What is eggs Benedict?
EGGS BENEDICT NEW YORK
486 Sixth Ave. (corner of 12th St.), Brooklyn, 11215 (Park Slope). (718) 369-4814.
F to Seventh Avenue, R/N to Fourth Avenue.
Magnolia, a brave Sixth Avenue loner away from the commercial crowding of Fifth and Seventh Avenues, has patiently survived the brownstone Brooklyn restaurant wars. Across the street and down the block, a former corner bodega that couldn't compete as Luce, an Italian restaurant, is now Bar Toto, whose simpler, cheaper menu leaves the responsibility of midrange dinners to Magnolia. Magnolia also has live jazz late Friday and Saturday nights, though for bands on those those nights, it's more fun crowding into the dinky back room of Barbes on Ninth Street a few blocks farther down Sixth.
There's only one waiter and one busperson for brunch. But the room hardly needs more, with maybe ten seats taken out of thirty. The room's heavy wood trim makes it dark, better suited to dinner, though you can usually score a table by one of the big windows. As a guy whose brain keeps a palette of only around ten colors, I can't quite describe the wallpaper. Magnolia's Web site calls it "caramelized."
Eggs Benedict is $11.95 with coffee and a bloody Mary or mimosa, plus great homemade bread. On my recent visit, I must have been given half a pound of buttery banana bread spiked with nuts and chocolate chips. It hardly needed the additional chilled butter. My mimosa was delightfully strong, though made with common carton juice. The bloody Mary (an additional $5.50) was strong and sweet with vodka and juice and pepper, but skimped on the horseradish. The bloody Mary's garnish was a browned lime slice that had survived last call.
The eggs Benedict of chef Geoffrey Moler (or, more likely, that of his Sunday stand-in) is surprisingly slipshod, considering the restaurant's aspirations and light weekend traffic (though a hagiographic review from the Park Slope Reader, a free weekly, disagrees with me.)
The English muffin was only lightly toasted, and though the Canadian bacon was good, the eggs were overpoached. The hollandaise was lemony, but had no butter flavor. A couple of orange slices were dumped artlessly on the plate, obscured by home fries. Those potatoes had great potential, thanks to a fine sauce with chopped onions and peppers, but the potatoes appeared to have been dunked in the deep fryer and then tossed with the sauce, with no blending of flavors.
Three thick slices of bacon, dripping with grease and cooked till carbonized, lay like a corpse in a too-large coffin of a plate, made one of the least pleasant side dishes I've ever had.
Rest rooms: Clean, attractive.
Handicapped access:All on one level; bathrooms roomy with wide doors.
Cupping Room Café
Knickerbocker Bar and Grill
Corn Bread Café
Park Slope Brewing Co.
12th Street Bar and Grill
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