Brunch at Flatbush Farm

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Brunch, more than any other meal, celebrates abundance. We don’t want one pancake when we go to brunch, we want a stack of glistening, syrup-coated chocolate-stuffed pancakes. Yet one pancake–a solitary, singular pancake–is one of the peculiarities you’ll find on the brunch menu at Flatbush Farm, a lovely neighborhood gastropub in Park Slope.

I learned of Flatbush Farm in New York Magazine’s essential Cheap Eats issue. Diana thought we had the Park Slope brunch scene covered–Miriam? Check; Rose Water? Done that; Stone Park Cafe? So over it–and yet here was a celebrated brunch spot we’d never heard of and it was right around the corner!

So today was Mission Flatbush Farm. Diana had been there for drinks and, once we got there, I realized I had too. I’d stumbled in there one night with Craig and his friend Sasie and didn’t realize that it was, according to New York Magazine, a “latter-day Brooklyn Gastropub.”

Considering that the brunch was just featured on the List, you’d think the place would be packed but it was fairly empty. The genial hostess asked us if we wanted to eat inside or out and we opted for outside. The outside is surprisingly spacious; an oasis of calm that reminds one of why one lives in Brooklyn and why one refers to oneself as one.

Ok, so let me let the cat out of the bag: while we liked the environment, and thought the service was sweet and friendly, the food–while expertly prepared–did not meet the mandatory brunch abundance standard articulated in paragraph one. The food was sparse and not very filling.

Diana’s was ok:

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That’s Toad In A Hole–yes, like dad used to make (or at least my dad)–a piece of toast with the hole cut out and an egg cooked inside. The presentation, as you can see, is clever and charming: that’s the cut out hole resting on top. It was just enough food, but surely not a celebration of abundance. Luckily, Diana wasn’t celebrating abundance today.

Me, on the other hand: I always celebrate abundance. So imagine my disappointment when my smoked salmon with black toast arrived and it looked like this:

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The camera magnifies it a bit, so you’ll have to take my word: this was not enough food for brunch. It was two tiny pieces of toast with creme fraiche on top and then about three or four slivers of curled up smoked salmon. I ate the whole thing in one bite and, naturally, I was still ravenously hungry.

“I need more food,” I said to Diana.

“So order something else,” she suggested.

The waitress came over and I asked her if they had any muffins or breakfast pastries. “I could have the pastry chef make you a blueberry muffin,” she said. “They’re so good.”

I said “sure” and here’s where the story gets happy. I waited the requisite few minutes and then this arrived:

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It was the best blueberry muffin I’ve ever had. I really mean that. It was crusty on the outside, light as a feather on the inside, and the fact that it was made with mostly brown sugar (I asked) gave it a depth of flavor unlike any muffin I’ve ever had in my life.

So the moral of the story is: Flatbush Farm is a nice place to eat brunch but they don’t give you enough food, especially if you order the smoked salmon, in which case you should order a blueberry muffin which will be the best blueberry muffin you will ever have in your entire life. Thank you.

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