Hanco's (Brooklyn Heights): Finally, Pho

As you may have read on this blog, I live in something of a gastronomic wasteland.

Don’t get me wrong — I adore Brooklyn Heights and its picturesque streets and 19th century brownstones. What it does not possess, however, is more than two really good places to have a meal.

So when a new sign went up on the neighborhood’s main street recently, we all began watching the storefront’s papered-up windows with great anticipation. On Sunday, the paper finally came off and Hanco’s, a little Vietnamese sandwich and pho shop was in business. Would it present a third viable option for good food? We immediately got in a very long line to find out …

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Colonie: Style Over Substance

Saturday night in Brooklyn Heights and the unthinkable finally happened.

Striking up a conversation at the new restaurant Colonie with a group of people who were kitted out with the glaring symbols of current New York hipster-ness — the plaid shirt, the Bear-like beard, the professorial Mad Men-style glasses — we discovered that they were, as suspected, definitely not of the staid stroller-central that is Brooklyn Heights.

No, this group hailed from Williamsburg, home of the impossibly fashion-forward and often sneering of other lesser neighborhoods. Not only that, they had traveled to Brooklyn Heights because they had heard of Colonie and were curious to check it out — quite possibly marking the first time that a restaurant in my neighborhood has garnered the level of buzz to encourage this type of stunning reverse migration.

The anticipation of Colonie’s opening has been palpable for months. For starters, the restaurant smartly began generating chatter about its plans by raising more than $15,000 on Kickstarter last fall to obtain “sexy kitchen appliances, beautiful pendant lamps, and cool tiles for the wall.” By the time the restaurant finally removed the paper shrouding its glass doors in February, locals (and out of towners) began packing its sleek bar stools right away.

Would it live up to the hype? We were keen to find out …

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Food Porn: Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes


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Spotted at the Brooklyn Heights farmers market: A tomato smorgasbord at the Wilklow Orchards stand.

(I have to confess, it was the intense burst of colors and sexy names like “Stripped German” that first drew me to the stand. I’m shallow that way.)

After tasting some sweet, sour and super juicy tomatoes, the plan for an Asian noodle lunch was immediately tossed out the window. 

Instead, I have me a bag of tomatoes, green, yellow and brownish purple. And balsamic vinaigrette and a light sprinkling of parmesan cheese to come.

Tomato salad it is, then.

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A Tale of Six Meatballs


CIMG4598 It’s a little scary what can happen when a journalistic killer instinct is directed at something seemingly innocuous.

Like, meatballs. And the battle to be voted top meatball chef in a six-way competition.

There is the non-stop smack talk. There is the repeated invocation of maternal units. There is, even, the reflexive forming of menacing kung-fu gestures anytime the word “meatball” is mentioned.

And we haven’t even gotten to things that my fellow competitors did.

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A Very Silly Breakfast


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The thing about returning to New York from a long trip halfway across the world is, your body does strange things. Like, popping awake all sparkly and chirpy the first moment the sun nudges it.

At 7 a.m., I call the Sis. “Let me guess–Mike’s still asleep and you’re jetlagged and bored.” She is, as we two say, corright

I’m not quite sure what to do with myself that early on a Saturday. So I slip out to look for sausages.

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