Dining Out: Diners do it better.

The place that had “better” bacon in Jenny’s Brooklyn nabe was further away than the place we were going to for brunch on Monday.

“How much farther?” I asked, because I eat bacon so rarely and if you’re going to have bacon, may as well have the good stuff, right?

As it turned out, not that far. What seemed like a drab, industrial landscape at 11pm at night when I got off at York Street and walked to Jenny’s apartment (using my “I know karate” walk and “angry” faces interchangeably) opened up into an urban playground of sorts. I thought for sure we were heading for the train, but instead we crossed S. Parkes Cadman Plaza and suddenly there were shops and parks, and more importantly to two hungry people on a Monday morning at around 10am, there were places to eat.
Clark’s has a charming dining room with a view of the Manhattan Bridge and a brunch menu that is quite extensive for a weekday. All of the old standards are on the menu: eggs benedict, eggs florentine, eggs in general, pancakes, belgian waffles, cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, pork products, cute little glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and caw-feh. The full meals mean that for a few dollars more your waffle and egg dish, for example, can come with a side of bacon, juice and coffee or tea.

I ordered the Belgian waffle with sides. It turned out that rather than just bacon (which was crispy bacon-y goodness), breakfast came with 2 very large sausage links an, artfully hidden under the two eggs over easy (which were a little too “easy” and not enough “over”), was a large, pink slice of processed ham. My breakfast was a pigapalooza. And the AC was up so high I had to eat fast before it all went cold. Had to because cold, congealing pork fat is about as appetizing as licking an ashtray. So I had to eat fast. Fine, I love a challenge.

Waffles are rarely done badly- this one was crispy and brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The only beef I have with Clark’s is that AC that kept the butter from melting properly. Another thing that irked me was that the syrup came in little plastic tubs, which is good for the staff (no messy syrup bottles to clean) but a little offputting for me as a customer. The bite of sausage I had was good. The orange juice was lovely and pulpy and delicious.

After a long stint of people-watching, chat, and devouring our food like hungry savages I had to admit it: Brooklyn is starting to grow on me. I like the quiet, the downhome-iness of a midmorning with delivery trucks and such. People here have style- not all of it fantastic, but very individual and distinct- whereas in D.C. there’s a lot of grey-suitness. All in all, that little section of Clark Street started to look a bit like my parent’s neighborhood- without yards, but with butcher shops.

Diners are like dates. A good one might even make you fall in love.

Clark’s doesn’t have a website, but you can find it here.

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