Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to South Brooklyn to a cafestaurant worth dropping by.

THE VIBE
The coffee-shop-by-day, dinner-destination-by-night hybrid has become an increasingly common sight in the city's tonier precincts, but East One Coffee Roasters, a newcomer in Carroll Gardens, is the first I've been to that really nails it.

The owners of East One are Tom Cummings and Morten Tjelum, who've had some success with the formula in London, and here they've laid claim to a prime Court Street corner, just across from the always-popping Carroll Park. The building used to be home to the red-sauce spot Casa Rosa, but a gut-renovation (the interior's now all very Scandinavian-sleek-industrial) and a new paint job on the entire exterior (an elegant deep gray) have completely transformed the space.

Up front is the coffee shop portion of the proceedings, and though I'm no caffeine geek I can tell you that all the beans are roasted on-site, and they have a Slayer Steam machine behind the counter—the first one in the United States, allegedly—that promises to deliver steamed milk perfection every time. There's a pastry case, a communal table, some two-tops, and a cute window-bench nook. Last Saturday the place was packed, with local laptoppers already staking out their spots.

eastonemain17.jpg
(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

Keep going back, past the booze-bar (yes, there's a lot going on here) and you'll enter East One's spacious dining area, where the serve lunch/brunch every day until 4:00, and dinner every night until 11:00. This is a lovely room: airy, comfortable, and bright, with seating that you can actually enjoy, you know, sitting in for an extended period. The music leans heavily on mid-aughts indie hits (Sufjan, Death Cab, the Decembrists), with random stuff like "Disco Lady" tossed into the mix. Service is casually professional.

THE BITES
The East One dinner menu is all about comfort food, but with enough variety to keep things interesting. I feasted on the basics during a weeknight visit, and just about everything hit the spot. The Fried Chicken and Pickles—listed under "Starters and Shares" at the time, but categories seem to be in flux—was delicious, with big chunks of juicy, boneless thigh meat inside a crispy, seasoned skin, a crock of zingy white sauce for dipping. The Roasted Carrot Salad was also first-rate, relying as much on the bits of apple, charred Brussels sprouts, piles of chewy Einkorn grains and creamy feta as on the headlining root vegetables.

Order the Cheeseburger with confidence. It's a thick, double-patty job, with lots of melted American, lettuce, onions, pickles, special sauce for added tang, and, if you choose (and you should) two slabs of smoky bacon. The fries hold their own as well. This is a very good plate of food. The kitchen also sends out a satisfying Shrimp & Grits, which isn't huge, portion-wise, but does pack in a lot of flavor, thanks to the meaty, head-on crustaceans, spicy chunks of andouille, and an intense tomato base.

Crispy Yucca Fries were fun to munch upon, especially those bites that included the cherry bomb peppers. The only real disappointment was the Cubano Sandwich, which was understuffed and overly dry. Definitely trying the Pozole Verde next time.

THE VERDICT
With this space, in this neighborhood, serving food this good (and a terrific-looking brunch menu) at family-friendly prices... East One Coffee Roasters should be a huge hit. And I've heard that the pastries are great too, although, sadly, they were basically sold out by dinner both times I went.

East One Coffee Roasters in located at 384 Court Street at the corner of Carroll Street, and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (347-987-4919; eastonecoffee.com)