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“The General Greene”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Brooklyn Cheap Eats Good

Bread pudding is one of those things that’s hard not to love. Whether it’s a day-old baguette soaked in cream, eggs and sugar and layered with apples, or stale brioche mounted with butter, bourbon, more butter, and raisins, it’s always a winner. But people, no one has done to bread pudding what is being done to it at The General Greene, and it is likely no one ever will again. I would gladly pass up every sweet, buttery, caramel-slathered bread pudding (like the one at Sweet Melissa’s) for the rest of my days for the masterpiece known as Ham and Gruyere Bread Pudding being peddled at The General Greene. People, I will warn you. If you have this bread pudding—a cheesy, gooey, smoky Croque Monsieur melted down into the form of a brioche loaf pan and sliced into hot puffy squares—say goodbye to your toes. Soon a big belly filled with said bread pudding will overshadow them.

Savory bread pudding is nothing new, to be sure, but perhaps it morphs into something just shy of the theory of relativity when it’s placed in the hands of a pastry chef, in this case The General Greene’s owner Nick Morgenstern (Five Ninth, Daniel, Gilt) and consulting chef Ryan Skeen (Five Ninth, Resto and the new chef at Irving Mill), who is a self-confessed Swinevore. The best part of this ham and cheese bread pudding brilliance, other than its taste, is its price tag: $7.

And seven dollars is about what you’ll spend on most plates at the General Greene, a spare, convivial corner store-as-restaurant wrapped in windows and weathered wooden planks, filled with tables cut from blond wood, and a long butcher block bar paired up with tractor-seat bar stools (these can be tricky at first, but once you get that small hump between your legs it’s quite comfortable.)

At the butcher block bar, Kiri and I met for drinks one night and started off with summery refresher called Gin Cup made from gin, muddled cucumbers, mint, lemon and ginger soda that’s a super cooler—sparkly, minty, and fresh. We watched as the room began to fill—t-shirt clad parents and their bjorn-tucked newborn, a couple meeting for dinner after work, a large group of guys and gals at the large picnic table toward the front door—shiny, happy people everywhere. Though if things go as they did on the nights I visited, they will all be wondering how to hear one another once the buzz really gets going around 8 or 9pm. Perhaps ow ... [more, click below]

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