Double Windsor is a craft beer bar in Windsor Terrace, just off of the 15th St.-Prospect Park stop on the F and G trains. After work the place is busy with locals, mostly there to drink, which in itself is a fine reason to go. But a fair amount of them are also chowing down on burgers and other sandwiches, and the Windsor also sells a number of snacks and side dishes that often pique my interest when I stop in for a drink. So it seemed only natural to stop in and see how the food fared beyond those burgers (which are quite good).
The Watermelon Salad ($9) comes served with toasted pine nuts, sea salt, basil and ricotta salata. The melon was sweet and bright, made all the more refreshing by the basil. Unfortunately, the shaved ricotta salata dissolved into the salad instead of adding a salty counterpoint to stand up to the sweet melon.
An order of crisp-topped Mac & Cheese ($10, we added bacon for $12, because of course we did) made with cheddar and fontina was creamy but still plenty cheesy, avoiding the most common pitfall of homemade mac and cheese (bland creaminess). While I found the bacon surcharge to be well worth it, this dish would be plenty satisfying without.
The surprise hit of the meal was an order of Mussels & Fries (MP, $14 on the day we dined). The menu always features mussels, though the preparation changes on a daily basis. The mussels were plump and juicy, without any fishy taste. The slightly spicy broth, flavored with white wine and basil, was the best part (as is the case with any plate of mussels). We could have used more bread to sop up more of the broth, but made due taking turns slurping it right out of the bowl. Considering that the same size order of fries—great, crisp, slender and plenty salty—costs $5 on its own, this dish could be the best deal on Double Windsor's menu.
Double Windsor is hardly a fine dining establishment; you order from a window, pay cash only upfront, and wait with a numbered sign for a waiter to drop off your food. Food isn't the main focus, not by a longshot; everyone at the Double Windsor is there to drink beer. But that makes the food even more impressive to me. There is absolutely no reason for the food at Double Windsor to be as good as it is, and yet, it's quickly becoming my favorite place to eat in the neighborhood.
About the author: Ben Fishner is Serious Eats' advertising operations administrator, and he is currently planning his next meal. In addition to writing for Serious Eats, he blogs at Ben Cooks Everything. Follow him on Twitter or Tumblr, won't you?