Matthew Lief, Michael Felix, and Maria Dela Cruz have been cooking together for years, bringing Landhaus dishes to the DUMBO and Williamsburg Smorgasbergs, Brooklyn Flea, and The Woods Bar (also in Williamsburg). The food is straightforward and very good. They’ve made their name with the grilled maple bacon stick, which is exactly what it sounds like: a hunk of thick cut bacon on a stick, with a maple syrup sauce. It is fairly addictive. Also excellent is the meatball sandwich, a plump, delicious chunk of ground pork on an english muffin sized bun.
Smorgasburgs provide small plates for about $8-10, and Landhaus has stuck with this model in their first storefront – so you’re paying a tidy sum for a snack. But unlike Smorgasburg, there aren’t a lot of options. In addition to the bacon stick and the meatball sandwich, the rotating menu had a short rib sandwich and a mushroom sandwich over the weekend. There was also a cauliflower soup and a beet salad, and they will be adding a clam chowder this week. A hungry diner could order everything on the menu and still have room for dessert.
The kitchen at 808 Union Street isn’t ventilated, so there are a limited number of cooking techniques available to the very able chefs. Hot plates and an electric grill are the order of the day. This might explain the absence of the trio’s well-reviewed lamburger.
The trend of pop up restaurants occupying frozen dessert storefronts is a good one – as long as Ample Hills continues to operate year round. Landhaus will be in the space through the spring, when People’s Pops return for the warm season.