Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brooklyn Cafe



220 Sandy Springs Cir., Sandy Springs, GA www.brooklyncafe.com

On Saturday my grandmother and I had lunch at The Brooklyn Cafe. This place is just off of busy Roswell Rd., in the same shopping center as a Thai restaurant, a large fresh produce stand, and Van Michaels salon. They serve American fare, such as Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Creole BBQ Chicken and Sausage, crab cakes and Reuben sandwiches. Everything is moderately priced.

I ordered the Awesome Fish Sandwich ($10), which that day was broiled mahi mahi with tomato, lettuce, red onion and a dill sauce. This was excellent. The bun was lightly broiled and very buttery, and fish was tasty, and the sliced pickles on top made the sandwich lively. I had a choice of sides, and went with our server's suggestion of tomatoes. They came out nicely ripened with a little crumbled blue cheese and parsley on top. If you're like me and can't get enough fresh tomatoes in the spring and summer, this is the side dish for you. My only criticism is with the sauce on the fish. Dill is my favorite herb, and it's a natural compliment to most fish. However, this sauce tasted more of garlic than of dill. It was almost like an aioli, which wasn't what I had in mind.

Grandmother had the classic Caesar salad with gulf shrimp ($10). The plate of romaine was huge. I tried a bite, which is all I needed to determine it was terrible. Yes, terrible. The shrimp was fine - not overcooked, plump and pink - but the salad itself was awful, nearly inedible. Why? Anchovies overload. It was like eating anchovies straight out of the jar. I'm fine with a hint on anchovy flavor; I like the little fish in pasta sauces, and it's an essential ingredient in Caesar salads done right. But this was just way, way too much. Thank God my grandmother, who at 87 has lost much of her sense of taste, ordered this. I can honestly say it was so bad that if they would've served it to me, I would've sent it back to the kitchen.

The wine list is decent, and there's a bar that appeared to be a hangout for middle aged women with fake tans in tennis wear. Not sure if this is indicative of Sandy Springs, or the restaurant itself. When it's not so hot as it was this weekend, you'll probably enjoy the nice patio seating.

Our service was very good. The cheerful female server seemed down to earth without being too gabby.

Overall, I was pleased with Brooklyn Cafe. I'd like to think the bad salad was an isolated negative on the menu.

Verdict: If you stay away from the Caesar salad, you'll probably leave happy.

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