Chris and I are avid fans of cheeseburgers in every way, shape and form. We’ve tried the majority of “best of” burgers in New York City, and are always on the hunt for the next diamond in the rough.
When The Village Voice posted an article showcasing what they considered the 11 Best Burgers of NYC in 2011 recently, we noticed that one of the restaurants nominated, Dean Street, was located two blocks from our apartment. Naturally, we had to see for ourselves how their burger ranked against our favorites in the city. Chris was kind enough to take over photog duties for this article.
[Photo from deanstreetbrooklyn.com]
Dean Street has a nice ambience–a jazz band was playing in the front room. They also have an open kitchen in the back dining room. The service was good and the space cozy. Chris marveled at how an eatery like this would be packed in Manhattan, but given that we were in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, we had room to spread out.
We started off with one of our favorite local craft beers, Kelso India Pale Ale, which exploded with hoppy flavor.
After reviewing the menu, we noticed quite a few options outside of burgers and beer. We started with a pair of appetizers–Fried Calamari with Marinara Sauce, Brisket and Duck Liver Boudin Balls with Mustard and Pickled Veggies.
I admit we hesitated ordering calamari, as after our amazing dining experience at Parm, we knew it would be hard to top–or even match–that phenomenal squid. Unfortunately, we were right. The texture was rubbery, the flavor fell a little flat, and it was your standard calamari.
The boudin balls, on the other hand, were delightful. They reminded us of Spanish croquettes with their soft and creamy bites. A dab of spicy mustard added a perfect punch to these tasty balls.
Although Chris and I went to Dean Street to try their acclaimed Bacon Cheeseburger, we also ordered Pan Roasted Chicken with Scallion Mashed Potatoes and a side of Brussels Sprouts.
Ironically, our least favorite of these three dishes was the bacon cheeseburger. It was very good, but the chicken and brussels were surprisingly fantastic. The burger had all the right elements–charbroiled buns, perfectly cooked beef, crispy bacon and melty cheddar, but we’ve admittedly had many burgers equally delicious.
The menu description for the sprouts was simply ‘Brussels Sprouts.’ It really should’ve read ‘Brussels Sprouts with copious amounts of Maple Syrup and Bacon’, as we were happily surprised by the addition of these ingredients. They weren’t as crispy as some of our favorite versions, but the flavors were nailed.
When we cut into the pan roasted chicken, our mouths began to salivate–the crunch on the skin was perfect. Each bite was tender and juicy, and the skin was delicately seasoned. Adding to the dish were the uber whipped scallion mashed spuds with creamy mushroom gravy. The chicken and potatoes topped the gravy, so as not to ruin the wonderful crisp on the bird–great idea.
At the end of the meal, it was apparent that Dean Street had instantly become one of our local go to establishments. We look forward to trying their brunch in the near future as well. I recommend this place to anyone looking for a great place to hang out with friends and nosh in Brooklyn.