Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brunching in Brooklyn: The General Greene

Tucked on a corner in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, The General Greene is the sort of neighborhood joint that evokes the comfort of a hot cup of cocoa on a cold day. As with many of the "New American" places in NYC and especially in Brooklyn, it's got the familiar wooden tables in a sparse semi-industrial backdrop with simple, warm colors and lots of wine bottles on the wall (in this case near the bar). On a sunny spring Saturday, the sunlight brings the "where everyone knows your name" friendly feel to a whole different level. Love it.

The brunch menu was short and simple with 4 sections: Sandwiches, Skillet (variations of the 3 baked skillet eggs), Sides and Sweets. On the other side of the menu there is a basic wine, beer and brunch cocktail list. For starters, we tried the Bloody Mary: generously portioned (good), very spicy (good), a bit thin on the tomato juice (bad).

Sandwich selections included choices like roast beef, chicken salad, burger (a staple for any respectable New American restaurant) all dressed up with farmhouse ingredients like arugula, herb aioli, tomato jam. We went with a smoked trout melt which was dressed up with creme fraiche, red onions accompanied with gruyere all grilled to perfection on 7-grain bread. The smokeyness of the trout was just right and it was an interesting twist to a tuna melt.

The other sandwich was the roast pork with ham, pickles and gruyere with arugula on a crunchy baguette. There was a bit too much ham and too little roast pork, which resembled baco-bits sprinkled on top of the ham. Need a bit meatier hunks of pork!

The skillet selection included chicken confit with creamed spinach, chorizo and zucchini, blood sausage and apple amongst other variations. We went with the Hair of the Dog which had 3 baked eggs over bacon grits with red gravy poured on top of the whole thing. A very hearty breakfast option.
All in all, a solid laid back option in the neighborhood. Next time, I am going to try more of the skillet options and also come back for dinner one night, where the menu includes meatballs, lamb sausage, ham and gruyere bread pudding and other home-y comfort food.

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