422 Seventh Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 369-7776

Given the price of rent and real estate, there's a noticeable flow of people from Brooklyn to the less-cool-but-getting-there borough of Queens. However, Park Slope has so many restaurants, and good ones at that, that I might buck that trend and move from Queens to Brooklyn. Wine bars, dive bars with boccie ball courts in them, coffee lounges, and cuisine from every corner of the world (except Texas... really, not one steak house?) pepper the streets of Park Slope the way lawn ornaments pepper a Jersey lawn. There's even a bar that exclusively serves micro-brews. It's enough to make a foodie cry with joy. Cafe Steinhof sits on the corner of one such peppered street.

Cafe Steinhof feels like it's been here since the turn of the century. It seems like the kind of place where recent immigrants flooding the city, fresh from having the spelling of their name written down wrong on Ellis Island could go for some food reminding them of home. From the old-style neon sign to the glass paneling over the door to the old heavy wooden bar, Cafe Steinhof oozes presence of an entity that was here long before you were born, that will be here long after you're gone. And that's an impressive feat given that it's less than ten years old.

Before I begin, I broke one of my cardinal rules and, forgetting what schnitzel was, ate veal. But I won't go break another rule and throw otherwise perfectly good food away. I don't normally like to moralize my dinner and I am well aware of protein industry's standards and practices. But I also eat meat and won't stop. I simply draw the line at veal. Besides, as good as it may be, will never beat a steak as my dead cow of choice.

Wiener Schnitzel was the schnitzel at issue here, pounded flat like a pancake, breaded, fried and served with a pickled cucumber salad and roast potatoes. I won't lie. It was very good. And huge. I could have used fewer cucumbers and more of the potatoes (also very good), but for the veal people out there, this might be the comfort food for you. Pike ordered the Brisket Sandwich, a thick, meat and gravy sandwich with more gravy for dipping and a small salad. He would have liked it if the meat was sliced thinly, rather than basically being given a block of meat between the bread, but, having tried it myself, couldn't really complain beyond the fact that it was a wee bit dry.

Pike also ordered a side of Spaetzle, a creamy mini-dumpling/pasta-ish dish that came coated in what I think was Swiss cheese and provolone. I can't say this would make it into my standard menu of comfort food staples, but it wasn't bad and I'm glad I tried it at least this once. My side was more like an appetizer. I tried a the Debrecina, a spicy sausage that, despite being already quite spicy, I dunked liberally in mustard. It's tradition. Good stuff, but then again, I grew up with the occasional kielbasa sausage half buried in mustard and half buried in horseradish. I'd like to think that it prepped me for the high spice tolerance I lay claim to today.

For dessert, Pike ordered a coffee and a Chocolate Custard. The custard, he said, was good but nothing special. Served in a big cup with as much whipped cream as custard, I hardly think he can complain. My dessert was great. I tried the Malakoff Torte, an almond and apricot tiramisu-styled cake. I can't recommend this enough to the tiramisu fanatics out there.

If I have a negative thing to say about Cafe Steinhof, it was about the service. Our waiter spent more time yakking with other staff members hear us when we had a question or wanted to order more food. This guy overall treated Pike and I with a look of "I'm only serving you because I have to". Meanwhile, whoever the co-waiter was, was great. Half the time we gave him our order, asked him questions, and eventually gave him our check. We actually waved the credit card folder at the first guy and he couldn't be bothered to notice.

Two entrees, two sides, two drinks, two coffees, and two desserts, plus tax and tip came to an even $70. And that's pretty cheap.

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