Demetri Kontakos, the owner of Bonnie’s Grill for the last two years, recently invited me into his establishment for a press review. Bonnie’s has been a Brooklyn staple for about 15 years and running. I had heard great things about Bonnie’s wings, so I was excited to hoof it out into Brooklyn and give them a shot.
I love a simple countertop style joint. No fuss, no glitz and glamour: just really good fucking food. Bonnie’s is exactly that kind of place.
Some people get excited about a fancy joint with buttoned up waiters, candle light and white tablecloths. Not me. I get excited when I can see people working on my ticket right in front of me.
And somehow I was a big Bills fan when I was a kid. Probably because they had an awesome looking bovine as their logo. And Bonnie’s is a proud Buffalo style establishment.
Speaking of Buffalo: the wings. They get fried up to a really nice crisp here – none of that rubbery skin bullshit that you get from other places. And the sauce is really flavorful: you can get mild, medium, hot or hotter. I can take a lot of heat; in fact I enjoy it. So next time I will be trying the hotter wings. This time we went with hot, and it didn’t have us tearing up and sucking down water.
We did suck down a cream ale, though.
These are a great bargain at just $3.50, but if canned beer isn’t your thing, every weekday from 4pm-7pm is happy hour, where drafts are just $4, and they run three or four pretty good handles.
But back to all things Buffalo… Check out this gem: beef on weck!
I love regional food quirks. Beef on weck is one of those quirks that hails from Buffalo, or western New York, generally. Essentially, what you have here is sliced roast beef with horseradish and some meat juice on a kummelweck roll (kaiser style, with fennel seeds and coarse grain salt on top).
Anyway this fucker was pure and simple. You can mess with it a little if you want, and add jalapeños and cheddar, but then you’re screwing with the integrity of a traditional sandwich.
And speaking of traditional, by now most of you know how I like my burgers: simple, nothing fancy. The classic American cheeseburger reigns supreme. So that’s what I got here.
The patty is 80/20 lean/fat, so the masters at Bonnie’s develop a really great crisp on the outside of the burger. The cheese melts down so nicely and surrounds the patty with even more crisp.
There’s a ton of free toppings you can go with. I went with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and jalapeños. By the way: cheese is even a free topping here. But the kicker for me was that these guys kinda read my mind when it comes to the toppings. Notice how thin the tomato and onion slices are? I hate when the toppings end up making a burger eight inches tall. This was perfect.
And speaking of perfect… the fries!
Golden and crisp, and deftly seasoned with salt. And the chipotle mayo is a great way to enjoy them.
Another side I tried was the soup of the day, which was lentil and sweet corn. Very hearty and soulful.
I can’t say enough positive things about this place. I just wish it was closer to my apartment! I’m near Central Park and this is near Prospect Park. But I highly recommend this place. So freaking good, and the staff are all really nice – ask for Alex and Rick when you go.
278 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215