Mekelburg’s: The Secret Brooklyn Restaurant Everyone Is Talking About
What does it mean that one of my favorite new restaurants of the year will almost certainly be an order-at-the-bar spot in the back of a gourmet grocery store in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn? NYC food trends aside, it most importantly means that I'm unbelievably grateful that so many talented chefs and restauranteurs are going all in with their energy, time, and talent in the fast-casual category. Seriously, there is so much really good, interesting food being served in so many different neighborhoods these days, at prices that I can actually afford, that it makes going on eating adventures such a pleasure. Anyway, the restaurant in question here is Mekelburg's, and, among other delights, and even in a year stuffed with great sandwiches, their Porchetta version is a true masterpiece.
What & Where Is Mekelburg's?
There's an appealing element of secrecy and surprise about Mekelburg's (which, among other things, makes it a great date spot), as there's little indication from the street that a craft-beer-bar and great-food-restaurant awaits you in the back of the grocery store. A word about the groceries: the shelves are crammed full with what might be called Brooklyn's Greatest Hits of the 20teens, everything is extremely tempting (and likely delicious), and it's all outrageously priced. But don't let that scare you! A dinner for two in the back will cost you less that buying the supplies and making even a modest meal at home, which is an unusual situation, but fine by me. But definitely check out the goods up front; it provides an excellent overview of the way a certain segment of New Yorkers eat today.
What To Eat At Mekelburg's
After the jam-packed, narrow aisles of the grocery it's a relief to discover that the restaurant and bar in back is surprisingly roomy, with lots of tables and even a patio situation if it's warm enough. My companion and I shared four dishes, and all were excellent. The most talked-about dish at Mekelburg's is probably the Porchetta sandwich, and with good reason: this is juicy, crackling, bitter (thanks to heaps of broccoli rabe), salty (the parmigiano helps), just fantastic. Another signature item is Mekelburg's Salt Baked Potato. We ate the "fish" one, filled with smoked cod, topped with creme freche, a generous blob of caviar, and fresh dill, and it, too, was terrific. The Burrata and Roasted Acorn Squash "small plate" combines two of my favorite things, and they don't mess it up. And finally, the Nana's Meatloaf sandwich was also a winner, the ricotta adding just the right amount of creamy sweetness.
For Menu and More Information on Mekelburg's
Mekelburg's is located 293 Grand Avenue in in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, between Clifton Place and Greene Avenue, a short walk from the G train and a slightly longer walk from the C. Mekelburg's is open on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., on Friday until 1:00 a.m., on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 until 11:00