We all have stories we tell ourselves — about ourselves — that aren’t necessarily true. For instance, I say I don’t care for breakfast. Only to realize that I actually don’t care for subpar breakfasts: cereal in a bowl, a sad excuse for a croissant or anything that might be considered Meals, Ready-to-Eat.
If you align with me on this, you’ll be happy to know that Crown Heights and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn are just saying no to bad breakfasts.
Breakfast Burritos, Dulce de Leche Doughnuts and Tuna Melts
Crown Heights has recently given diners a number of new, daring destinations. Perhaps you heard the rumblings, then unfettered screams, last spring about the chef Eric See’s breakfast burritos at Ursula. They may be the New Mexico-inspired cafe’s calling card, but See is a gifted pastry chef, so you’ll also find rose water conchas and brioche doughnuts glazed with dulce de leche alongside a breakfast sandwich that might fly under the radar if not for his signature use of hatch chiles. (I really enjoyed reading Rachel Sugar’s recent profile of See on Grub Street, and I’m sure you will, too.)
Just below Eastern Parkway is Agi’s Counter, an ode to Eastern Europe and, as of late February, a brunch destination. The chef Jeremy Salamon, who has roots in Hungary, Austria and the Jewish diaspora, is serving the kind of hearty breakfasts his grandmothers enjoyed. You’ll likely enjoy them as well — especially if, like me, dill is your culinary kink. Try the tuna melt served on Pullman bread baked in-house.
Smoked Pollock Fritters, Lemongrass Fish Soup and Migas Tacos
Just below Atlantic Avenue in Prospect Heights, there’s Leland Eating and Drinking House, where there’s more seafood than eggs on the brunch menu: You’ll find hushpuppy-like smoked pollock fritters on a schmear of tzatziki, trout rillette and citrus-soaked mussels under a showering of parsley — all alongside pork sisig and tofu banh mi.
Over at the Burmese restaurant Rangoon, many of the staples of its dinner menu are served for breakfast, including what Pete Wells called the “impressively focused” lemongrass fish noodle soup set below a “latticelike onion fritter.” Add the chef Myo Moe’s tea leaf salad with nuts and toasted seeds, and her highly aromatic chicken curry with coconut rice, and you’re all set.
Then there’s Patti Ann’s Bakery (formerly known as Evi’s Backerei). While you’ll no longer find milk jam-filled krapfen or stollen on the menu, there are still incredible takes on crullers and bostock, and a sour cherry financier that will change your mind about sour cherries if you hadn’t previously been a fan.
Want something more savory? You can find Austin-style breakfast tacos at King David Tacos down the block, including migas in taco form. Or traipse over to Ciao, Gloria, which after nearly three years still remains one of the most exciting places to grab a really good egg sandwich (think prosciutto, provolone and aioli on brioche) as well as classic Italian cookies like amaretti and biscotti.
In Other News …
Though the crust leaves something to be desired, Pete Wells wrote in this week’s restaurant review, the offerings at the months-old Lucia Pizza in Sheepshead Bay are most definitely worth trying.
Openings: Wan Wan, a Thai restaurant in NoLIta with a focus on the food of Phuket; the Brazil-influenced cafe Bica on West 36th Street; and Mission Sandwich Social, in Williamsburg, which sandwich enthusiasts will want to check out for the inventive menu.
New York’s hottest bagels, Popupbagels, are boiled in Connecticut, transported in a refrigerated van and baked in New York just before pickup, Priya Krishna reports. (Danny Meyer is a fan.)
Julia Carmel, The Times’s nightlife reporter, shared a rundown of the city’s late night food scene, including lines of food trucks outside Bushwick clubs and the return of food-centric night markets.
Laura Rysman reported on Brutalisten, a new, art-filled restaurant in Stockholm that is attracting celebrity clientele with its brutalist (read: cooking with only water and salt) approach to food.