135 N. 5th St.
(Between Bedford and Berry)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Cuisine: Comfort Food/Breakfast Food
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ Great
Price: $8 – $12
Hours: Monday — Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.; Breakfast is served until 6 p.m. every day. Lunch begins at 11:30 on weekdays and 3 on weekends.
Subway: L to Bedford Ave.
NY Times says:
A GOOD fried chicken is hard to find. Especially in New York City. But the fried chicken at Egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: it’s good. So good I watched a Southern-born friend devour nearly two whole portions in one sitting. So good he returned the next night with other ex-pats from Dixie for more. The biscuits it comes with are pretty much picture-perfect, too, and collard greens, obviously and righteously, round out the plate ($16). I prodded George Weld, Egg’s owner and one of its cooks, for his method. “I make it how my grandmother made it: shake it in a bag with flour and fry it.” (At further prodding, he admitted that he brines the birds beforehand, which Grandma didn’t do.) He said the first restaurant cook he’d seen frying chicken that way was Stephen Tanner, when Mr. Tanner ran the stoves at the former Pies ’n’ Thighs. They struck up a friendship and found out they share a favorite spot, Flip’s Barb-B-Que House in Wilmington, N.C., near Mr. Weld’s childhood home and Mr. Tanner’s grandparents’ place. Now Mr. Tanner cooks in Mr. Weld’s kitchen, and he helped develop the lunch menu Egg added last summer, including a sloppily overgenerous chorizo and egg torta and a very fine hamburger, and the new dinner offerings. (Egg used to share its space — a narrow, high-ceilinged spot on Fifth Street — with Sparky’s All-American Food, a hot dog operation that served lunch and dinner until its owners decided to focus on their Manhattan location last June and turned the space over to Egg.) Most of the dinner menu is guileless, direct and plain good eating. A hulking pork shank ($16), braised to a lacquered darkness, comes scattered with a mix of chopped garlic and herbs — like an informal gremolata — atop a mound of yellow Anson Mills grits. The kale and dumpling soup ($6) couldn’t be more simple — an alliance of greens, carbs and soothing, full-flavored broth — or better on a cold night. Other dishes are distinguished by the conscientious approach of the kitchen. The pimento cheese toast that is part of the “sample plate” ($10, also including a beet-pickled egg, a deviled egg and a pile of country ham shavings) is better than most because the kitchen makes it from scratch, with Grafton Cheddar cheese and freshly roasted peppers. The house version of Tater Tots — miniature hash browns that it serves at breakfast — accompany a good grass-fed rib-eye steak topped with blue cheese ($24). Fried nearly black, they are a blast of creamy, buttery pleasure in a crisp potato shell. A couple of dishes — fish over a hominy and root-vegetable stew ($18), and a bowl of freshly made pasta with mushrooms ($13) — missed their marks, but they were exceptions. Egg offers two desserts ($6), though there’s only one choice for me: a slab of golden yellow poundcake, toasted crisp and topped with lemon custard and vanilla ice cream. The dessert had its origins back in Mr. Weld’s family kitchen, just like the fried chicken. It was his mother’s favorite dessert, and on some mornings after she baked it, she’d serve it to young George for breakfast, toasted with and smeared with butter. “It was the luckiest breakfast to get,” he said. Now it’s come full circle. BEST DISHES Kale and dumpling soup; sample plate; fried chicken; duck and dirty rice; toasted poundcake.
Grub Street says:
It was an especially timely moment that Egg (which started serving lunch only last year) chose to open for dinner. The southern-style hole-in-the-wall has swooped in to fill the neighborhood’s fried-chicken void just as Pies-N-Thighs mourners start to recover from their mid-month farewell binges. George Weld’s partner in Egg, Steve Tanner, has a P-N-T pedigree so the deep-fried bird that will be available Thursdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and includes a biscuit and collard greens) should prove a reasonable stand-in. The menu aims to be much more however, with appetizers like seared duck breast served with a celery root, fennel, and apple slaw and an entrée of braised pork, which comes over Anson Mills grits. You won’t find crisp-edged and properly dense doughnuts for dessert, but we think toasted homemade pound cake weighted down with vanilla ice cream and custard sauce is just homey enough to help you forget.