Category Archives: cafe

Chez Oskar

Chez Oskar


Continuing on the French bistro trend we moved onto Chez Oskar, a funky little surprise in Clinton Hill / Fort Greene. We weren’t really sure what to expect as we just meandered in here after deciding against 5 previous lunch contenders. Chez Oskar it was. I start many French Bistro experiences with their French Onion soup, not for any special reason other than my taste buds water at the thought of it. I mean the CHEESE, the flavor, the CHEESE, and cute bowls they come in, my senses are helpless against a good French Onion soup.  Chez Oskar’s while tasty, was nothing to write home about. I liked it only because I like cheese.

Such was not the case with the main course; the highly recommended and much anticipated lamb burger. It lived up to it’s reputation. Cooked to buttery softness, simple but punchy spices, and topped off with a delicate goat cheese spread, a strong contender for best neighborhood burger. Not skimping, the dish comes with crisp fries, and a well dressed salad. What a deal! I smiled all the way through lunch, despite the slow and inattentive service.



Chez Lola Croque Madam

Hola Lola

Chez Lola Croque MadamChez Lola will entice even the hardest of hearts. I practically ran across the street to check it out. It’s all ooohh ahhh, how DO they combine a Frech bistro with 1920′s Shangai chic? They do. And that isn’t all. There’s something to look at, at nearly every crevice of this neighborhood staple. Plus there’s a garden, simple, sweet, and seemingly fresh air. What’s not to like? The food and service. Alas. We ordered the house cured salmon eggs benedict and the croque madam – and were underwhelmed. It’s heart breaking because I wanted to like this place SO much. In fact my enthusiasm for them will likely result in a second trying later in life. But for now, I gotta say there was nothing special about the food. The eggs benedict had bland / non-existent Hollandaise sauce, calories without flavor UGH! The croque madame egg was shriveled until {hand to heart} it was little more then yellow carbon.

Last, they really must fix the draft. We weren’t seated THAT close to the door, and it was a really warm winter day (50s) so the draft shouldn’t be that bothersome, unless there’s a lot of it. There was. Here’s hoping for second chances.


Fisherman’s Dawta Taking over!

Long time readers will remember my gushing review’s of Loretta Coffee and Tea. It found the perfect balance between cafe, restaurant, urban sanctuary, coffee, milk and of course price. I was horrified to see in my recent Boeurm Hill visit that it’s been torn out from our neighborhood, and replaced by an equally cute soon-to-come “fisherman’s Dawta”, type cafe. I peered behind the coming attractions posters and saw they hadn’t even changed the layout. Basically it looks exactly like Loretta’s Coffee and Tea except it’s been painted light blue. Is that going to work? Are people going to all of a sudden flock here now because there’s light blue paint. How much can they possible optimize on Loretta’s that would make them think they can stay in business longer? I guess we’ll soon find out!


Blue Sky Bakery

Brooklyn Cafe: Blue Sky Bakery

During the last blizzard – that turned out to not be a blizzard — schools shut down, people “worked from home”, and generally holed up in their habitats. I was planning on doing the same when my midtown appointment suggested that “since we both live on this side of the bridge … ” why not just meet here?” YES, I agreed. And then she suggested a place she describe as having “the most delicious muffins EVER”. Tall order indeed. I’ve had my share of muffins, coffees, the whole bakery thing, and my standards were pretty finicky. Plus I’ve never been partial to muffins, since I never eat the bottom half, and sometimes just annoyingly nibble around the “top” eating only the crust but never the “cakey” part. But She hadn’t steered me wrong thus far, so I was optimistic.

Blue Sky Bakery is a sliver of a bakery, long and lean, it manages to pack quite the quaint, retro, quirky punch, complete with a shoebox diorama! And true to my friend’s word they served up just about the most delicious muffins I’ve tasted. Not only was baked to perfection, but the bottom part is also crusty! For the first time, I didn’t just nimble around the top. I actually finished the entire muffin and wanted more. It was a crustly, fluffy, velvety delight. And I can’t wait to go back.

Cafe Lafayette

Brooklyn Restaurant: Cafe Lafayette


Nothing spells charming quite like a French-ish cafe and this one is no different. It has a decided European feel in both its aesthetic and menu. I fell a little bit in love practically the moment I pressed open the door and saw the vintage kitchen scale. They spared no details in the decor, everywhere you look there’s something to oohh and ahh about. I didn’t even mind the small spacing of the place, it made it feel cozy and allowed me to over hear my neighbors speaking German, true story!

I had a tasty mozzarella panini with a side of green, my husband had the real treat smoke salmon and brie panini. The sandwich was unreal, it was perfectly mixed between the richness of the salmon and the creaminess of the brie. I watched in envy as he ate it. I would go back just for that sandwich alone. But throw in the ambiance, attentive service, and just-right coffee — I will definitely come back for seconds.

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phone booth @ square root cafe

Brooklyn Restaurant: Square Root Cafe

Brooklyn: Square Root Cafe
We were on our way to view more open houses in Clinton Hill when we saw EJ’s Square Root Cafe. It looks like a traditional luncheonette and our hungry stomachs couldn’t resist its charm. We stopped in thinking this would be a quick bite to eat. But many others before us thought the same thing, there’s a wait. Thats OK, this is a good sign, we didn’t want to be one of the few people in a restaurant… again. So we waited. The crowd was eclectic everyone from artists, neighborhood residents and businessmen gathered here for some brunch time special.

I ordered my diner special –two eggs any style with some potatoes and toast. Josh got BLT a sandwich, neither were that good. I made a point of asking the eggs be “over medium or well” not too runny, but these were running off the plate. The best part of the place we experienced while waiting, the decor. The retro vending machines, telephone booths, and kitschy knick knacks will melt the hardest modernist heart. Skip the food.
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Brooklyn Cafe: Smooch


Smooch Cafe won me over before I even opened the door. Having missed our yoga class, and looking to burn time til the next one Yadana and I were immediately drawn to it. Vintage furniture strewn about on the outside, retro charm on the inside. It looked like the kind of place where the wait staff laughs with their customers and they probably remember your name by your third visit or less. Breaking our hopeful hearts, this wasn’t that kind of cafe.

From the onset, nothing really looked appetizing on the counter more kitchy than yummy and the menu — I’ve come to the belief that that quirkier the descriptions (e.g.”Exceptional Omelette”) the more overpriced it is. I ordered a blueberry muffin from the counter and a coffee, Yadana a granola muffin and a cappuccino.  Nothing too complicated — and yet it took over 20 minutes to deliver our coffee. Were they grinding the beans for her cappuccino? No. Were they out of supplies? Nope. They just didn’t get around to it. After 15 minutes we gently asked about it and were told (with a smile) “it’s coming.” When it came it looked yummy except that the muffins we ordered weren’t what we got. While mine was at least still a muffin, Yadana was presented with a cereal. “That’s …. not what I ordered.” they turned around and asked about it at the counter — we were seated practically at the counter so could hear the entire exchange, ” yah I told you the granola muffin”, “no you just said granola”, “ugh”.. finally Yadana just took the cereal because they had given her granola muffin (the last one remaining ) to someone else. They seemed apologetic, but after the debacle practically ignored us — and seemed to have lost our check. Seriously?  Couldn’t they just hand write us a new one? No.

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