What is eggs Benedict?
386 Flatbush Avenue (and DeKalb Ave.), Brooklyn, 11217 (Clinton Hill). (718) 852-5257. N/R/D/Q to De Kalb, 2/3/4/5 to Fulton St.
To eat at Junior's, you had better be awake already. Its bright, garish, family-restaurant ambience is not for those semiconscious after Saturday night. Those who wish for equally fine eggs Benedict in a gentler setting should eat at cavelike Riverrun.
The juice that came with brunch was served automatically and quickly was replaced with alternates on request; coffee flowed freely. OJ was served fresh and in thick glasses to keep it cold. Table bread was plentiful, if dull.
The eggs Benedict was served with red bell-pepper racing stripes across the hollandaise, which was strongly lemony, almost too much so, and a bit on the thick side. Egg innards were hot and runny to my taste, but many prefer some solidity. The Canadian bacon was unparalleled: roughly, thickly sliced and perfectly grilled, it delivered peak flavor. Home fries were only fair, nothing wrong with them but nothing right, either: more spiciness or texture would have been welcome.
Servings of eggs Benedict and other dishes were impressively large. Buttery, crisp Belgian waffles were delivered by request with a Brobdignagian fruit cup; its diner had to peek around it until the dish was finished.
Food coma was high: no one ordered dessert. Some of us staggered off for analgesics, others to play with cats. No one played soccer that afternoon. But desserts on a second visit were extraordinary. Junior's classic, simple but superb cheesecake was creamy, with the ideal degree of dry graininess, its skin burnished perfectly brown. Devil's food cheesecake was a triple-layered masterpiece with cheesecake in the center and moist devil's food above and below, with incredibly rich chocolate icing lining and surrounding the layers. An apple crumb cake had succulent apple slices below cheesecake, with a top crumb crust heavily dusted by powdered sugar. A strawberry sundae came with fresh fruit, even a stem, and it and a fine Coca-Cola float were topped with whipped cream, if only Redi-Whip. But you too may be too stuffed by fine eggs Benedict to go even near dessert on the same visit.
Rest rooms: Execrable. All the ambience of the New York Port Authority,
with stained stainless-steel partitions, dirty floor tiles, cold fluorescent lights, and
the bassy roar of a ventilation system. A neglected high-traffic area.
Cupping Room Café
Knickerbocker Bar and Grill
Corn Bread Café
Park Slope Brewing Co.
12th Street Bar and Grill