Frankel’s is not another Russ & Daughters. And it’s not even close to Sadelle’s. But it’s just as worthy of your Saturday morning.
A retail shop and Jewish deli counter with around fifteen seats on the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border, Frankel’s was opened by two New York born and bred brothers, one of whom is in the band Holy Ghost!. We’ll give him a pass for that exclamation point since he’s partly responsible for this place.
While Russ & Daughters and Sadelle’s are very much a production -- with their flashy-ness, high prices, and long waits -- Frankel’s couldn’t be farther away from all of that. You’ll stand in a fast-moving line, you’ll order at the counter, your name will be called, and you’ll find a seat. If there aren’t any? You’ll take your food fifty steps to McCarren park. Frankel’s is no risk, all reward.
You might only be in the restaurant for a few minutes, but the place is made to make you feel good while you’re there. Frankel’s got all the details right: the design is light and bright and nostalgic (without feeling kitschy), they sell homemade babka and black & white cookies, and the pour-it-yourself hot coffee is strong and delicious. The line moves fast, your food comes out quickly, and the people working the counter (often the owners/brothers) are happy to help you make the toughest decision of your day.
But none of that compares to the moment when your order is called. Because the food here is absurdly good. From the lox, to the latkes, to the brisket, to the pastrami, egg & cheese, we haven’t eaten anything here that didn’t impress. Even the BEC (definitely not Jewish, definitely don’t care) is taken to another level. Whether you’re here to cure your hangover or show your out-of-town friends who get really excited about eating bagels in New York City a cool Brooklyn spot, you will leave satisfied.
On your way out, try not to laugh at the mob of people across the street waiting out their two-hour quote at Five Leaves. They’ll realize what they’re missing eventually. Because Frankel’s isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This is a new classic.
An absolutely perfect salmon on bagel. The Baz bagel is fresh, the fish has a tasty twinge of pastrami flavor, and the cucumbers and scallion cream cheese are highly refreshing. If you’re encountering Frankel’s for the first time, this is the best way to get acquainted.
Just like your go-to bodega sandwich. If it was made by the hands of god.
The perfect union of Jewish and gentile. It comes out steaming hot, the eggs are fluffy, the cheese is melty, and the pastrami is excellent. The ideal sharing situation at Frankel’s is a Combo #1 and one of these.
Another 10 out of 10. A golden, crunchy outside, and a rich, creamy inside (plus sour cream and applesauce) make these a non-optional part of the Frankel’s experience.
Unless you live nearby, you’re probably not going to come to Frankel’s to eat a hot dog. But it’s nice to know their $7 recession special (2 dogs and a soda) is waiting for you should you need it.
The Frankel brothers ripped this brisket recipe straight off their grandma. And we are eternally grateful to Grandma Frankel for allowing us to eat this pile of tender, juicy, slighty sweet meat on challah bread.