Sunday, August 9, 2009
While I still have a ways to go in my search, there's a new candidate for Best Burger in Brooklyn. Prime Meats, the spin-off of the much-beloved Frankie's 457, is right down the block on Court St. in Carrol Gardens and it has a great one.
Prime Meats is a bit of a throwback. It feels like a Western saloon, almost like something right out of Deadwood. From the antique Prime Meats mirrored sign to the tin ceiling to the old-fashioned light bulbs, Prime Meats feels like a lovingly-crafted experience all the way through.
We went on a Sunday morning at about 11, and the place was already packed. We were happy to wait five minutes for a table while we examined the great-looking pastries and cakes on display. The Olive Oil Cake in particular looked great, and we ended up ordering one along with coffee and a bloody Mary while waiting for our entrees.
The bloody Mary ended up being a bit of a disappointment, though it was the only thing about Prime Meats I wasn't completely happy with. It's expensive for one, at $11 (Frankie's 457 sells them for $8 - weird) and it just wasn't all that tasty. It wasn't bad, per se, but it wasn't worth $11.
The Olive Oil Cake is only of those dishes that just takes you completely by surprise. We expected sometime similar to a pound or bundt cake - something kind of dry and tasty, if unspectacular. We ordered it our of curiosity more than anything. What we got was exceptionally moist and delicious, with hints of lemon zest and sugar on the outside. This is the kind of thing I'll be craving for months, and it makes me wonder just how good the rest of the pastries are. I'm already looking for recipes to try my hand at something similar.
For my entree, I tried the Steak and Eggs along with a side order of grilled bratwurst. The eggs weren't overcooked, always a danger, and the steak was seasoned well and juicy. The dish comes with an order of potatoes as well, which were good but not great, but they complement the steak and eggs well. The bratwurst was also very good, if a bit smaller than I was expecting. There don't seem to be a lot of great places for brats in this part of Brooklyn, so I think I'm comfortable calling Prime Meats one of the best.
The real star of our meal was the 1/2 lb Prime Meats Burger, which my father ordered. Served with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and gruyere ($2 extra) on a slightly grilled bun along with fries. This is the stuff dreams are made of if you like burgers. Big but not massive, seasoned well, and perfectly juicy, this was a really exceptional burger. I know there are great burgers all over this area, but Prime Meats has got to offer one of the best, and it's currently my personal favorite.
We also shared an order of Jenn's German Potato Salad, which was ok but not fantastic. In my opinion, the potatoes were a little overcooked so they lost too much of their firmness. I'd like to try their American version, though.
Prime Meats is a great spot, and well worth the quick trip over from Clinton Hill/Fort Greene. If you're looking for some place new and unique, you'd be hard pressed to make a better choice. I certainly hop to be back soon.
465 Court St.