Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Review: Carroll Gardens Salonike

Carroll Gardens Salonike Diner

(sometimes rendered as "Carroll Salonike Gardens Classic" or "Carroll Gardens Diner Salonike" -- whatever works for you)

155 Smith Street between Bergen and Dean

F to Bergen Street; B51
Reviewed by Sars

The Order:
1st visit: Bagel deluxe platter

2nd visit: Scrambled egg on a roll with cheese and tomato

The Food:

The bagel platter isn't a keeper; the bagel itself was delicious, and the cream cheese came in individual serving cups, which I like, instead of in sweaty slabs, which I don't, but the lox was very orange, very salty, and kind of gristly-looking. It tasted okay, but presented as elderly.

And then there's the platter flora. Mangy, mushy olives. Dry, old cucumber; dry, old red onion. Decent tomato, but not enough of it. Lettuce was surprisingly fresh by comparison, but I never eat the lettuce anyway. Several lonely, shy capers.

If you want a bagel with lox, just order that and get the tomato on the side; that way they'll slice it fresh. Most people don't eat half the other crap anyway -- and certainly won't here, where it's clearly been in the fridge sans wrap for several days.

However! Nothing but good things to say about the egg-and-cheese. The egg-and-cheese, like pizza and Chinese food, is hard to fuck up, but also hard to do really well -- and the Carroll Gardens does it really well. Pillowy roll, but not too soft and chewy; good rebound. Slices of cheese top and bottom, and that's what I'm talking about. That is pro. Good tomato, not skimpy. Firm eggs, but mushy enough to cohere in the sandwich. That is fine work, gentlemen.

(I will add also that I've ordered in from this place many times, at Bean's house, and their grilled cheese is championship stuff. They can turn out a sandwich at this place for real.)

Also, the pepper isn't overfilled. THANK you.

They have wrapped mints and candies at the front register. Ehh.

The Drinks:

Good coffee for a diner. The sugar pourer looks sketch sometimes, but you can drink their java black. Prompt refills. The water glasses are nice and big, plenty of ice; prompt refills on that, too.

The Service:

Friendly and accommodating; they don't care how long you sit there and they're not eye-roll-y about special requests (I can be, for reasons that are probably obvious, rather picky about my tomato products). Very peaceful place to sit with a coffee and a glass of juice and read a book on a weekday morning.

The Surroundings:

Average pastel-redec stuff -- not my choice, but not notably tacky, either. It's quite spacious.

The ladies' room is very clean and roomy, plenty of paper products, doesn't smell like anything. There was a dude coming out of it yesterday, but hey, it's Brooklyn, you never know what's going on.


I could have done without the guy planing wood in the back yard right behind me yesterday, truth be told, but I had a little sunbeam on my back; the AC was blasting; I had good black coffee and a good book, and they served my tomato juice with lemon and a little doily, grandma-style, which I love for some reason (the juice was straight out of a can but whatev). The staff is really nice, and mostly in their twenties, but they're like old-man waiters.

So, in spite of the aged crudités and the name confusion, I'm giving this one a solid A.

(If anyone is interested in trying their gravy fries and reviewing those, please email me.)

Carroll Salonike Garden Classic on Urbanspoon