As chef at Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market, and now Tribeca, at the new gourmet market All Good Things, Dave Schuttenberg knows his way around a pork shoulder, and he's pretty knowledgeable in all things meaty (he was the executive chef at Cabrito until it closed, and worked with Zak Pelaccio in the kitchens of Fatty Crab, uptown and downtown). But when Dave comes home to Greenpoint, he's greeted by his wife and six-year-old daughter, a vegetarian, and he's forced to change his tune. They go for veggie subs, breakfast doughnuts, and after-school pizza...unless he gets off work late, and has time to sneak in a bowl of oxtail ramen.
Pizza, slice: Vinnie's is a classic Brooklyn slice shop. In one of life's great ironies, my kid has decided she's a vegetarian, so we usually go for a few cheese slices after I pick her up. I'm a red pepper flakes guy.
Pizza pie: Paulie Gee's is that classic, wood-fired Neopolitan style place. It's great to have in the neighborhood. I go with the kid and get the straight Neopolitan pie with the basil, which I get the good fortune of picking off and eating because she also doesn't eat any greens.
Burger: God Bless Deli Grocery is a little bodega in my neighborhood. When we come home in the wee hours, it's the greatest burger in the world. Griddled patty with cheese, shitty lettuce, grainy tomatoes—it's perfection at 4 a.m., but I'm hesitant to try it sober.
Sandwich: Eastern District is a great addition to the neighborhood. I like that there's a place where you can get growlers, great provisions, grilled cheese, and well-made handmade sandwiches. I go on the weekends for supplies and a growler or two.
Coffee: Cafe Grumpy is usually a weekend morning stop for iced coffees and espressos. I love that they have their big roaster on-site. I haven't ordered their $20 coffee though—I am a cook, after all.
Breakfast: If Peter Pan Bakery doesn't start filling those trays earlier on the weekends, I'm going to be forced to find another spot. And that would kill me. The apple crumb is like a doughnut crumbled on top of a doughnut...it's pretty much the greatest thing in the world. My daughter loves the red velvet and the pink frosted with sprinkles; what princess wouldn't?
Dive bar: Boulevard Tavern is an old dive right under the BQE that has a great backyard with great music. They keep their tap lines clean and they have a good selection of well-priced beers. I don't go out as much as I used to, but when I do, it's my go-to.
Cocktail bar: Beloved is a relatively new cocktail bar. I've had a well-mixed cocktail there for the right price, and it's not packed to the nines. I'm hesitant to give that one up, because I don't want it to get mobbed, but they deserve recognition.
Delivery food: No. 7 Sub has such an awesome selection of veggie sandwiches. When you're working at a butcher shop and sampling meat all day, it's nice every once in awhile to get that cauliflower sandwich. It's light but filling.
Ice cream: Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices is a sliver of a shop, and they're great guys. My daughter loves any terribly syruped ice or the chocolate gelato.
Chinese takeout: I can't give up on takeout Chinese food; some weeks, I'll have it three times. There's a plethora of choices in Greenpoint, some bad and some decent. Wah Kwoon Chinese Kitchen is of good quality. I get the General Tso's chicken combo, extra spicy, every time. Greasy, gloopy...can't get enough of it. When I say my address, they know my order.
Falafel: I always get the classic Mediterranean sampler at Kestane Kebab. This place was under construction for like a year and a half. When they finally opened, I grabbed a menu, and they won me over with some terrible translation that said "cooked over an ingenious herd of charcoal fire." Who doesn't love an ingenious herd?
Late-night eats: Chef Lindsay Salminen rents the kitchen from the No Name Bar people and does noodle bowls there. There's nothing delicate about them; they're aggressively spiced and seasoned and really fatty. I like that she has these big flavors punching you in the face.
Date night: St. Vitus, 'cause we're romantical. The one night a month we get a babysitter, we don't even pay attention to the calendar. Sittin' with your baby at the bar drinking Bud longnecks...there's nothing better.
Can't-miss neighborhood spot: Everyone needs to visit Sikorski Meats. Ask them to show you their 100+ year-old walk-in smokers in the back. They're just enormous, and reek of century-old meat. If I could work with those smokers, I'd be like a pig in shit. The sausage and the liverwurst are good, but if you're lucky, maybe they'll pull a hunk of kielbasa down for you to sample. That shop is awesome.