The Brokavore: How to get the most bang for your buck at Gotham Market

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Photos via Gotham Market / Facebook

Any food court opening is a good thing, but Brooklyn’s latest – the Gotham Market at the Ashland, at 590 Fulton St. near BAM – didn’t exactly scream out to me. The name alone, with its aristocratic whiff, hints that this is not a place for the budget chowhound. And it’s housed on the ground floor of one of the luxury towers that are shooting skyward at a furious clip to the west of the Barclays Center, whose $14 beers haunt my nightmares. It’s a locale that says “$3,200 one-bedroom,” not “three-for-a-buck dumplings.”

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Such chrome, much bougie. Photo via Gotham Market / Facebook
Such chrome, much bougie. Photo via Gotham Market / Facebook

Still, I wondered what relative deals the market might offer a man devoted to single-digit dining, and paid a visit. It’s a fetching space, with its towering ceilings, a glass-walled front, exposed brick and reclaimed wood tables and counters. There are five eateries here, along with a bar. One, Boqueria, is a full-service restaurant serving tapas, which ruled it out immediately. Tapas are never a friend to the deal seeker. Ever. Even in Spain.

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This is worth $7 apparently. Photo by Chris Erikson
This is worth $7 apparently. Photo by Chris Erikson

I likewise passed by Apizza Regionale, which serves up brick-oven Neopolitan-style pies. They looked pretty slamming, with their puffy, blistered crusts, but with a topping they break the $15 mark. The signature crab roll at Crabby Shack hits the $15 mark dead on, but that’s a handsome sum in my book, so I tried the $7 crab taco. And got more or less what I’d expected – a snack that was gone in three bites, and not a particularly exciting one.

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Photo by Chris Erikson
Photo by Chris Erikson

Things brightened up at the next stop, Flip Bird, whose menu revolves around chicken in two styles, fried and spit roasted on a rotisserie. The Mr. Flip sandwich is a quite reasonable $8, and it’s a winner. On a buttered-and-griddled roll, it’s got an ample pile of rotisserie chicken, pickled slaw, sambal mayo, harissa honey sauce, and, the piece de resistance, a flat disc of crispy chicken skin. It’s a winning combo that balances saltiness, sweetness and richness, and is filling to boot. In an act of devil-may-care insouciance I’d ponied up an extra $2.95 for a side of “pickled vegetable coleslaw,” which sounded like it might be interesting but was straightforward purple-cabbage-and-carrot vinegar slaw that didn’t add much to the proceedings and tipped me over the $10 mark. Regrets, I have a few.

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Photo by Chris Erikson
Photo by Chris Erikson

By the way, there’s a lunch special here that I overlooked, but will be back to try: a fried leg, thigh and two sides for $10, served until 4 pm. The happy hour at the adjoining Bar Granger starts at 3, so come between 3 and 4 and for $5 you can pair that lunch special with a king-sized draft of Old Capital blonde ale from Keegan Ales in upstate Kingston. (There are other selections for a buck or two more, for you free spenders.)

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Behold: The Mason Jar. Photo by Chris Erikson
Behold: The Mason Jar. Photo by Chris Erikson

Last up was the Mason Jar, a barbecue spot that’s got both waiter service and a takeout counter, MJ Station, with seating and a limited menu. A barbecue sandwich there is a steep-ish $16, but I scored very nicely with the $12 Aztec BBQ Bowl, which serves up a decent portion of worthy smoked pork atop a spread of brown rice, black beans, grilled corn, avocado, queso fresco, cherry tomatoes and sliced jalapeño, served with a zippy avocado lime vinaigrette. It was quite good, with plenty to hold the interest, and big enough that I easily could have shared it with Mrs. Brokavore, for a mere $6 apiece. The bar here runs a happy hour as well, by the way, and the $10 Cuban sliders look promising, enough to call for a future visit.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is the yuppie invasion made plain. No artifice of artsyness or nod to class diversity. Pretty gross and definitely my least favorite addition to Fort Greene.

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