293 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn 11231
(At Pioneer St)
Red Hook, a Brooklyn neighborhood which was once called the crack capital of America as well as once being considered one of the worst neighborhoods in the U.S. It’s pretty amazing how things have changed! What was once an area that very few brave souls would venture into has now turned into a beautiful green and industrial area with thriving businesses as well a large artistic community. Over the years, Red Hook has drastically changed but what has not changed is some of the amazing Brooklyn history that one can find on a stroll through Red Hook. From the old trolley cars behind Fairway to old factories and industrial buildings of an era gone by. Did I also mention that Red Hook has some really great food? You knew that was coming. I’ve been hearing things about a spot called Home Made. Wanting to explore more of Red Hook and being hungry was the perfect excuse to see what Home Made was all about.
Wild Mushrooms & Fontina Scramble: We studied the menu for what seemed like an eternity. You know that dread every time you’re trying out a new restaurant with a rather short menu. You always want to make sure that you get something really good and something that will leave an impression on you. Well the menu had a large selection of scrambled eggs so we figured that the eggs must be pretty popular. With that in mind, my friend went ahead and ordered the WIld Mushrooms & Fontina Scramble. What I didn’t know until later was the fact that my friend ordered this dish without the cheese. I enjoy scrambled eggs every now and then but they are probably not my first choice on any breakfast/brunch menu. With that being said, these eggs were not the average scrambled eggs! I was expecting totally boring and typical scrambled eggs. I took one bite of these eggs and I was instantly taken with how soft, buttery, and creamy they were. The texture was very smooth and soft. The flavor was not intensely dramatic but it was so much better than your average typical dry scrambled eggs. I then took another bite but this time with some mushrooms. The mushrooms were very abundant and only served to add more flavor to the already delicious eggs. The eggs were served with toasted walnut bread and potatoes provencal. First let me tell you about these potatoes. They were outstanding! Perfectly roasted potatoes with fantastic crispiness on the outside while soft and tender on the inside. These potatoes were roasted in virgin olive oil but what really made them stand out was their intense garlic flavor which came from a good number of large garlic gloves which were roasted along with the potatoes. Those creamy and buttery cloves mixed in with the potatoes and olive were awesome! Have a bite of the eggs with some of these potatoes and once again the flavor is elevated. Lastly was the glorious toasted walnut bread. A thick slice of some the most heartiest and tastiest fresh bread I’ve had in a long time. Nicely crisp on the outside while soft and chewy in the middle, the bread made a wonderful addition to the taste and texture contrast of the meal. As I had said earlier, my friend ordered these eggs without the fontina cheese. That alone tells me that these were some of best scrambled eggs I’ve had in a very long time. I can only imagine how good they would have been with the fontina cheese.
French Toast: Man I am just a stickler when it comes to French Toast. For years now, my absolute favorite French Toast has been at Frankie’s 457 in Carroll Gardens. Perhaps it is unfair but I end up comparing every French Toast to Frankie’s French Toast. And the interesting thing is the fact that it’s not like Frankie’s does something magical to their French Toast, its their bread that’s magical. The French Toast at Home/Made without a doubt is still very good! The large slices of fresh pears were wonderfully crisp and lightly sweet. The sauteed apples added a much softer fruity texture and additional sweetness. Most of all, I really enjoyed the addition of the dried cherries which added a nice but not overwhelming amount of tartness. The big difference for me however was in the bread. In general I love brioche but I think that once it is soaked in a liquid it simply gets too soft and mushy. I love it when my French toast is nice and crisp on the outside yet soft and chew on the inside. This has always been the primary reason that Frankie’s French toast always WOWs the crowd as well as myself! This of course is just my personal opinion and in no way should make you think that the French Toast at Home/Made was anything less than great.
Our day in Red Hook turned out to be a lot of fun with several great food discoveries such as Home/Made along with some others. Red Hook continues to evolve into a neighborhood that is rich with history and with an eclectic collection of food and art. Some of that wonderful art can be seen within the small cozy confines of Home/Made. The space is rather small but beautiful and very comfortable with great soft couches. A perfect date spot for sure! Should you ever find yourself shopping at the great Mecca of not so cheap particleboard furniture (IKEA), before you even think of having those damn Swedish meatballs, drop everything and head over to Home/Made for some tasty goodness and higher quality furniture.
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