the stroller wherever it wold fit.  Apparently the owned didn’t like strollers in the back either.  So my wife said, “maybe we should come back when we don’t have our son?”  “That’d be great,” the waitress replied, apparently immune to my wife’s dry irony.

We left.  And won’t be back, with or without our son.

I don’t want to get into should children be allowed in bars mishegas (especially as Mack’s is CLEARLY a restaurant.) And if a restaurant doesn’t want strollers (or children for that matter) in their establishment, that is their prerogative.

Maybe we just caught a bad day, or bad waitress, but I won’t be back to Mack’s because they are STUPID! Mack’s is in Park Slope.  They may even have a children’s menu. And pretty much everything else they serve might as well be on a children’s menu. Yet they don’t want strollers? Why would you create a policy that alienates so much of neighborhood?

At 1PM Saturday Mack’s was hurting.  No brunch crowd at all, it was all but empty and was not going to fill up that afternoon. Yet they are turning away customers because they have  no stroller policy.  You could have parked 6 Bugaboo’s, 4 Phil and Ted’s and a couple of Bob “double wides” to boot, and you would not be in violation of any fire code, or hamper the egress of the eight people there. There was no downside to having a family and stroller there, except that they don’t want their fine establishment with the “stigma” of being family friendly.  (Or as we call them in Park Slope, the restaurants that stay in business.)

Plenty of restaurants have managed to strike a balance between family, Two Boots is the Slope’s go to family destination, yet still has a hoping bar scene at night.  A few people have complained about the Tea Lounge being overrun with kids in the afternoon, but the Tea Lounge can’t hear you with all the money coming out of their ears.  Barrio is seems to a very brisk business to both families (with and without strollers) and childless alike.

We have taken the nappin’ Nate to lunch at a lot places a lot nicer than Mack’s with no trouble (Belleville, Sette, Sotto Voce, Cafe Steinhof, Applewood, The Chip Shop, Franny’s, Get Fresh, 12th Street Bar and Grill, to name a few.)

There was a silver lining after our rebuke fro Mack’s, we noticed that the Korean restaurant Moim had recently started opening for brunch.  They were accommodating to us and our sleeping child, the service was excellent, and our Bi Bim Bop, and Bul-Go-Ki cheese steak were delicious!

Of course there have been occasion when a restaurant has been too crowded to squeeze a stroller in, and we were always fine with that, we aren’t looking to make a statement, just for a restaurant to make sense.