A Sandwich a Day: Fried Oysters at Brooklyn Crab
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Here's the thing about Brooklyn Crab: it's the Epcot Center version of crab shacks. The waits are long. The service is questionable. Parents bring their young children. And the seafood will not change your life. But if you arrive with low expectations, few plans, are willing to hang out with a pitcher or two of cheap beer while you wait for your table (or if you have one of those young children), you can have a lovely time here, and a surprisingly tasty Fried Oyster Sandwich ($16).
That's exactly what Erin, Alaina, and I did this past weekend as part of a six-stop bicycle food crawl of Red Hook. We arrived at 4 PM, were quoted a half hour wait, left a phone number, and proceeded to the bar for some a pitcher of beer and tranquil views of the Red Hook waterfront. When the phone rang to summon us to our table, we were having such a good time that we forgot why we were being called.
And the sandwich? It was piled so high with fried bivalves that we had to pick out about half before attempting to eat it. The oysters sport a hefty, crunchy crust, but remain tender and briny within, and jive quite well with a nicely balanced tartar sauce that beat the pants off any from our taste test. The oysters do even better on the sweet toasted bun with crisp lettuce, mild red onion, and ripe tomato; we suggest spreading some tartar sauce on the bun as well. An ample helping of salty, thin McDonald's-style fries round everything out. This is a sandwich to share.
Be prepared to make your own fun at Brooklyn Crab, because it can be something of a mess, and to be honest, none of our other bites lived up to the tastiness of the sandwich. If I had to put up with a two- or three-hour wait at 8 PM, I doubt I'd feel as generous. But when you're in that lazy summer late afternoon state of mind and all you want to do is hang out with some friends, fried seafood, and a gorgeous view of the water, it can be a very nice thing. Especially if you're game to play some mini golf in the back.