The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

wake up maggie (and franny) i think i got something to say to you

I've figured out why it took nearly three years to try Franny's for the second time. As my (sometimes...seriously, where are you?) co-blogger the CLC would say, "I'm just not into them." I remember feeling pretty disappointed the first time we tried Franny's, which I think was around the time they first opened. Years pass and the near-universal acclaim piles up yet, I have never felt much of a need to go back. Well I finally did over the weekend and I think it's safe to say that Franny's is simply not my type.

DMR, the CLC, Balgavy and I headed to Franny's after downing mint juleps and derby pie at Commonwealth in Southgreenslopeset. I won zilch, thanks a lot Paul Lo Duca. Having not had any time to read up on the horses, I went with Captain Red Ass' Trifecta Picks. Sure, he wound up picking the winner but at 4-1 odds it was nothing like his bingo call of Giacomo a couple years back. DMR and I actually started the afternoon with a couple of tacos from Tacos Nuevos Mexico (aka Jack's). I got a spicy chicken and queso taco and they were easily the best I've had from there. The green sauce on the queso was SPICY!

Anyway, back to Franny's. We get seated after a 30 minute or so wait and delve into the menu, which looks great. The restaurant's environmentally conscious philosophy is admirable but it confused me that it appears they print new menus out every night. I guess when the market dictates your menu you need to do this? Surely they can find an alternative, maybe even a few whiteboards as they use at Superfine in Dumbo?

We began with a couple of starters: the trio of house-cured meats and house-pickled vegetables. The waitress informed us that bread was not served with the meats and wondered if our order would that be enough food for us. I'm not quite sure why they don't serve bread since there are crostini variations on the menu. There's also uh, you know, a nice, hot oven in the kitchen where a thin round of pizza dough could be fired up and cut into wedges to accompany the meats. Our waitress was also not nearly as good as she thought she was. She forgot to bring Dan's beer and went out of her way to tell us that she wouldn't be pressuring us to order more food and drink. Thanks, we appreciate it.

I'll start the least appetizing of the house meats. The proscuitto (although the website lists pancetta, so now I'm confused. I thought the menu that day was offering proscuitto, but I may be mistaken) looked and tasted like uncooked bacon strips. It was fatty and chewy and not overly appetizing. The soppressata and coppa, on the other hand were delicious but our waitress was right, there wasn't enough of it. I think we paid about a dollar per small slice of meat. The vegetables used for the house made pickles were an interesting mix, ranging from kohlrabi to baby fennel. They each had different brines, some were sweet and tangy and some packed a bit of heat.

Our table decided to split three pizzas among the four of us. We went with two tomato, buffalo mozzarella and house-made sausage pies and one with clams, chilies and parsley. The pizzas failed to live up to the hype. Where was this magical light and thin crust? We got bready, puffy crusts that reminded us of Bobolis. Granted, it was fine, but not what was expected and certainly not amazing. I was pleased with the number of little briny bellies that dotted our clam pie, but there was something missing. Some garlic would have been nice. The chilies that were promised were barely there and the parsley dominated each bite. The sausage pie was too much outer crust, with the tomato sauce populating too small an area. I remember not loving the sausage last time because it tasted too gamey to me. Had the same thought this time around too.

Despite the promise of "Brooklyn's best panna cotta," we chose to skip dessert. I don't know if that's a line our waitress was told to say or if she truly believed it, but we wouldn't bite. I had no reason to trust her. The bottom line: the pizzas are good, but not that good to make us want to shell out $16 for a pie. The bathroom is very nice, however.

The following day DMR and I went to Maggie Brown's for brunch. We had nice experience dining on the outdoor patio the week prior, even if the service was spotty. I think our waiter disappeared halfway through our meal never to be seen or heard from again. I again went with the Beryl Evans - corned beef hash with a biscuit on the side, along with delicious raspberry butter. We should have branched out because it was just not Maggie's day. My hash came sitting in a pool of oil so it was barely eaten. DMR ordered the Maggie Brown, which is a scramble of cheddar, horseradish and chives. The kitchen forgot the cheddar. He also ordered a side of yogurt with fruit and honey, only first we realized the honey was missing and then we realized the yogurt was missing! Our server, despite seeming super harried, was super apologetic and even took 15% off the bill, which was definitely unexpected.

I could probably write more, but it's taken me like 5 day to write this so I'll just wrap things up now. Plus, I want to post about dinner the other night at Craftsteak in the next day or so.

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Anonymous marc b. said...

I liked my dinner. My palate isn't as refined as everyone else's.

May 15, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

i don't think it has anything to do with having a refined palate. i just think the pizza is overrated and the vibe not for me.

May 15, 2007 4:39 PM  
Anonymous marc b. said...

You were definitely right about the bathroom. It is very nice.

But how do you feel about scented hand soaps in restaurants? Fun treat or taste-destroying artificialness?

Also, should I not think of soap as a treat?

May 15, 2007 6:32 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

i'm all about good quality soaps in restaurants. nothing irks me more than eating at a place that charges $25 an entree and they have that industrial grade pink soap in the bathrooms. lame.

as long as you're not licking your hands, which i hope you are not doing, i think scented soaps are fine. i believe Franny's uses mrs. meyers products, which i am a big fan of.

May 16, 2007 10:46 AM  

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