On one particularly pleasant Saturday afternoon, J and I decided to walk due east of our apartment in Cobble Hill until we stumbled upon a restaurant we’d 1) probably always wanted to try, yet 2) didn’t really have any plan as to how to find said establishment. Crossing the treacherous zone known as 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, we eventually made it to Park Slope’s 5th Avenue restaurant corridor.
“I should get some cash. These places never take cards,” I said. As I turned around from the ATM, I saw it. Brooklyn Fish Camp.
As we’d already been to its sister restaurant, Mary’s Fish Camp, a few times, it seemed like the perfect choice. Not too fancy, but not too basic. Plus, seafood on a hot day always feels good to me.
Since we didn’t care about sitting outside, we were seated immediately at a cute table by the back window.
I started with the “oven roasted Guatemalan shrimp with chile de arbol,” and J grabbed an order of hushpuppies and “Duxbury clam chowder with smoked bacon.” Um yah there were three shrimp in mine. Also, and I suppose the description should have clued me into this, but they were swimming in scorching hot oil…completely intact with shell, legs, and heads. Yes, heads. How was I supposed to eat this? Clearly I needed to de-shell them, but with my hands? The oil was too hot to handle. And am I to cut their heads off with my knife, in this tiny bowl? More than a few times J winced, thinking I would fling a hot shrimp head at his face. The flavor was definitely acceptable, and I very much enjoyed the fried garlic, but I just couldn’t get over the logistics.
Oh, and speaking of three, we were given three hushpuppies to share. THREE hushpuppies. For EIGHT DOLLARS. Hushpuppies are basically southern fritters that are commonly eaten with fried seafood. They’re composed primarily of flour and bits of onion. Eight dollars for three hushpuppies.
J’s clam chowder was apparently acceptable, but he specifically asked me to point out the poor knife cuts on the potatoes. We’ve been watching too much Food Network.
By the time our main courses (mine “market fish tacos pico de gallo & chipotle aioli” and his “fish camp oyster po boy”) arrived at disproportionate times, we were already firm in our displeasure. Brooklyn Fish Camp is mediocre at worst and inferior to its Manhattan sibling at best. Why is there a mayonaise-based sauce on everything? When our bill finally came, we were shocked to find we had wasted $81.