*erb Thai Restaurant
681 Manhattan Avenue
(b/t Bedford & Norman)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
534 Metropolitan Avenue
(b/t Lorimer & Union)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
BEHOLD! TWO STAPLES of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint diet. One is consistently good, reasonably priced Thai food, and the other simply must be considered one of the greatest delis in all the five boroughs.
First, it's hard to be disappointed with *erb on any account. Yes, they suffer from occasional menu and service inconsistencies as any neighborhood take-out favorite does to from time to time. You'll get over it.
Recommended are the noodle dishes ($7.95, with tofu, chicken or beef.), especially the Curry Noodles--a huge bowl of spicy curry loaded with thin noodles, veggies, and big triangle wedges of tofu. Lots of interesting appetizers are also big draws. The crispy chive pancakes are frequently sold out. The Taro Crunch is big chunks of fried taro root with peanuts.And the Tofu Crisp is a pile of fried tofu best enjoyed quickly on premises rather than soggy upon delivery.
Next is Hana Foods, a veritable Williamsburg institution serving as a 24-hour deli, flower shop, a specialty/organic food mart, and home to Omar's overwhelmingly extensive board of sandwiches. As a kicker, most everything can be made with (and, honestly, is probably better as) vegetarian and vegan options.
The Godfather is a huge hero of Italian meats that will suffice for two meals; the vegan meatball sub is a more-than-worthy stand-in for its carnivorous cousin; the breaded eggplant, chicken, and tofu cutlets are superb; and the Veggie Reuben (a veggie burger chopped and grilled like corned beef and smashed between rye toast with hot sauerkraut and melting Swiss) is one of the most creative vegetarian sandwiches I've ever eaten.
Best of all, Hana will deliver them (and anything in its store) to your doorstep 24 hours a day (NOTE: their menu is hard to find complete online, so get yourself a full one form the store itself). Williamsburg is prime delivery area, but even nearby Greenpointers can coax a delivery guy out on a slow night.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Yes, he does. Many, many times.