Tag Archives: brooklyn

Amber Steakhouse

Amber Steakhouse overall score: 83

I had heard good things about this place from a few different people recently, so I had to go give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised! First, watch my Ride & Review on YouTube below. Then read on!

Flavor: 8

We had the bone-in dry-aged rib eye, and the dry-aged t-bone. Both had a really nice char on the outside from the broiler, and both were just slightly over medium-rare. They were both really juicy, though, so that made up for any slight overcooking. Both were on the mild side for dry-aged flavor, but they both packed a punch for beefy, satiating flavor in general. I give the rib eye a 9/10, and the t-bone a 7/10, bringing the overall score to an 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

Everything here is Certified Angus Beef brand (typically prime) and dry-aged. They cover all of the major cuts in various sizes, with shared steaks coming to the table in “sizzling plate” format.

Portion Size & Plating: 10

The portions are great here. Our sides were quite large, and the appetizers were big too. The plating is standard clean white elegance, cast iron skillets, etc.

Price: 8

Some stuff here is really well priced, like the cocktails, whiskey pours, apps, sides, desserts… especially when figuring in the price. But the steaks themselves are at midtown prices despite the “mom and pop” nature of the place and the neighborhood.

Bar: 5

Sadly, I had to dock some points here because there is actually no place to sit at the bar. It is a service-only bar with no stools. Our table was beside it, though, so we got a good look at their bottle selections. They have a really awesome spirits list, and they made some great cocktails, so don’t let the score here deceive you.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they offer lamb, chicken, duck and numerous other interesting proteins that I’d like to come back and try. Next visit, we are definitely getting the bacon (had to be 1.5″ thick for $18 – like a steak in itself), the roasted duck legs (plural, for $39), and the lamb chops (looked like four per plate).

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9

We started with the escargots, which were served in a really nice creamy mushroom broth/gravy, and had to have at least a dozen snails in the order. A great deal.

The steak tartare was a little bit too finely minced or ground, but the flavor was great, as was the portion size.

The roasted potatoes with peppers and onions were also a massive portion size, but the only negative here was that the dill was a little bit overpowering. It did smell nice though.

The sautéed spinach and mushrooms side was soupier than I expected, but really nicely flavored. This was just the right side for the steaks in my opinion.

For dessert, we had a scoop of espresso ice cream (very nice and creamy), the chocolate mousse cake (perfect thickness, richness and you could tell it was homemade instead of pre-purchase from a box like many midtown steak joints give), a glass of Hakushu 12yr ($30) and a double espresso. The double espresso was the only bad item of the entire meal. it tasted like burnt bean water.

Seafood Selection: 7

This was a rare occasion in which we tried absolutely no seafood. I saw the shellfish coming out though, and it all looked nice. Next time we will definitely delve into their raw bar selections and broader seafood entree menu.

Service: 10

Service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and super helpful/attentive without being pushy, annoying or intrusive.

Their table bread is similar to Luger’s style – a stuffed onion roll.

Ambiance: 8

For a small neighborhood mom and pop joint, they really did a great job with making the place feel like an old-timey, age-old steakhouse that’s been there forever. It’s been there since 2010, and in that time it has established itself as a staple for the neighborhood drawing in weekly regulars as well as exploratory outsiders like us.

I will definitely be back for more!

AMBER STEAKHOUSE
119 Nassau Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Sunset Park Taco Crawl

Some foodie friends from Instagram gathered for a taco crawl of Sunset Park’s best and most price friendly selections.

First was Tacos el Bronco. There’s a sit down spot on 4th Ave and 44th Street, but we hit the food truck nearby. We did a beef tongue taco and veal head taco. The veal head was slightly better since it was sort of stewed, and had more flavor. The tongue needed a hint of salt.

Next up was Don Pepe Tortas & Jugos. Here we tried a watermelon juice, the special “arab” beef taco, which was spicy and delicious, and a cemita (grilled sandwich). The arab taco was the winner here.

For the last spot, we went to a hidden speakeasy restaurant in the back of La Union Deli Grocery (Mi Pequno Chinantia). Here we tried a goat taco and mixed meat pork taco. The mixed meat was the king here. The goat was a little too gamey for us. We also has some tamales here too. The verde was really delicious.

TACOS EL BRONCO
Food Truck
5th Avenue at 37th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232

DON PEPE TORTAS & JUGOS
3908 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232

LA UNION DELI GROCERY CORP
(MI PEQUNO CHINANTIA)
4011 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232

Salty Dog

This joint serves up great pub food for a great price. I came here with a gang of miscreants late night after a whiskey event in Industry City, and I must say: Salty Dog did not disappoint.

I shared the fried chicken sandwich and burger with my wife. Both great. Excellent onion rings and fries too.

SALTY DOG
7509 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Ume

I took my wife to Ume for her birthday. This place serves an Omakase set of 12 pieces for $73.

Everything is really delicious, but my favorite three bites were the red snapper (center, with broccoli florette), the fatty tuna belly, (bottom center, with truffle) and the quail egg with crispy fish skin (center right).

We also grabbed this “literally everything don” bowl, which was better than the actual omakase (and more killing) for just $60.

Really enjoyed that.

A few negative things to note here: the enclosed outdoor garden area is too cold for winter dining. They leave the door open between the inside area and the garden, so even if you’re sitting inside, you’re going to be cold. To make matters worse, they double down on that chill factor with their “no shoes” concept (my toes were icy). Sitting on the floor isn’t too comfortable either but I’m not really gonna complain about that. I didn’t mind it so much.

UME
237 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tsuta

Tsuta is the world’s first Michelin starred ramen joint.

It just opened this past Friday, so there was a line when my friend and I showed up to try it. We waited about 1.5hrs in the bitter cold, but once that ramen hit our lips, it was worth it.

I tried the spicy mala tonkotsu ramen, which had a nice tingly broth from the Szechuan peppercorns that are infused in it. All of their noodles are soba, which I was initially worried about because I generally prefer egg noodles with thick broth ramen. But these noodles were perfect, and they went well with the rich, spicy broth.

This was $20 for the regular sized bowl. It comes with one slice of chashu pork. I added the seasoned soft boiled egg for an additonal $4.

Our apps came out after the ramen, which wasn’t so bad considering the place was brand new and absolutely slammed. Some of my friends who also went complained of even worse problems. Of these, the chicken was probably the best, but I’d rather share a second bowl of ramen than get these again.

Next visit, I’ll have to try their signature bowls (shio and shoyu), which feature truffle oils.

TSUTA
22 Old Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Leo

This joint slings some tasty sourdough pizza. I’ve always wanted to try a sourdough slice, and I was finally able to do so here at Leo.

I highly recommend this place; the slices have a distinct “freshly made at grandma’s house” kind of flavor to them.

I need to go back to try their potato slice, as well as their soft serve – apparently they’re famous for both, and I’m a huge sucker for soft serve.

My first visit was during a @NYCZoozClub food crawl. Check out the video below if you’re interested. And use code JOHNNYPRIME for $150 off your Zooz bike at www.zoozbikes.com.

My last visit was just this past weekend on January 2nd, 2023. I tried the pepperoni slice and it was incredible!

Check out the ride and review video:

LEO
123 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Fini Pizza

If you’d rather WATCH this review, check out my ride and review video. If you’d rather read it, then continue below.

That bike makes the city so small. I can get everywhere so fast now. If you’re interested in one for yourself, use my coupon code JOHNNYPRIME for $150 off at www.zoozbikes.com.

I tried two slices here, pepperoni and Sicilian.

The regular pepperoni slice was good. Great crust. The sauce was a little sweet so I was happy to have the pepperoni on there to balance it out with some spice.

The Sicilian was incredible. I highly recommend this. It has a homemade flavor to it, but with pro-quality amazing dough. Light. Airy. Crisp. PERFECT.

I’m usually not a fan of Sicilian because it can get heavy. But I can easily eat a bunch of slices of Fini’s Sicilian. Look at this:

I’ll definitely be back to try some more pies.

FINI PIZZA
305 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Blue Collar Hamburgers

Check out the Ride & Review HERE:

I have to say, the simplicity and perfection of this burger blew me away. My photos suck, because I had to use a flash and didn’t have my light, but I really loved this (photos have since been updated). Nice regular patty – I’m so tired of smash burgers being everywhere now, although it WAS a bit smushed. Not quite smashed. Crisp texture on that patty! Great cheese coverage. Perfect soft bun. My only gripe was that the tomato was cut a bit thick.

 

I also got a hot dog – they’re split-griddled. PERFECT!

I will definitely be back here again.

BLUE COLLAR HAMBURGERS
160 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Chef Katsu Brooklyn

This place is great. Some of the guys from the NYC Zooz Club and I hit this spot after riding around for a bit. Their curry sauce covered fried chicken thigh sandwiches are amazing.

I got mine with cheese. It was perfect, and the fries were bangin’ too.

Get over here and try this place. I’ll definitely be back for sure. Also, if you want to see some video of our bike gang ride from the day, check out the below:

CHEF KATSU BROOKLYN
143 Greene Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Koko Ramen and Manchego

This joint has two names and serves two types of cuisine: Manchego serves tapas, and Koko serves ramen. My wife and I tried a couple of items from each menu.

TAPAS

The octopus was awesome. Perfectly cooked, nicely seasoned.

The calamari was meh. A little dried out.

RAMEN

The ramen was pretty good. Not among the top tier, but good enough that if I was ever in the area again, I’d go back to try the tonkotsu. The main reason I tried their spicy chicken miso ramen was because the menu said their tonkotsu was also chicken based broth, but with char siu pork in it. I was confused, and didn’t feel like asking questions since the service was crazy slow (they were slammed).

The salmon ramen was light. It was a shio style chicken based broth.

MANCHEGO / KOKO RAMEN
375 Marlborough Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11226