Straight from the outer boroughs
Straight from the outer boroughs
by Jerry Del Priore
|Brownstones line the streets of Prospect Heights--via Wikipedia|
For as long as I can remember, I would visit Prospect Heights to frequent places such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanic Garden, and the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. If I wanted something to eat, I would venture over to nearby Park Slope. But, the area’s bar and restaurant scene has exploded over the years, with new establishments popping up all the time, giving me even more reasons to explore the eclectic neighborhood. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, is located in Prospect Heights. Nevertheless, here are some of Prospect Heights’ best places to drink and dine.
The Way Station, 683 Washington Ave.
Nerdy cool is the new black at The Way Station, a “steampunk bar” that features live music, book readings and burlesque shows. Think homage to classic science-fiction, as quirky mechanical objects adore the walls. For diehard Dr. Who fans, there’s a glowing “TARDIS” time machine that only transports you to the bathroom, not to the past or future as so many geeks fantasize of visiting some day.
As for the drinks, while there isn’t much in the brew department, the Doctor Who-themed drinks make up for it. The Captain Jack and the 11th and 10th Doctor are particularly noteworthy. An additional perk: the establishment doesn’t mind if you bring your own fare, as long as you clean up after yourself.
|The bar at the Way Station--via Way Station|
Beast, 638 Bergen Street (between Carlton Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave.)
Beast’s dungeon-like, medieval décor adds a kitschy, cool vibe to the establishment, doing the name justice. But it’s the food that takes center stage at this Prospect Heights restaurant. Considered by locals to be one of the best brunch spots in all of Brooklyn, Beast offers good drinks and solid fare at an affordable price.
Start off your brunch experience with the $10 bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas at the bar. Once you awakened your inner beast, devour some delicious French toast, Chorizo Eggs Benedict or the Standard 13: two eggs (any style) served with beast potatoes, mixed greens and toast—with the choice of thick bacon sausage or fresh fruit.
|Beast's Chorizo Eggs Benedict--via Yelp|
As for lunch/dinner and drinks, stay in beast mode by ordering the Lager-Braised Beef Short Ribs ($17) or the Grilled Skirt Steak ($17), followed by a few Bloody Beast Martinis or something from the extensive intercontinental wine list.
Tom’s Restaurant, 782 Washington Ave.
Considered a Prospect Heights institution, Tom’s has been in operation since 1936. People line up on weekend mornings to eat at this old-school, reasonably-priced diner, where staff members offer up free coffee, orange slices and cookies to eagerly waiting patrons.
The pancakes and crab cakes are must-haves, along with a cherry-lime rickey. But, to me, nothing defines Brooklyn more than a good old-fashioned egg cream, which is outrageous at this establishment. However, don’t go to Tom’s for dinner, as it only serves breakfast and lunch.
|Legendary Tom's in Brooklyn--credit|
Woodwork, 583 Vanderbilt Ave.
With the popularity of futbol (soccer) rising in the city, fans of the game are always looking for a cool place to watch the big match while enjoying a cold one. Look no further, as Woodwork has you covered with five flat-screen TVs, and is sure to be airing the world’s most popular sport at any given moment on one of them.
As for the booze and bites, there are six different draft options, and a variety of can and bottle selections from which to choose. Looking for a refreshing summer cocktail? Try the white peach sangria or a flavorful strawberry daiquiri. Beef and pork sliders, plus Cajun Bread Pudding and the 5-Cheese Truffle Mac with pulled pork or chorizo round out a solid menu.
Debuted in 2009, Cataldo’s is a family-style Italian restaurant owned by Salvatore Cataldo. Sure, it features traditional great dishes such as the Eggplant Parmigiana and Chicken Pizzaiola. But make no mistake--it’s the pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven made from imported lava stone from Italy, that’s the main attraction. As is the oven, the ingredients and recipes are also imported from the old country, and you can taste the quality and authenticity in every mouthwatering bite.
|Cataldo's in Prospect Heights--via Cataldo's|
Pizza favorites include the Quattro Stagioni (tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichoke hearts olives & parmigiano) and the Pugliese (sausage, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, garlic and oil). Bellissimo!
|Pepperoni pizzas in the wood-fired oven--via Cataldo's|