Jill: I can’t visit New York without going to brunch. In past visits, brunch is what happens around 5 p.m. following an evening of bar hopping and fuzzy memories. This time, though, we had bloody marys in hand with available light and without hangovers. Either we’re growing up, or my flight landed in the morning. In this case, it may be both.
Jill: Shortly after arriving in Bed-Stuy, we set off on foot to the General Greene, a restaurant that Maya and the Carnivore had visited once before.
Maya: One of the three Ws in play right from the get-go. On our prior visit, we were impressed with the drinks and underwhelmed by the sandwiches; the breakfast items all sounded great, though, so we’d been talking about giving it another shot. This seemed as good a time as any.
Jill: I’ll say it first. The highlights of brunch at the General Greene were the drinks and the side dishes. These were, incidentally, the things that bumped up our bill.
Maya: The bloodys were some of the best I’ve ever had, I think. Maybe even better than my own, and I’m pretty proud of those.
Maya: During our previous visit, a guy at the next table had ordered the grilled steak skillet; when it arrived, I was practically drooling. I wanted to try it this time around, but fearing that a meat-and-potatoes breakfast would place some restrictions on our dinner plans, I held off once again and went with what sounded like a slightly lighter option: eggs with ranchero sauce and pinto beans, served in the same too-hot-to-touch skillet in which it was cooked and topped off with lime sour cream, cilantro, and salsa. It wasn’t half as good as I’d anticipated, unfortunately. The eggs were severely overdone, the beans were on the hard side, and a tough skin covered the entire dish. Though the kitchen should have known better, I blame the Carnivore and his burger-ordering habits.
Jill: The Carnivore allowed us to have a bite of his burger, which he had cooked to well-done. Someday, like indoor smoking, this will be outlawed in New York, but until then, I’ll say that they did a good job with the burger, despite his strange request.
Maya: I mean, really. No way this helped with the timing of our meal; who orders a burger well-done these days? (Yes, it was really good. And maybe I’m still just a tiny bit jealous.)
Jill: My sandwich, made up of egg, roasted portobellos and goat cheese was okay, but not incredible. It was conservative on the tomato jam, the sloppy tangy element designed to bring the whole thing together. This, however, was not a deal-breaker for me. Anything would be considered “okay” compared to what was to come.
Maya: This was the same issue the Carnivore and I had had with our sandwiches during Round One. My smoked-trout melt was just so-so, and he judged his Cuban simply by saying, “They should’ve let the pig live.” Yours was pretty much par for the course, it would seem.
Jill: Oh sweet heaven, be still my heart, my life is changed, love at first sight. Candied bacon. Pork belly. Kissed with maple syrup. I want this every day.
Maya: So amazingly good, I found myself begrudging you guys your share. This particular swine didn’t die in vain.
Jill: My second favorite side dish was this bowl of cheddar grits. Simple and lovely and perfect for breakfast the next day.
Maya: I’ll vouch for the suitability of the leftovers—I managed to snag a small bite when you weren’t looking.
Maya: They couldn’t all be winners, sadly. The best part of this chorizo-potato hash (in keeping with our theme, apparently) was the sausage, and there wasn’t nearly enough of it to make up for the just-okay starchy spuds.
Jill: I shied away from this dish, if only because I knew that potatoes are unnecessary fillers on food benders.
Jill: An end-of-meal trip to the restrooms unveiled a surprise. Hidden in the back of the General Greene was a soon-to-open grocery store. When Maya and I travel, we visit two things: restaurants and grocery stores. Our inaugural meal together was a combination of both, and, if you ask me, a good starting point for the trip. It could only get better (and, luckily, it did).
The General Greene
229 Dekalb Avenue