2008_05_hallob.jpgHallo Berlin Express: A weird name and a weirder awning, but sometimes good food comes in weird packages (consider Masala Munch.) This new 30-seat joint on 9th Avenue near 50th Street is the sister of the bigger German eatery Hallo Berlin. Eating in Translation stuck his beak in when they opened this week, and walked away full of schnitzel, spaetzle, soup, and cucumber salad.

There are also German fish sandwiches, and a German "single soul food mix" consisting of sliced bauernwurst (beef-and-pork sausage), potatoes, cabbage, and onion, with a crusty roll on the side. To wash it down, take your pick of German bottled beer, German wines, and 14-oz. drafts of beer. 744 Ninth Ave., (212) 333-2372.

Abigail Café & Wine Bar: The second bar to open in Prospect Heights in as many weeks (the other is Plan B) is a cozy hang near the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, brought to you from chef Abigail Hitchcock, owner of Camaje Bistro & Lounge in the West Village. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, her seasonal menu ranges from blue cheese panani, smoked mac and cheese and small plates in the evening to coffee and muffins in the morning. Potential winning attributes include a kids’ menu, house-made sodas, free Wi-Fi, and live music in a basement lounge. 807 Classon Avenue at St. John's Place, Brooklyn, (718) 399-3200

Chef David Schuttenberg of Fatty Crab and Craft fame has come to bury Bar Fry, the ill-fated deep fried restaurant that formerly occupied this Carmine Street space. Now it’s a genial Mexican joint with a festive back yard and a full bar stocked with tequila galore. Which works out well, because nothing goes better with margaritas than a nice tongue taco. Cabrito means “baby goat,” so there’s that on the menu, too: roasted, rubbed in garlic and chili, and wrapped in banana leaf. Steamed snapper, pork shoulder, and skirt steak also await, as do three oysters accompanied with a shot of tequila. Thrillist has the menu. 50 Carmine Street, (212) 929-5050.

Photo courtesy Midtown Lunch