I had the best pancakes of my life in Brooklyn. This is no joke, people.
I’m not really a pancakes kind of girl, but I was lulled in by peer pressure, and I’m certainly not sorry. I experienced them in a little French bistro in the thick of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg called Le Barricou.
From the outside, it’s an unassuming, seemingly tiny place, but inside we found a charming place rich in atmosphere (and hipsters), having successfully acquired that worn-out patina so many French restaurants out of France fail to pull off.
We arrived there to a throng of people in the entrance, fighting their way to put their name on the list or to nudge in at the bar for a Bloody Mary while they wait. Welcome to brunch in Brooklyn, I thought.
Thankfully, our tablemate friend and Brooklynite had called the hostess to say we were on our way, so we bumped ahead of the masses just a tad. We were seated not in the front of the restaurant, near the long and elegant French bar, but in the second room, which resembled a gorgeous antique store, with old books, a wood-burning stove, and glass chandeliers.
The setting was rustic-elegant, yet the sound system was pumping out 90s tunes, which seemed quite odd. We were OK with this, though, and the table of ‘90s teenagers bopped along as the Bloody Marys kept coming.
Yes, those Bloody Marys were glorious. Probably one of the best classic Marys I’ve had since moving to New York. Served in mason jars, with thick tomato juice, plenty of horseradish and Worcester, and garnished with a massive shrimp, pickled green beans, lime, and a sugared rim.
This, of course, is the “fancy” Mary on the menu. But the house Mary is just as tasty, just without all the accoutrements.
The drinks were enough to keep us chatting and enjoying the atmosphere, and that was good because the server took quite a bit of time to actually get to our order. The place was packed, and the team was not only flitting between seating folks and serving tables, but also stuffing more wood into the fire behind us.
Once our entrees finally arrived, we all had to shift things on the packed tables to make room. The plates were huge, but elegantly presented. The omelet, was made with egg whites, so thinly cooked that it looked almost like a crepe, filled with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and gruyere.
On the side of each of the dishes was a pile of Le Barricou’s gorgeous salad, made with market greens, tomato, parmesan, croutons and a lemon vinaigrette to die for. The sliced herb potatoes on the side weren’t bad either.
The spicy lamb sausage dish was like two in one. On one side, two sausage links, nicely greasy and hot; on the other, two sunny side eggs, with hand-cut french fries and that delicious salad as well. Quite a plate, and almost too much to eat.
The rest of the table got the burger, and like the other plates, it was quite large and impressive. I guess I’m not used to such big portions since moving to New York. This half-pound of grass-fed Black Angus beef patty was served open with melted cheese, house made pickles, tomatoes, onions, and a huge pile of those thin and heavily salted French fries.
The real piece de resistance at this French bistro was the pancakes. Oh, those pancakes!
Two of the cakes, thick as books, were served stacked on one another. They were crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth fluffy on the inside, and I could do nothing but wonder what kind of glorious griddle these feats were cooked in.
The flapjacks were covered in powdered sugar, with a huge dollop of melting strawberry butter on top, and sliced berries. You didn’t even need the syrup, they were so glorious.
One note: They take about 40 minutes to cook, so order them for dessert with your entrees, or right as you sit down. Oh, and the pancakes are only $10, a steal.
The restaurant’s brunch was a satisfying one, and I was surprised to learn that the spot had been there since 2006—eons for a New York restaurant. It’s not only stood the test of Williamsburg’s shifting hipster attentions but it’s also remained affordable.
The Bitches say: A. Great ambiance, awesome brunch food, a killer bloody mary all at an affordable price. We just wish the service wasn’t so overburdened.
533 Grand St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Le Barricou serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It also serves a weekday brunch, which is a different menu.