April 29, 2009
Most New Yorkers claim to be ready for adventure but when someone mentions Brooklyn, the typical response is “what a schlep!” Enough is enough, it’s time to hop on the L train and discover our neighbor to the east, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A hood where family establishments stand along side the nouveau. There’s no better way to read a neighborhood’s pulse than by their sandwiches, the true barometer of people’s desire for value and delicious food. We’ve seen what comes out of Red Hook and Sunset Park so when my friend Charlie told me his cousin and Williamsburg expert, Andrea, was ready to open my eyes with a full tour of her hood, I gladly accepted. Part one offers NYCFoodGuy’s take on Bedford Cheese Shop and Marlow & Sons.
Bedford Cheese Shop aka the Hipster Stiff Arm
We came for sandwiches, we left with chorizo and a vendetta against laissez-faire hipsters. There was one tray of pre-made sandwiches on the counter, bread on the back wall and a ton of meats and cheeses in the display cases. A perfect recipe for sandwich creation, right? Wrong. One employee of this bedroom-sized cheese and meat shop didn’t even take the time to unfold his arms from his hooded sweatshirt while telling us, “No, we don’t make sandwiches here. That’s the only one we have.” This was news to Andrea, my lovely tour guide for the day, because she has had sandwiches made for her at Bedford Cheese Shop. We immediately realized we were victims of the hipster stiff arm.
My friend and all around good guy Charlie, was just as surprised by the confused and annoyed look he received from the counter-girl when he asked her to slice the spicy Spanish chorizo he purchased. God forbid we actually wanted to eat it right then and there. The hipster stiff arm strikes again!
I will not be returning to Bedford Cheese Shop next time I’m in Williamsburg because I like patronizing stores that appreciate my business. Bedford Cheese Shop is too cool for school but unfortunately for them, NYC Food Guy says class is not in session.Bedford Cheese Shop 229 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211 Google Map Phone: 718.599.7588, Fax: 718.599.8644 Monday – Saturday 11-9, Sunday 10-8 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.bedfordcheeseshop.com/
Marlow & Sons Is Not Worth The Trip for Lunch
I haven’t been to the heralded Marlow & Sons for dinner, but after trying several of their early afternoon offerings, I can confidently say it’s not worth trekking to this southwest Williamsburg spot for lunch. If you happen to be nearby, and want to stop in, your best bet is pizza or something from the dessert counter, but pass on sitting down for brunch. I can’t speak to the deliciousness of dinner at Marlow & Sons, but all of the press I’ve read has generally been positive.
Nothing we ate was bad, but nothing really impressed. Since it was a sandwich tour, we started with the Muffaletta ($11), flimsy focaccia stuffed with mortadella, sopressata, salami, coppa, provolone and an overpowering olive tapenade. For $11 I would like to see this New Orleans classic stuffed with a little more meat and a little less olive tapenade, which really dominated every bite.
Chorizo with potatoes and sunny side eggs ($12) was recommended by our waiter and while it was tasty, the tomato-based sauce didn’t allow the chorizo’s spice to shine. The best bites of this dish are when you pile a little bit of everything on the buttered and toasted slices of bread.
The pizza with sopressata ($4.25) was easily my favorite dish of the meal. The flavor was definitely homemade, from the airy crust to the sweet sauce, but the slightly sharp sections of burnt cheese were the best part.
Marlow & Sons front room, which turns into a dining area in the evening, is populated by a few others pizzas, sold by the slice…
…a nice selection of other sandwiches…
…desserts including attractive white cake, milk chocolate frosted cupcakes…
…other cupcakes, scones and muffins…
and a chocolate chip cookie featuring discs of bittersweet chocolate ensconsed in a buttery, slightly salty dough. It was a tasty cookie, but nothing to write home about.Marlow & Sons 81 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211 Google Map
Phone: (718) 384-1441
Fax: (718) 486-0165
E-mail: email@example.com http://marlowandsons.com/