The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Park Slope Gastronome #9 - The Return of the Pig

Don't worry, I have been stuffing my face like I always do, just not writing about it. Anyway, last night's dinner experience has motivated me to write about 3 places I have recently dined at. Let's start with the most recent.

DeMarco's Pizzeria
So last night, the Listmaker (my huband, for any of you bibimbop newbies) had dinner at DeMarco's Pizzeria. DeMarco's is sort of an offshoot of the legendary DiFara's. I think some of DiFara's children or in-laws are the proprieters of DeMarcos but other than that, the two restaurants are not related. I'm sure Slice can give you the skinny.

There are actually two parts to DeMarco's - one is smaller and used for take-away orders, while the building on the corner is a sit-down restaurant. We chose the sit-down option and although the pasta offerings were tempting, we of course had to opt for a pie. The first sign of trouble was the price - DeMarco's charges $18.50 for a round pie of 8 slices. The second sign of trouble was when we got our pepperoni pie. While we approved of the type of pepperoni (smaller, thicker coins that curl up into little cups - favored by the best coal-oven joints), we were disappointed to see no more than 20 or so slices on the entire pie. That comes out to less than 3 pieces per slice. There was even a slice that was pepperoni-less. Unacceptable! The restaurant was not busy - we were the first diners to sit at a proper table, so it's not like the kitchen was busy throwing one pie after another. When we entered the restaurant, there were a couple diners eating at the bar and for a second I thought they were employees having their staff dinner. It prompted me to ask, "Uh, are you guys open?" and have my question go unanswered.

Both Listmaker and I were less than impressed with our $21.50 pie (most toppings are $3). While the sauce was tangy and the grated hard cheese sprinkled atop a nice touch, we both found the crust to be way too hard. When I first picked up a slice, I was struck by how firm it was. It amazingly didn't bend or sag. After the first slice, eating the crust became a chore and hurt my jaw. There was no chewiness to it. The final nail through the coffin was when we got the bill. The bottle of Peroni consumed by Listmaker cost $7! We could only laugh it off and promise to never come back to DeMarco's ever again.

We wonder how long this establishment will last with its mediocre food served at outlandish prices and poor layout of tables. As Listmaker remarked, a restaurant shouldn't feel cramped when you're the only customers.

I was amused by the party of three sitting at the table next to us (2 Japanese women, and a British man) erroneously talking about how this place was written up in the Mug Newsletter with pictures of the tops and bottom of the slices.

Food: C
Service: I'm going to stop grading service. If it sucks, I'll just write about how awful it is.

Let's just say I only spent $20 and got stuffed on the following:
- glass of shochu
- pint of Asahi
- bowl of beef curry and rice
- plate of Japanese pickled vegetables
- half an okonomiyaki (shared with margie j.)
- third of an ear of sweet and salty corn cob
- miso covered grilled rice ball
For dessert, they present you with a little plastic cup of granulated sugar. By the entrance there is a cotton candy machine. Self-serve fairy floss! Brilliant! That day's flavor was grape.
Food: A- (didn't love the pickled vegetables. it was not the variety of oshinko i was expecting)

Stone Park Cafe
This is the foofy resaturant that recently opened up at the end of our block. Listmaker and I have hemmed and hawed about eating dinner there a bunch of times, but it wasn't until they started servicing brunch that we became fully motivated. While Stone Park's dinner menu is a bit on the pricey side, the brunch is rather reasonable. We've beben there 3 times in the last 3 weeks - twice during one weekend, even! Each visit has been very satisfying, which is a positive sign, since despite all the restaurants in the area, a good brunch remains elusive. It was the first visit that really knocked our socks off. FIrst off, we liked the music - while we were there we heard Elliott Smith and Low. Second, it was not baby carriage central. As you all know, I love love love the children, but sometimes when you dine in Park Slope, you just get so overwhelmed by the fleet of Bugaboos and scent of baby powder. Third, the wait staff was pleasant. We both opted for omelets and we each got to choose up to 4 fillings! Listmaker chose garlic, jack cheese, sausage and one more filling which I can not remember. I chose garlic, house-smoked bacon, mushrooms and bleu cheese. Choosing garlic was a bold move, but one that proved to be out of this world. I'm equally in love with the bacon at Stone Park Cafe. It's thick and has a full smokey flavor. The omelet was really perfectly done, with all the fillings portioned out equally throughout. Nothing worse than starting on one end of an omelet and realizing halfway through, you've eaten all the mushrooms and only have tomatoes left or something like that. The eggs were served with chewy sourdough toast and delicious roast potatoes with sauteed onions. Coffee was included in the $11 price. The one minus I would say is that I really wanted a bloody mary but did not want o pay $9 for one. That's just ridiculous. Anyway, having Stone Park Cafe just a few steps from our front door is a very welcome addition. Now we can be even lazier on the weekends!
Food: A (for the first visit)

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