We consider it part of our job to always be on the lookout for new kid- and family-friendly restaurants in the city. Our latest find fits the bill to an almost cartoonish degree. Located along the increasingly chi-chi artery of Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill (not too far from the Barclays Center), Grandma’s House is all about simple comfort food (they say, “Food That Hugs You”), a homey atmosphere and totally sincere Americana — with a hefty does of Brooklyn pride thrown in.
The Atlantic Avenue spot is actually the second iteration of Grandma’s House. The original location opened in 2012 in the South Street Seaport area, just three months before Superstorm Sandy; water rose to nearly the ceiling during the deluge, and much of the restaurant’s equipment was destroyed. With relief checks finally cashed three years later, Grandma’s House rises again in a bigger space in Brooklyn.
photo: Kayla C. via Yelp
Made in the U.S.A.
How’s this for a concept?: Everything in Grandma’s House is made in America. Like, even the TVs — which if you think about it, is pretty impressive. (Apparently Dell is still making televisions here.) The bar stools at the lunch counter/bar are upholstered in denim; the floor is made with wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk, Grandma’s only serves domestic beer. Going hand in hand with this nationalistic credo is the restaurant’s distinctly retro feel and decor. A legit setup for creating old school sodas like lime rickeys and egg creams can be found behind the counter, mid century sports memorabilia decorates the walls and a Lionel train circles a track suspended over diners’ heads.
Are your kids not so into truffle-oil infused hash browns and hake benedict — or perhaps even you are over the Brooklyn brunch? Grandma’s House is the place to go. No matter what the meal, Grandma’s sticks to the classics: omelets with your choice of cheese, meat and veggie; waffles with fruit toppings; four kinds of macaroni and cheese; “Biggerburgers”, and even salads ranging from Caeser to Cobb. Specialties here include the chicken pot pie, ribs and the “bucket of chicken chips.” Think basic but solid, with fresh produce supplied by an upstate farm.
We stopped by for brunch and the child enjoyed her waffles with strawberries and syrup (and french fries); we ordered an omelet and two eggs, the later of which were served in mini cast iron skillets, with toast and potatoes. Was it the most amazing brunch we’ve ever had? No, but all was tasty and hot, and the coffee’s from local celebrated favorite D’Amico. At the time of our visit, Grandma’s had only been open two weeks and the staff was clearly still getting the hang of keeping things moving, but they give kids Wikki Sticks to play with and everyone’s very friendly. Plus, there’s lots of cool stuff to look at (vintage jukebox, the model train, enormous traffic light, etc.) and this is the place your kid can act up and out without it being a thing. Even the bathroom has a kid-friendly aspect; the toilet is flushed using an old timey pull-chain, which is pretty novel for the 21st century child.
Why Go Now
As “Grandma’s House” often is, the restaurant is outfitted for the holidays in a big way, with seasonal decor for all kinds and faiths — but yeah, it’s very Christmas-y. A giant tree is decked out in the window, huge and impressive gingerbread houses are for sale, and you just might be seated next to a cheery life-sized elf for your meal; traditional holiday music is on the playlist. It’s very festive and cozy.
Bonus tip: If you do go, be sure to stop by store/gallery Grumpy Bert right around the corner on Bond Street to check out its amazing FlipBooKit show, on view through January 3. The exhibit features the work of more than 40 independent artists who created custom flip book boxes that can be operated with the push of a button. (They are all for sale if you really love one; or pick up a kit and make your own with the kids!)
364 Atlantic Ave.
82 Bond St.
Have you visited Grandma’s House? How was your visit? Tell us in the comments below!