Best Brooklyn Burgers & Buffalo Wings: Grand Canyon & Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope

Date October 7, 2008

It’s about time Brooklyn gets some love from NYC Food Guy and what better way to start than with two foods I love: burgers and wings. Grand Canyon, a greasy spoon on 7th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Street, is the setting for our burger, which you can order griddled or charcoal grilled. Bonnie’s Grill, on 5th Avenue at Garfield Place, serves small, crispy wings that pack some big time heat. Read on to find out if the hunt for Brooklyn’s best continues…

Bacon, American Cheese and Fried Onion. There’s a burger under there somewhere.

Bonnie’s wings may look tame but a small bite packs a big punch.

Grand Canyon Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe ($10.25)

Plus $0.50 for Fried Onions

  • This 7 ounce beef patty came griddled and cooked to order (medium rare). A nice crunchy char encased the juicy, loosely packed insides. The flavor of the fatty beef combined with the flavor from the grill to create the classic diner burger taste. You have the option of a griddled or charcoal grilled burger. I would have gone with the latter if I knew this beforehand.
  • The bun was generic white with sesame seeds. It arrived lightly toasted. The bun was too soft for the burger so eat carefully if you want to avoid a total collapse.
  • Hearty bacon tasted pre-cooked and re-griddled, something I could do without next time.
  • The fried onions were closer to sauteed, as you can see, but were still a nice addition flavor-wise. I would go with these again but ask for them to be well done.
  • Accompanying the burger was a handful of steak fries, which I asked to be cooked well done. If I hadn’t, it would have resulted in a mess of soggy, half-cooked slices of potato. Make sure to ask for them crispy if you want to avoid that.


This was a great diner burger, similar to that of Big Nick’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, except thicker and better quality. It’s no child’s burger, however, so bring your appetite if you intend to order the deluxe version. I enjoy my burgers cooked over fire rather than the grill but I was still pleased with Grand Canyon’s griddled version. The brunch dishes of French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict that covered other tables all looked well executed and tasty. If I lived in Park Slope and wanted a no frills brunch or lunch, Grand Canyon would be my de facto spot. I look forward to returning for a charcoal grilled burger.

Bonnie’s Grill Buffalo Wings ($7.95 for 10, $11.95 for 20)

  • Despite the pedigree of Bonnie’s wings, both owners are from Buffalo, they’re not the best I’ve ever had. Their “Hot”, however, may be the hottest I’ve ever encountered.
  • Wings come in Mild, Medium, Hot or Hotter “if you dare!”. I wouldn’t dare unless I want to experience some lip-numbing, face-melting heat.
  • All the wings are first covered in a base mixture of margarine (not butter) and a generic hot sauce (not Frank’s Red Hot). The result is a light, crispy wing which instead of sitting like a rock in your stomach, ignites your taste buds.
  • For the Hot, the base sauce is combined with a hot sauce called “Endorphin Rush“, which supposedly contains molasses and soy sauce, not that I could taste either through the slowly burning heat. I was struggling to finish the last few bites by the end of my 10 wings.
  • The Hotter gets even wilder, combining the base sauce with a mixture of “Endorphin Rush” and “357 Mad Dog” Hot sauce, a dangerously hot concoction of Chile extract, Habanero pepper and Cayenne pepper. And thanks to the wonders of YouTube we’re able to see what happens if you eat a straight spoonful of 357.

  • Thin cut fries came crisp but were of the generic variety.
  • The Bleu Cheese dressing was tastier than most while the carrots and celery were crisp, clean and fresh.
  • The tall ice-filled beer glasses the soda was served with were a nice touch.


Super hot, skinny wings could never win the title of best Buffalo wings. Bonnie’s wings were a tasty challenge but a balance of flavor is essential for maximum enjoyment. Despite my love for spicy food, balance was absent from Bonnie’s. The Spiced Black Angus Sirloin burger ($9.95 w/ choice of toppings), however, was charcoal grilled, huge and looked pretty damn tasty. The atmosphere at Bonnie’s is relaxed and the service was great. They offer more than 10 types of bottled beer, 2 varieties of canned beer and a few on tap. I may return to try the medium wings and a burger but I won’t go out of my way to do it.

Grand Canyon – Park Slope

179 7th Ave b/t 1st Street & 2nd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Grand Canyon – BK Heights

141 Montague St b/t Henry St & Clinton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Bonnie’s Grill

278 Fifth Ave b/t 1st Street & Garfield Place
Brooklyn, NY 11215