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Fritzl's Lunch Box

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#1 AaronS

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:08 PM

A Bushwick update at the Pink Pig: Fritzl's Lunch Box and The Sampler (both very enjoyable) and Mama Joy's (nice enough).


I think wilfrid really nailed fritzl's lunch box.  really, really well done sandwiches aren't worth getting too excited about or a long train ride, but they do make good eating.  I do think the dumplings show they can do a lot more.  the burger and the chicken sandwich are great, and the pasta dish is good too.
 
the burrito special I had on my first visit is probably the best mexican food I've had in NY but it wasn't available two days later.
 
good news for people who like sandwiches indeed.

#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

:)

 

I wish I could catch the lamb shoulder.  Never on when I'm in the area.



#3 AaronS

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 03:14 AM

I really hope there's at least one person in bushwick who grew up eating the burger king chicken sandwich and simply can't get over how much better paying three times as much can make things.



#4 Wilfrid

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:38 PM

Using Fritzl's more frequently since I realised it's basically a block from DeKalb Ave on the L.  Blood sausage beignets still on the menu, but I went fro a special of fried hake with salsa verde last time.  Bite size pieces of hake, and the kitchen never puts a foot wrong with light, tempura-style batter. Then a straightforward lamb stew.
 
Never empty, never full, always pleasant, constantly changing menu, very nice food on which it's hard to spend much more than $20.  Every neighborhood should have one.

#5 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 03:30 PM

Doesn't Fritzl's have its own thread yet.  Better and better.

 

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#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 04:40 PM

(Just so you know, you linked an older Fritzl's review instead of the new one, here.)
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#7 AaronS

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:29 AM

it's still good.  the blood sausage beignets have been replaced with seafood fritters, which are shrimp, octopus, mussels, and I think clams covered in what I assume is the same batter.  I think the batter is a little bit too heavy, but the shrimp ones and the mussel aioli were nice.  (my daughter ate some of them, which is why the clams are qualified.)
 
my main was paccheri with a lamb ragu with preserved chilies, topped with ricotta and fennel pollen.  I really, really liked this and I recommend it to wilfrid, who is I think the only other poster who will eat here.  high quality dried pasta, nice heat from the chilies, and the lamb sauce had a really great depth of flavor to it.  this isn't ground breaking food, and I don't know if it's close enough to roberta's to serve as a backup plan, but if you find yourself in bushwick board approved mild praise and so on.  I think this is much better and cheaper than anywhere I've been in clinton hill, bed stuy, or fort greene.  the style is different but if we were able to do one of those corny tv commercials where the franny's staff switched their pasta with the fritzl's stuff I think everyone would be pleased with the quality of the food.  service can be slow.  (I haven't been to prospect, aita, martha, or daniel's house, but I think this is clearly better than say romans, speedy romeo, or lulu and po.)
 
eta: this is another one of those nbc places where the focus of the menu, sandwiches,  is good but the rest of the menu is better.

#8 Wilfrid

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 02:52 PM

I mentioned that great lamb dish, and also made a case for Fritzl's as the Roberta alternative, in last Friday's Pink Pig.  And you're right: the sandwiches and salads are fine, but I go for the specials.

 

Maybe nobody else will ever eat there, but it's worth noting that it's, like, four minutes further than Roberta's on the L Train.

 

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#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

I will eat there before the end of the summer.

Watch.
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#10 Wilfrid

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 03:38 PM

The garden might even be romantic (I always sit indoors).



#11 AaronS

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 03:26 AM

I hadn't seen your blog post.  I have seen waits at brunch.



#12 Wilfrid

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:20 PM

Ah quite possible.  I ought to say I'm a weekday evening diner at Fritzl's.



#13 AaronS

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:17 AM

fritzl's had two thai-ish dishes on the menu this week, and while I thought the green market curry was fine the bean salad with trout was probably the first dish I wouldn't order again.  the pork ribs that were on top of the curry were good, and the sauce itself was great, but I thought it was less than the sum of it's parts and there's better stuff on the menu.  one of the people I ate with has spent a lot of time in indonesia and thought the lamb ragu in wilfrid's picture upthread was a lot like a rendang, so maybe it's been south east asian all along.



#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 09:16 PM

I think I'm going to do a dual Faro/Fritzl's write-up, and post it in the threads for each of those restaurants and the "Bushwick" thread as well.  Because, taken together, they really do exemplify the state of the current Bushwick dining scene -- and also, as Wilfrid has already noted, raise similar issues about the "destination" designation.
 
Faro
 
Eating here gave me no insight into the intentionality of the spelling of this restaurants' name. 
 
I was slightly disappointed only because of the high expectations I had developed.  This is that kind of restaurant:  if you just sort of happen upon it, you're very impressed (especially given its seemingly remote location) -- but if you go out of your way for it, you're apt to be a little bit disappointed (especially because of its inconvenient [to most] location).
 
Let's start with the interior.  Many reviews laud it for its basic, inelaborate decor, paired with a high ceiling that gives a sense of luxurious spaciousness.  Well, yeah.  But my first impression on walking in is that it looked like every other undecorated Brooklyn restaurant.  Which is fine:  I like undecorated Brooklyn restaurants.   But that's because decor then becomes a neutral element (in sharp contrast to the grotesque build-outs that have virtually killed a certain kind of Manhattan dining -- or at least made those Manhattan restaurants more about theater than dining) -- not something to be praised, as has been done here.
 
The food was very good, no denying that.  I was confused by the menu, where the pastas cost about the same as the plates, but the prices are all well south of $30 and even $20:  was it the standard Italian three-savory-course?  Or were the pastas meant to be the equivalent of main dishes?  If I had reread Wilfrid's Pink Pig review carefully before going, I'd have known -- but I hadn't.  As Wilfrid correctly states (and the bartender didn't), this is indeed a three-savory-course set-up (and is fairly priced for it).  (The bartender, OTOH, made it seem like eating a pasta as well as a plate would be feat attainable only if you carefully ordered lighter dishes -- forget the small starters.   But that may be why the bartender is slender and I'm gigantic.)  I didn't leave hungry -- but I could've eaten more.  I'm making a big deal of this only for the benefit of readers who will go there in the future.
 
Anyway, as you all know, in typical Brooklyn fashion, this restaurant was opened by a chef who had made his name at someone else's restaurant (in this case, Northern Kingdom around the corner -- Bushwick's first "real" restaurant) and his wife ("mom and pop" is prevalent in BK).  The conceit is that the food is as local as possible -- including the pasta, which is all made in-house from upstate grains (apparently in a lighthouse, hence the restaurant's name).  Also, as is often the case this year, they have a big oven.
 
So the squid-ink calameretti with huge hunks of lobster were beautiful to behold, and extremely flavorful.  And, from that oven, the octopus with potatoes was perfectly cooked (does anyone remember how to fuck up octopus anymore?).
 
Decent wine selection.  Very good cocktails.
 
This is all very good food, in other words.  But neighborhood.  Despite the seeming uniqueness of the housemade pasta from New York State grains, it was just very good pasta.  The food from the oven is just very good food from an oven.  I'm not complaining; I enjoyed this dinner very much.  I'd love to return.  But in this Golden Age Of Upper-Mid-Priced Dining in New York, we can get food this good almost everywhere now.
 
So what to do with a restaurant like this?   Damned if I know.  If you go, I'm sure you'll enjoy.  But I'm not sure I'm gonna tell you to get onto a train to get there.
 
Fritzl's Lunch Box
 
I've been promising to walk to Fritzl's for dinner for three summers now.  I've finally done it.
 
Fritzl's is, in a way, even more confounding than Faro.  Because -- as Wilfrid has already pointed out -- on the one hand it's more interesting, but on the other hand, it's much more modest.  In fact, Fritzl's is in a way the paradigmatic example of the new kind of restaurant (you can't even call it NBC any more), that does only a few seemingly modest things, but does them very very well.
 
Fritzl's presents itself as a sandwich shop, and indeed about a third of the menu consists of (a total of three) sandwiches.  There are also a (very) few small plates, and a (very) few platters.  But the level of imagination and (especially) execution is astonishingly high for a place like this.  There's no way this food should be anywhere near this good.
 
I started with a sweet corn and shrimp cake.  What is there to say?  It was flawlessly fried.  It was surrounded by unidentifiable but interesting subsidiary bits that complemented it perfectly.  There was a very spicy glob of green-chili condiment on the side to add kick.  A beautifully conceived and executed plate.
 
Disappointingly -- this is the story of my life -- they did not offer any of their famous specials the evening I was there.  So I was sort of relegated to the pork belly (I'll bet I'm the only MFFer who's had pork belly in 2015).  No surprise that it was very well made, that the beans and other stuff served with it were interesting, tasty, and perfectly judged, etc.
 
So, as Wilfrid has said, Fritzl's may be a destination for food people because the cooking is so surprisingly good.  If you told a "normal" person to go out of their way to go there, they'd think you were crazy.  Even for me, I'll happily return when I'm in Bushwick, but I don't see myself traveling to go here in its own right.  Nevertheless -- and here's the contradiction -- I highly recommend it to anyone reading this.
 
In a way, this new "destination" problem really results from an embarrassment of riches.  Who could complain about that?
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#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 04:12 AM

Using Fritzl's more frequently since I realised it's basically a block from Myrtle Ave/Wyckoff.


I don't want to start another Stupid Subway Argument -- LIE: there's nothing I enjoy more -- but it's very hard for me to believe that Fritzl's is closer to the Myrtle/Wycoff L stop than to the DeKalb L stop.
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