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Dekalb Market Hall

FOOD HALL BROOKLYN

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#1 Daniel

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

http://dekalbmarkethall.com/

 

Well, we know that it is estimated that 25 percent of malls in America will be closing in the next 5 years.... And the only sort of mall type shopping that seems to be popular are these large food court / halls.. So, with America's love of sequels and our loving of riding a fad until it's dead, we are going to be seeing a lot more of these concepts.. I personally feel like Jonathan Butler from The Brooklyn Flea and Shmorgasburg is the grandfather of the revival of this trend.. I also believe he is responsible for help making Brooklyn a World Brand but, i like the guy so maybe I am biased.. 

 

I went to Dekalb Market on Friday.. 40 or so vendors in a windowless basement with terrible cell phone receptions (was strangely familiar), long lines, disorganized people, far too few garbage cans and seating...   The most iconic or recognizable business would be Katz's Deli.  There was a long line of people waiting for corned beef and pastrami.. And you have a clear view of about 5 guys vigorously hand slicing the meat and furiously wrapping up the sandwiches.  It makes you wonder and I have wondered why they haven't done this earlier.. 

 

There was a handmade dumpling place called Han... They have thick dumplings and a couple of noodle dishes.. I had their mian noodles and was rather underwhelmed.. They were out of scallion noodles, they were out of sauce for the dumplings and I believe napkins too when I was there. Looking forward for Han Dynasty to open and underwhelm us with delivery options.. 

 

Bunkr is there but, they only had Bahn Mi's.  

 

We had a chicken sandwich from Wilma Jean, we had a burger from Hard Times Sundae, we walked around a bit... Hard Times Sundae while good, was out of napkins, they were out of bags, which had people coming back and saying they were not allowed to leave without a to go bag.. I ordered my burger with bacon, they forgot it and when  i told them, they instead unwrapped the burger and then added a side of bacon to it.. so, it made it very hard to handle the burger.. THen to make things more fun, they had no napkins..  They also didn't have many of the drinks listed.. I was excited to try their lime rickey.. Oh yeh, they were also out of mustard. 

 

I was told that vendors were told 5 days before opening that they would be opening.. There seemed to be a lot of confusion.. I couldn't imagine as, these people had no moment to breath.. They were thrust into a busy mob scene since day one.. They have to be exhausted..  You can see that there is very little storage, so things like napkins, straws, packaging and food all have to fit in the space.... Also, i was told everything has to be away at the end of the night.. So, that leaves even less storage space.. I would not have been surprised if vendors were out of things on the weekend.. 

 

I don't know, I wish them well.. It's close to my house and I would love for it to work as it's so close to my house, it's also close to the other sort of food hall/court on the other side of Flatbush Gotham Market and i am sort of close to Bergn too...

 

At some point it's going to reach a saturation.. My friend asked me to get a space in a new food hall being built by Brooklyn Bridge Park.. I have no interest of even going let alone participating.. And I am sure there will be many more of these things before we all decide, it's not that fun eating averagely made comfort food in a hot basement with no seating and long lines..    I definitely think these concepts are great ways for start up companies or people who don't have the cash to dive into a full time restaurant to get experience, support and find investors.. I think we have seen some good stuff come from these and we have seen some mostly pretty average stuff come from these..

 

I don't know, i understand the appeal on paper but, it's doesn't end up being as fun as it sounds.. 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#2 joethefoodie

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:08 PM

I haven't been, have no desire to go, and am happy for your report, which makes me feel like I won't be missing anything.

 

I remember trying to check out Vanderbilt Hall, if that's what it's called, and walking in, turning around, and walking out.

 

Food, good food, is not meant to be consumed during a cattle call.



#3 Josh Karpf

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:31 PM

 

[...]

 

Food, good food, is not meant to be consumed during a cattle call.

 

That bustle, and that variety, is part of what made the Flushing Chinese food courts rewarding to me. "Fine, you get something sweet for dessert; I'm gonna try that meat on a stick I saw around the corner."



#4 Daniel

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:36 PM


 
[...]
 
Food, good food, is not meant to be consumed during a cattle call.

 
That bustle, and that variety, is part of what made the Flushing Chinese food courts rewarding to me. "Fine, you get something sweet for dessert; I'm gonna try that meat on a stick I saw around the corner."

Chinese food can be consumed in any form and fashion and its delicious
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#5 joethefoodie

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:48 PM

I think the bustle and variety of the Flushing Chinese food courts are about as far removed from DeKalb Market and Urbanspace Vanderbilt as one can imagine.  



#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:58 PM

Probably because I went a few weeks later and they had more time to settle in, I had a better experience than Daniel.

 

In one way, this branch of Katz's is better than the mothership:  you can simply ask for fatty meat, without having to engage in bribery or ritualistic behavior.  When I asked for "fatty", the young high-school aged counterguy replied, "juicy".

 

I thought the Italian hero stall looked promising.

 

I thought on the whole it was a pretty good mix of vendors.

 

They still need more seating (but at least now they have signs up saying they're getting it).

 

BUT there's one thing basic problem Daniel noted that will always remain:  the memo explaining why it's pleasant to eat in a bare concrete basement never reached me.


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#7 Daniel

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:01 PM

went back this Sunday.. The craft beer place is opened so, you can either get a bottle of a draught beer, poured into a cup for you to walk around with.. I was almost tackled by a rent a cop for leaving the venue with my second beer.  

 

We walked around, I almost pulled the trigger at the CHicken Shwarma stand before I realized it was Chicken and not lamb..   I shocked myself that it was the second time I was able to walk passed Katz's without eating one..  Jax hasn't even had a pastrami from there yet..  

 

We went back to Hard Times and tried their burger with onion jam.. Jax ate some fries and that was it.. Burger was certainly good.. The fries were well cooked. 

 

It was a quick pop in and a quick pop out.. Our friend runs the cheese shop so, it was nice to see her.. Place was crowded.. I would prefer just to have a hard times burger place on the ground floor that serves beer and call it a day... But, the people want their paella sitting out at room temp, their cake pops and whatever other weird thing they are selling.. 

 

Trader Joe's was not that crowded either.. We went in as Jax wanted to smell the flowers they were selling.. He likes to take a deep breath and say "mmmm, delicious"  I got to walk the aisles and had no idea there was such a demand for precooked chicken in all it's forms.. chicken patty precooked, diced precooked chicken, precook cutlets and precooked shredded chicken.. it's all so strange.. Flowers smelled good.. 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#8 Wilfrid

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:15 PM

Fletchers is now there?

#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:19 PM

Was from the start. One of their first signings.
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#10 Daniel

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 12:34 AM

Oh shit. I have to go, his food looks so good. I just never eat BBQ so it's not in my thought. But that's my next visit
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#11 Daniel

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:27 PM

I was super duper hungover yesterday...I woke up at the crack of dawn to start my day and was miserable through out.. It was the type of hangover where I felt that only thing to do was to eat something terrible and get myself back on track.. I was walking to an appointment and I stopped by a McDonalds.. In fact, i walked an extra two miles just to feel better. I figured a little walking would put me in forward motion. I was walking up to 34 street and was very upset to see that the White Castle by the Empire State Building was no more. I was upset as I was pretty sure White Castle was the only thing that was going to help..  I walked into the nearby Mc Donalds and they were only serving breakfast.. I think I had one of those pancake sandwiches years ago but, nobody is feeling better eating powdered eggs and microwaved bacon... 
 
I ended up hitting my one appointment without having eaten anything other than a homemade juice consisting of carrot, pear, apple, ginger, apricot, lemon, lime and some wilted lettuce and I ate a banana along my drink at around 7 that morning... I was in the middle of reading Franny and Zoey and the amount of cigarettes they smoked in the book made me nauseous.  As the day went on, I was getting progressively worse. 
 
So, it was now closer to 11:30 and I was heading back to another appointment 1.5 miles away.. I walked down 8th avenue when I came across a Taco Bell.. Having eaten at  maybe three in my life, I was thinking, this may be a perfect thing to eat.. I was standing in a line without anyone a head of me when the kind soul waiting on me, turned their back and said, I will be with you in a few moments.. Well, I may eat at Taco Bell under duress but, if they are going to give me time to consider my life choices, it;'s not going to work in their favor.. So, I decided to bolt before they came back and I was forced to order out of my well mannered upbringing..  So, I then considered doing a buzz by Koreatown, or I did do a buzz by but, there was not enough time to sit and eat the hangover soup... 
 
At this point, I was resigned to feeling like garbage for the rest of the day.. There is some point in a hangover if you have not eaten the proper amount of greasy, cheesy, fried foods, you don't know if you are nauseous or starving.. At some point the nausea gives way and you are just plain starving..  the hunger almost eats the hangover. This point hit me on my way home on the subway... Instead of making the transfer, I decided to get off at the Dekalb Market as the only thing that was going to save my life was, a Pastrami sandwich and a Black Cherry.. If I drink two sodas in a year, its a lot.. So, the fact that I was getting a soda was a big deal.. Certainly a very important part of the one two combo..
 
I arrive at Katz's and there is no line.. There is plenty of seating, all my troubles are over.. I had beat the day, suffered stoically and was about to receive my reward... I always tell me employees a quote I heard.. 80 percent of success is showing up and show up I did.. It was now time for me to collect my reward... I ordered a pastrami sandwich and a Dr Browns..  I watched the guy, he was slicing and dicing.. He pulled out a brand new piece for me,  I ignored the fact that, there was so much waste while he was trimming.. There was so much waste.. I watched him pile it high and with efficiency and speed, i was through the line and scanning for a spot.. I sat down at a table and began to unwrap this beast.. I am guessing 1.5 lb sandwich..  Low and behold, I take one bite when family of 6 shows up and completely surrounds me on either side.. I have grand ma to my left, son in law to my right, sitting across from daughter and father and there are two little ankle biters all up in my grill.. Choking down a bite,  i suggest they ask me to move...  Which they do and they are cute.. Kids are eating hot dogs like it's corn on the cob, the dad is eating pastrami for the first time in his life, the daughter is translating English and Chinese between the husband and son in law.. It's more interesting than sitting alone.. 
 
But, during all of this.. I notice, wait a minute, this poor dad is eating his first bite of Katz's pastrami at this bootleg stand, selling a bootleg version of an iconic, illustrious and beautiful sandwich..  The fat parts are well, just annoying fat parts.. There is no melty and soft rich meat.. It's as if they sous vide the pastrami.. It's fatty and dry.. It's just kind of a regular pastrami sandwich that you could and will get in most places..  I don't understand.. I was shocked, i was disappointed, I was under no circumstances not eating at least half this sandwich as I was on the verge of death... But, could I get an equally disppointing sandwich right next door at Jr's Cheesecake?  I might even say, that my memory may put Jr's ahead of this.. Not to mention, it's less expensive and you are not packed in to a communal bench in a concrete box.. 
 
So, to make a long story short.. I do not like the new Katz's.. 
 
Still have to hit up Fletchers... Looking forward to that.. Perhaps during the next emergency. 
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#12 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 12:45 AM

Didn't you consider a BEC from any corner deli? Or not gross enough.

Growing up in London, bacon sandwiches (non-crispy bacon, thanks) on white bread with brown sauce were an answer. The breakfast sandwich here is close.

#13 Daniel

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:44 AM

Eggs dont work, not dense enough. I need something that makes its presence known. Also those 15 cent deli rolls are too airy and light. Fine when you are in a normal state.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#14 Suzanne F

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:13 AM

The sausage, egg, and cheese on a biscuit at McD's probably would have served you well. It's not quite as disgusting as I imagine everything else there is. (It's the only thing I ever eat there, if I must eat there.)


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

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#15 Wilfrid

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 02:04 AM

Log-sized breakfast burrito in a terrible dive off Mission in SF, kind of thing (flashback). Right.

McD's is pretty light, no? Maybe the fierce sodium attack compensates.





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