What is eggs Benedict?
The New Prospect Cafe has closed.
393 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 11238 (Park Slope/Prospect Heights). (718) 638-2148. D/Q to 7th Avenue, 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza.
Popular, cozy New Prospect Café has a Park Slope coffeehouse vibe, including even the occasional screaming infant, but with the addition of great brunch or dinner. Art -- most recently, framed photos of Brooklyn -- hangs on walls painted light green and yellow. Little die-cast speakers play ambient alternative music. Many small tables allow couples or singles to linger comfortably. If you come with a group for a peak-hour brunch, make a reservation beforehand instead of waiting for people to leave.
There's no bread basket, but mimosas ($4.75) here are great, made with fresh if pulpless juice and what tastes like a quart of good champagne. If you don't want a mimosa, there's a fun little wine list and some quirky beers, and odd sodas too.
The parsley-sprinkled eggs Benedict, now $7.75, has slipped since last year. The buttery, plentiful hollandaise has lost its lemon, and the Canadian bacon has been replaced by thinly sliced sandwich ham. On the last visit, English muffins were undertoasted, and the ham and poached eggs were a bit underdone too. It's still a good dish, but it used to be excellent. Lazy cooking aside, when you break away from the classic Canadian bacon, you should pick a distinctive alternative meat. The very generous, hot-off-the-grill $2 side dish of heavily smoked bacon is distinctive, though too salty for some. (If you really have a meat jones, try the new barbecue restaurant Biscuit a few blocks down Flatbush.) Quartered roasted potatoes come with traces of onion; more taters, or taters with more surface area, would be welcome to sop up the sauce and yolk. New Prospect also serves other varieties of eggs Benedict, including eggs Arnold (zucchini and turkey slices), and smoked salmon with "pesto hollandaise." Their tempeh sandwich, embedded with sweet bits of corn, is good on its own but even better with cheese.
Service is slow to start. A small, causal restaurant that insists that you wait to be seated should not keep newcomers waiting so long when empty tables await. And you must beg for a coffee refill. But in between it's fast and friendly, with attention to special orders and prompt turnaround from the kitchen.
Rest rooms: Clean but cramped and poorly ventilated.