Where to Eat Casual Lunch: Flatbush Counter, Prospect Heights, NYC
Now is a good time to start fresh. I’ve had my fill of moody, windowless bars, dark reclaimed wood, I-just-wanna-be-alone-but-with-people-to-stare-at restaurants. Ok, I still love those (add some string lights and I’m gold), but bright, positive vibes are where I want to dwell in the daytime. As luck would have it, I recently found myself at Flatbush Counter, a place where you can get a scrumptious meal and just... feel good about it.
Upon entering the space, I got very “lunch at the general store” vibes: warm wood tones, open kitchen counter, lots of light streaming in, herbaceous greens and painted white brick. Yes, this is the positive lunch vibe I’ve been searching for! I could already feel my spirits lifting as I approached the counter to peruse the menu. Now this is the hard part, folks. What to choose when you’re presented with only great choices? With a menu boasting fresh local produce in every dish, house pickled veg, proteins like Miso Atlantic Salmon or Grass-fed Steak with hand-cut sweet potato fries, multiple vegan and grain-free options, there is something for everyone. But there are so many “somethings” for everyone it’s still hard to choose! Well, let me assist you. And honestly, don’t be too worried if you can’t decide. Just pick one thing and then try another dish when you go back next week. Owner Michael Roberts and the chefs over there are curating some fire flavor combinations, so don’t miss out! Here’s a short list of highly recommended dishes.
The Miso Atlantic Salmon:
If you want to eat an incredible meal and walk out of the place feeling like a million bucks? Order this. What makes it special is how the flavors and textures of the ingredients come together to create an extremely balanced plate. You can design each forkful to have a little bit of everything! Some of the veggies are crunchy and raw, some are cooked, some are pickled and zingy, the quinoa pops in your mouth and the miso salmon is firm and bright. Mint-cilantro sauce comes on the side but I recommend drizzling it all around and mixing it in. It’s complementary and accents the whole dish with its verdant aroma. You can really taste the quality of salmon, too, and at $16, I’d make this dish a priority.
The Green Goddess (Side?!?) Salad:
Huge. It’s listed as a side salad but absolutely suffices as a main dish for most eaters. And what a stunner! Bright colors and piled in, you can keep it vegetarian or add a protein for an additional $2-$5. Diversity of textures and a balance of flavors seems to be the name of the game here at Flatbush Counter because this goddess salad is packed with it all. Acidic, sweet tomatoes, crunch from the cucumber, delicate, leafy sprouted microgreens, crisp radishe slivers, and creamy chunks of avocado rounded out with a yogurt-based dressing. You and a friend can get the following sandwiches and split this “side” salad for $12 or get this as your main with sliced steak and call it a great day for $16.
The Steak and Shroom French Dip:
A refined steak-lover’s sure thing. Take your sandwich for a dunk in the inky, rich au jus broth and chow down. First impact: umami from the sweet-savory caramelized onions and the rich meatiness from the jus. Next on the palate is a surprising herbiness from the buttery ciabatta-like roll. On the finish, a little bite in your nose from the swipe of dijon mustard as you chew. All around, a solid choice for $13. Great portion size and plenty of au jus to dip in. I could go for a sprinkle of sea salt on the whole sando and although they offer lamb bacon for an additional $2, don’t go for it. The bacon cut is too thick and on the tough side so instead of biting through it you end up with the whole slice of bacon coming out of the sandwich.*
The Crispy Chicken Sandwich:
I’m a self declared fried chicken sandwich expert. (Kind of a big deal.) This one is a keeper! A great choice if you eat meat but you want something a tad smaller than the steak sandwich. If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for that explosively crunchy exterior and tender, juicy interior. Boost up that fried richness with their Avo-mayo and cut through it with some vinegary house made pickles, now we’re in business! Not least, I very much appreciated their brioche bun. Some brioche buns out there can crumble apart at the end and this one really stood the test of time and added a touch of sweetness. Again, I would splash some sea salt on the chicken fresh out of the fryer. The avocado gets lost in the mayo so my remedy would be a couple slices of the real thing. Base price $13, forgo the lamb bacon addition (See above*).
What I want to get next time...
Chickpea Meatball Ragu:
The “meatballs” are chickpea, there’s a parmesan crumble involved and it all gets nestled into a mound of mashed potatoes! I love a filling dish that leaves me wondering if I can stand up and this combination seems like my dream dish.
So, if you’re looking for a place that serves veggie forward dishes that stay true to their flavors, supports local suppliers and cheers you up a little as soon as you walk in, then Flatbush Counter is a fabulous place to start. Conveniently located a short walk from Barclays center you can take almost any train within walking distance. They’re great for lunch but consider them for a chill evening too, their hours are 11am-9pm everyday.
You can find Flatbush Counter at 295 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn.