Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Sept. 23
Afternoons at Brooklyn Girl
The popular, Mission Hills spot has a quieter, more reserved lunch scene.
Partly because everybody’s been charmed by her cheeky, chic-y design and partly because the food is pretty good and she deserves it, Brooklyn Girl (4033 Goldfinch Street) has gotten a reputation as a bit of a scene where diners are liable to wait around and jockey for a table. Reader guy Brandon Hernandez adores the place and he’s painted an accurate picture: bring some friends, hang out, eat, drink, be merry, etc.
But she has another side, the Brooklyn Girl. Really, she reminds me of a place I worked in that opened up early as a coffee shop, selling cupcakes, espresso, and panini to the urbane masses until the sun turned past its apex and the place reinvented itself as a hip, little bistro. BG has that same thing (although she’s not so little) going on with her lunch hours, Monday through Friday from 11:30-2:30.
The lunch menu shows some reservation, not pricing us out of house and home just for the pleasure of a trendy sandwich. $12 for pulled chicken and cornbread seems fair, as the cornbread is delightful and the barbecue chicken piled on top makes liberal use of oh-so-desirable dark meat, deeply-flavored barbecue sauce, and a fresh cole slaw. The kitchen could have dressed the side salad with more excitement, however.
Likewise, a 9oz. burger for $12 seems like a fair price and $10-ish salads look promising; especially the calamari salad on a bed of mache with sweet corn and feta. Soup is a bit pricey at $8 for a bowl, but it’s a big bowl and, when the kitchen chose to offer lobster bisque, they found great depths of briny flavor and an elegant texture. Dare I venture it was properly thickened with rice instead of just laden with cream to the detriment of the lobster? However it was done, the flavor was well worth the expense, which is really only a few dollars more than a burrito!
After lunching, the “pantry” at BG has some cakes and an outlandishly expensive espresso press, out of which pour some good shots of coffee. Don’t ignore the prepared salads and side dishes there, as they could round out a bowl of soup quite nicely and things wouldn’t even need to get spendy.