Friday, January 06, 2006

Review: The New College

New College Restaurant
224 4th Avenue
M/R to Union Street; B63 or B71

The Order: Cheese/onion/tomato omelet with home fries and rye toast; Coke

The Food: Standard straight-up-the-middle diner omelet, pretty much -- good-sized portion, not a fearsome amount of food (although, to be fair, my idea of "too much food" is a way bigger portion than most people's).

The omelet was somewhat unevenly cooked -- weak egg in spots, crunchy egg in others -- but the cheese was melted throughout, and was not skimpy, as sometimes happens (many diners will put less cheese the more veggies you add, not the case here).

The toast was fine, one piece burnt but the rest did its job. The New College has underserved the butter in the past; that was not the case today.

The home fries were excellent -- enough grease to get the job done, but not so much that it sat on the plate. Good green-pepper-and-onion chop ratio, not obtrusive. The potatoes had some zing, just enough to be noticeable.

The ketchup seemed watered to me…not blatantly so, but watered ketchup is a diner peeve of mine and the Heinz presented a bit thin.

The Drinks: Served in a 12-ounce glass, the Coke didn't have too much ice, but was a bit thick/flat. Water appeared without my having to ask for it.

I did not have coffee with this meal, but generally speaking the java is below average.

The Service: Outstanding, as usual. Very friendly staff, no wait, order-to-plating time was about eight minutes. Probably this diner's best feature is their short-order speed; even on a busy Sunday during peak brunch time, the food is out in ten minutes.

I was called "hon" several times, which based on my research in Jersey diners is closely correlated with overall diner quality.

The Surroundings: The diner itself is on a busy intersection of a thoroughfare in Park Slope/Gowanus; the people-watching is rather bleak, in the human-drama sense, and while I believe outdoor tables are available in warm weather, you…don't want them (they face a busy gas station).

The interior is…a little weird. Management picked out a bus-stoppy grey-flecked color scheme, which with the pink points gives the inside a Boulevard Of Broken Plates feel. I've seen far worse, but it does have the effect of sucking all the natural light out of the room two inches from the window.

Good variety of seating, though: booths, two- and four-top tables, and half a dozen counter seats.

Miscellany: This is the "home base" for BDHQ, so I'm pleased to report that it earns a solid B, despite what might seem like a somewhat salty appearance. Nobody's reinventing the wheel at the New College, and the coffee needs work, but considering how quickly the food is cooked and served, it's a strong entry.

Coming soon: 5th Ave.'s Daisey, and a field trip to the unmissed Americana in Bay Ridge. Suggestions? Send 'em!

New College Restaurant on Urbanspoon


shvitsy said...

Just a note on Daisy's. They are a real neighborhood diner who are connected to locals. They never give free stuff, but they treat my clients very well (15 developmentally delayed adults who have been going there for maybe 20 years).

tina said...

But! Why is it called the New College?

HaloJonesFan said...

To differentiate it from the Old Firm, of course.

Ethan said...

About a year ago, I was treated to lunch at NCD after helping a friend put all of his belongings in storage at the nearby U-haul facility. It was a fuh-reeezing day in January, I think I had the turkey burger and I think I really enjoyed it. There were 6 of us total and we were all able to squeeze into one of the tables. Go New College Deli!

Teddy said...

Nice--I've recently transplanted myself from Carroll Gardens to 5th Ave., and need a replacement for the Donut House on Court Street (which, awesomely, frequently doesn't serve donuts).