If there was any doubt that Franklin Avenue is Brooklyn’s most rapidly gentrifying main drag, the recent addition of two foodie-friendly, dairy-centric establishments is indication enough. Cheese hounds, take note.
You won’t find a white-bread-and-American-cheese griller on the revolving list of sandwiches at Glady’s, the brick-and-mortar debut from the Morris Grilled Cheese Truck team, which opened last month–instead think fontina and flowers, octopus and frisee. The standout of the bunch is definitely Glady’s take on the rueben, with super-tender corned beef, tangy raclette cheese and gooey sauerkraut. Each sandwich is served on bread that’s toasted to a nice char in the wood-fired oven.
Small plates, like grilled halloumi smothered in pea shoots and morcilla blood sausage with spring ramps, are also tasty and designed to share. A lightly-roasted cauliflower dish with pistachios and mint is simple but particularly exciting. You’ll also find barrel-aged negronis and creative cocktails like the Great Outdoors: Applejack, bourbon, maple syrup and smoked ice.
While Glady’s started out more ambitiously, with an opening menu that included full-size entrees and boozy soda floats, it’s scaled back a bit to focus on a few things done well, which seems like a smart plan. The small-plates-and-sandwiches-for-dinner concept is somewhat similar to Brooklyn Sandwich Society, although better executed here. With most items priced around $12, this is definitely the new Crown Heights, but not a bad deal. So far, it’s one of my favorite new restaurants of the year. Right now Glady’s is only open for dinner but plans to add lunch and brunch in the future.
Also joining the speciality dairy party in Crown Heights is Wedge, a serious cheese shop that just opened last Wednesday. The very enthusiastic cheesemongers sling slices ranging from Firthcliffe–a bloomy, ash-lined goat cheese from New York State purveyors Edgwick Farm that is not available anywhere else–to hunks of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano and an array of organic Vermont cheeses. They also sell Toby’s Estate coffee, bread from Bien Cut and your typical array of high-end, Brooklyn provisions. The cheeses, despite being fancy, are mostly reasonably priced, and most importantly, the mongers are generous with the free samples.