People always lump Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill together. Perhaps its the
blur of homogonous residents (the minor exception being the freaky front
yard, social club, right leaning, elderly Italian contingent, whom I happen
to share a neck of the woods with). But even only being one subway stop
south of Bergen, I'm still out of that more bustling loop. To me, Gravy
popped up out of nowhere, I had no inking. But it's kind of hard to ignore
(and dislike) a giant neon gravy boat. Gravy is now the cornerstone
(literally), connecting Pacifico to La Rosa in some labyrinth-like near
gimmick. I don't have issues with the whole Alan Harding empire, La Rosa
pizza tastes good to me, Schnack is fun and cheap. Pacifico supposedly
sucks, and thats why I've shied away.
Gravy falls into the affordable and light hearted camp. No new ground is
broken with the updated diner concept, but thats okay (it certainly beats
the hurl inducing Sonnys). The interior is bizarrely vast, even by Brooklyn
standards. A Friday night table for two was no problem.
Unfortunately, the operation wasn't completely up to snuff yet. Not all
menu items were available, for instance the vegetable muffaletta I'd wanted.
After striking out, I changed my second choice Monte Cristo to the more
routine Rueben just to preempt any additional disappointment. It was a
perfectly respectable rendition, skewered with toothpicks bearing a black
and green olive. The fries, sprinkled with shredded parsley, were also nice.
The entrees include what you might expect: chicken fried steak, meatloaf
and macaroni and cheese, which every table of white guy/Asian girl duos (to
be fair, there was one table with the reverse ethic combo, but they were
both wearing flip flops so my initial positive impression was soured) in the
room seemed to have a plate of.
Mac and cheese is one of those gross comfort foods that I don't get, but
everyone seems to love (I also dislike hotdogs, so maybe somethings wrong
with me). Noodles and cheese just don't thrill me, but perhaps thats not the
point. I noticed a lot of faces being made, complaining and picking at food
by the women, which was kind of baffling. But the men werent much better,
the gentleman next to us didnt know what chicken fried steak was, and he
didnt even touch his vegetables, which appeared to be fresh picked and
decent looking not frozen.
The desserts, however, were not freshly made as I'd been hoping. The
adequate choices, which included Reeses cheesecake and apple pie, came boxed
and ready to slice. I know because the woman prepping them with sliced
strawberries and whipped cream was stationed mere feet from us.
When I originally heard that Gravys stayed open until 2am I got excited
because there's nowhere for late night dining in the neighborhood. I was
super thwarted on a recent Sunday when I wanted dessert after 10pm and we
walked blocks and blocks of urban ghost town. I had visions of eating
homemade lemon meringue pie in the middle of the night, but it looks like my
sugar fix might more along the lines of a defrosted cheesecake slice.
Gravy * 102 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY