Bite Of The Day: Go Veg At Alice’s Arbor

Bite Of The Day: Go Veg At Alice’s Arbor
The Jessie sandwich with a side of kale and a pickle. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)
The Jessie sandwich with a side of kale and a pickle. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)

Last autumn, we noted how festive the Alice’s Sister sandwich ($9) is ahead of the holiday season, with its layers of turkey, cranberry aioli, gruyere cheese, lettuce, and tomato bringing a meal to life as “one part holiday reminiscence and one part unpretentious New York deli-style greatness.” But Alice’s Arbor is of course more than that one sandwich, so today, we’d like to note how the restaurant on Classon Avenue at Fulton Street is also an ideal spot for daily feasts of vegetarian proportions.

From the build-your-own omelets ($9) and the beet, kale, and quinoa salads ($9/$9/$8), to the mushroom leek ragu pasta ($13) and the variety of sandwiches ($5-$9, with mix-and-match topping options), plus seasonal vegetables like seared fennel and black-eyed peas, there’s no shortage of delicious options to choose from — a rare experience for vegans and vegetarians, even here in Brooklyn.

A chef's selection of Alice's Arbor's vegetables: spicy kale, black eyed peas, and braised artichoke heart. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)
A chef’s selection of Alice’s Arbor’s vegetables: spicy kale, black eyed peas, and seared fennel. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)

“I’ve found that most farm-to-table places are a little esoteric and pricey so we bring [the experience] to everyone. It won’t cost your whole paycheck,” said chef Mike Franzetti. “This summer, we have corn from New Jersey and upstate, tomatoes, pattypan squash, snap peas, peaches, mushrooms. . . the Apple Crisp is loved and people got upset when we once tried a peach cobbler instead, but we have seasonal specialties. There’s no hiding of produce under sauce — we let it shine.”

Even with the wide range of options, our personal favorite sandwich — the one that often has us craving breakfast at all hours of random days — is The Jessie ($8, pictured at top), a combination of Cabot cheddar, egg, avocado, tomato, and arugula on a buttery and flaky croissant, with house chipotle aioli. Originally dreamed up by a customer, the sandwich turns simple ingredients into decadence, and is now the eatery’s most popular sandwich. Paired with a side of addictive sauteed spicy kale and a crisp pickle, this meal works any time of day.

Alice's Arbor's Lobster Mac and Cheese. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)
Alice’s Arbor’s Lobster Mac and Cheese. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)

According to day manager Kenn Murphy, other customer-created dishes include a Cuban sandwich made with french toast for weekend brunch and a lobster mac and cheese ($10, plus $1 extra for the lobster; can be made gluten-free) that comes with your choice of sriracha and house-made hot sauce should you want to kick the flavors up a notch.

“Ninety percent of the menu also has gluten-free substitutions available, even the mac and cheese because in this neighborhood, a lot of people say they really enjoy and miss cheese and never can get it outside home,” said Murphy. “They were overjoyed when we started doing it. We also have paleo cookies and muffins.”

Other great vegetarian sandwich options are the Banh Mi Croissant ($8; $1 extra for a baguette) and the Pesto Grilled Cheese ($6). Veg-friendly soups are also on hand daily, noted general manager Craig Ryan. The Seasonal Vegetable Plate ($16) of four chef-selected veggies is also a good bet, with seared fennel, spicy kale, and black-eyed peas — it’s all fresh, savory, refreshing, and full of flavor.

Alice's Arbor's kale salad. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)
Alice’s Arbor’s kale salad. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)

If you’re looking for a refreshing salad, though, don’t mistake the Kale Salad ($10) for just another kale salad. Tossed with roasted almonds, avocado, apples, pomegranate (or another seasonal fruit) and pecorino cheese, the salad stands out for the balance of flavors.

Alice’s Arbor also has a full bar, plus a pantry of items used in the menu for sale, so don’t hold back with drink pairings or buying something to take home with you.

Photo by Fort Greene Focus.
Photo by Fort Greene Focus.

Verdict: Perfect for any time of the day, welcoming for casual diners and business meetings or freelance workers alike, as well as for a low-key date. Alice’s Arbor has something for everyone and is one of our favorite neighborhood gems.

549 Classon Avenue
between Fulton Street and Putnam Avenue


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