Brooklyn is the land of my ancestors, not of mine. I might as well be in Detroit as familiar as I am with the place. I’ve been across the street form this place twice, and inside once. Both times I was in Fort Greene to go to a work function at BAM, which is literally right across the street. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to sample to food, although I’m not usually a huge fan of sweaty sausage or strudel, or whatever it is those Schwarzenegger types eat. I’m not sure if we gave the guy a heads up before we showed up, but he suddenly had a couple hundred young professionals crowding his somewhat tiny bar in the front of his restaurant, jockeying for position to get a mid-afternoon Austrian beer. At least I think they were Austrian, as they certainly weren’t anything I had ever had, and sounded vaguely European. The couple of folks working there took everything in stride, were very patient and understanding and were nothing but gracious. Meanwhile, the joint itself is very mellow, kind of on the worn, rustic side with antique beer signs and lots of wood, and had a nice covered outdoor space to chill with a beer or four. The things I have read about the food and its chef’s impressive resume at top end restaurants belie the casual, neighborhoody flavor of the place, but the menu does sound intriguing–even for a non-pork fiend. So perhaps at next year’s event, I’ll actually try a plate of something. [MF]

25 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn