good shmeats

one food-loving vegetarian taking New York City's restaurants one plate at a time.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dizzy's Diner - Park Slope

511 Ninth Street (@ 8th Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY

Every month or so I get an email that reads something like this: "Hey you! I'm coming to NYC for a couple of days. If you're around, can I stay at your place?" Most of these visitors end up on my couch, but only the ones I want to impress join me for brunch in the morning at my favorite Park Slope diner, Dizzy's.

Brunch at Dizzy's (the self-titled, "finer diner") ensures three things: 1. A wait, unless you can get there before 10:30am. 2. A small-town feel: red counter stools, copious sunlight, black and white tile, and a flirtatious wait staff. If there weren't so many strollers parked outside, you might think it was a college diner. 3. Embarrassing amounts of food: Dizzy's prix-fixe brunch includes a muffin and sweet scone basket with strawberry butter, an entree and additional side plate, fresh juice, and a bottomless cup of coffee or tea. Real maple syrup - which is fantastic in coffee - and stainless steel pots of cream wait on the tables. Only the mimosas cost extra.

The brunch menu is double sided with breakfast options on one side and (wait for it) lunch on the other. I have admittedly never tried anything from the lunch side, having enough difficulty with the inevitable brunch dilemma of sweet vs. savory. From the breakfast section, try the Amaretto Pecan French Toast ($10.95), Eggs Florentine ($12.95), Juevos Rancheros ($12.95) and the Power Breakfast of granola, yogurt, and fruit ($9.95) - which, perhaps surprisingly, is remarkably good. Offer thanks to your favorite deity if you end up at Dizzy's when the specials board outside reads: chocolate and banana pancakes (swoon).

I hesitate to utter a bad word about Dizzy's, which has been consistently satisfying during my year and a half living in Park Slope. But in all honesty, I admit that my most recent trip there was not my best. The service and peripheral items (muffin basket, orange juice and coffee, thick toast, and green-pepper-and-onion-dotted home fries) were wonderful as usual. But my goat cheese, spinach and mushroom omelet (the Platonic ideal of which makes me tear up with joy) was unusually rubbery and flat-tasting. The fruit cup I ordered for a side plate was also watery, though I take partial fault for ordering fresh fruit in the winter. Usually I stop eating at Dizzy's before the food is gone because I hit my critical food-intake limit. This past visit I stopped eating because it didn't taste good and ended up nibbling my friend's leftover pancakes.

One sub-par omelet and fruit cup aside, I am willing to give Dizzy's the benefit of the doubt. Last summer, a friend sent me a post-visit email asking, "next time I'm in New York again, can we go back to Dizzy's?), to which I should have answered (but wasn't clever enough) "As long as you sleep on my couch..."

A couple of Dizzy's tips:
1. Dizzy's takes cash only. Although this sweetly ups college-like feel, it's easy to forget, and frustrating when you do. There's an ATM around the corner on 8th street.
2. Dizzy's is not particularly vegan-friendly. If you're eating with a vegan, ask for the Power Brunch dry or with soymilk instead of yogurt.
3. Brunches at Dizzy's are huge. Take advantage of Prospect Park's proximity and go for a post-brunch stroll.


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