Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to Bed-Stuy for cookies, eggs, and Foie-Tella Toast.
One of the most common new restaurant types of the past couple of years has been the "all-day cafe," typically a cute place with middle-tier pricing and elevated versions of familiar breakfast and lunch dishes. They open early with house-baked pastries and a full coffee service on hand, serving up eggs, sandwiches, bowls, and salads. Most change menus when dinnertime rolls around (and maybe close for an hour before doing so), though they tend to feel most natural when it's still light out.
Golda is the latest such spot, opening just below the Franklin Avenue C and S station in Bed-Stuy and run by Danny Nusbaum, one of the former co-owners of the nearby, now-closed Tilda All Day. This a counter-service cafe: you place your order with Nusbaum at the register, then find a stool at the counter, or by the window, or at one of the semi-crammed-in tables along the wall. None of it is terribly comfortable, but it does encourage a fairly rapid turnover. Even on a busy Sunday afternoon I was able to sit down right away, a prime consideration during peak brunch hours.
(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)
Nusbaum is a genial host, and Golda is a bright and cheerful neighborhood destination, albeit one that closes at 5 p.m. every day. This may not be a perfect fit for this particular block (its predecessor Dinghy didn't last long), but the newish Hart's next door seems to be doing well, and at its core Golda feels like a restaurant that wants to serve the community good food, rather than just being some sort of marketing venture.
The Golda menu has Mediterranean influences all over the place, and I enjoyed just about everything I ate here. Which, over the course of three visits, was a lot. The Smoked Trout sandwich, for example, came overflowing with rich chunks of fish and shiny globes of roe, both piled atop a fat pillow of an egg and—stealth-winner ingredient alert—a slather of currant-pine nut relish. This was excellent, as was the fat Fried Chicken sandwich (they do not skimp on the fillings at Golda) with pickled cabbage and a garlicky date sauce, both of which complemented the juicy bird nicely.
(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)
Other winners among the savory offerings included the roasted Cauliflower (the peels of chewy dried apricot on top are an inspired touch) sitting in a Instagram-friendly puddle of pink beet tahini sauce; and the appropriately decadent Foie-Tella Toast (the bread is from the great She Wolf bakery) with strawberry-cardamon jam and a dusting of cocoa powder. Less successful was the Kuku, described as a "Persian style frittata," though this was mostly due to overcooking (burnt spinach is rarely pleasant) rather than the assemblage of ingredients.
The Sticky Bun looked exciting, but lacked the knee-buckling intensity of the best sweet pastries. The Chocolate Chip was also pretty ho-hum, but the Plum Pistachio Cake was superb, the wonderfully gloppy fruity topping adding to the delight of the moist, almond paste-laden base.
Restaurants that close before dinner are tough, but Golda has enough good things going on to make it worth slotting a visit or three into your schedule.
Golda is located at 504 Franklin Avenue between Fulton and Hancock Streets, and is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (718-484-7065; goldakitchen.com)