A nice day in Brooklyn Heights is like living somewhere else. It could be anywhere, but it could also be New York too. It has that dichotomy of character. Not that there’s any doubt when one strolls over to the promenade and spies the very New York view. Otherwise, lost amongst the little shops and cafes, it could be a small New England college town or coastal village. Of course that’s from an outsider’s perspective; a guy who lived in Manhattan for years and now lives in the Park Slope of New Jersey (formerly the Upper West Side of New Jersey). My expectations, therefore, were that I’d be served by some French national in hipster glasses, eat some organic weirdness and go home with a new appreciation for one of the foreign boroughs. What I got instead was an average American meal served by a lazy waitress and some of the worst overall service I’ve gotten at a restaurant since my horrendous run in with Sotto Cinque back in the mid-nineties. It’s not to say my burger and fries weren’t tasty, but waiting like a million years for it left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I couldn’t taste the meatiness and cheesiness and potato goodness above the yech. The place itself feels like someone walked into a Home Depot Expo and said, “I’ll take it.” That is to say that it didn’t feel extraordinarily unique, interesting or warm. I don’t know. Maybe we hit it on an off day, but that’s an excuse I allow a lot of the joints in this survey. Perhaps there just isn’t enough competition to invigorate the status quo. [MF]

84 Montague St., Brooklyn