It was a busy end of summer — between getting married, travelling to Mali, and being in two more weddings, I missed several weeks of the McCarren Park Greenmarket. Accordingly, as I wandered farther up north than my daily routine takes me, I was immediately lured in by a cute, vintage-inspired newcomer that sprang up while I was away. A quick Google search showed that it was Radish, a much-hyped addition to the neighborhood, so I stopped by on my way home in hopes of finding a good, healthy-ish lunch.
The service was friendly and the décor gorgeous — like a very old fashioned general store, with specials written on chalk boards and candy striped straws. Antiques proliferate, and the shelves are stocked with several locally made favorites. The day I stopped in, My Friend’s Mustard was offering samples of their Jalapeno IPA and Spicy Brown Ale mustard — both delicious, though I chose the Jalapeno to take home with me for sandwich making.
Sadly, that’s where the great experience ended. I ordered the much-acclaimed housemade ginger ale, and a quarter of a pound each of macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, and a gorgeous brussels sprout, pomegranate and walnut salad. None of these items were more than mediocre—the ginger ale was sickly sweet without any bite to it, the macaroni and cheese was oddly floury, the chicken fingers were bland, and the brussels sprout salad truly broke my heart. You see, I adore brussels sprouts. In my eyes, as long as you don’t boil them, you can do no wrong with them — so imagine my confusion when I was served shredded, raw brussels sprouts prepared in a manner that deprived them of their crunch and emphasized their less pleasant cruciferous qualities. The pomegranate used was pale and underripe, and the dressing so weak as to be barely detectable. This is the first brussels sprout dish I haven’t been able to finish in the last 5 years. I wish, for the sake of being complete, that I could report in on their namesake radish salad, but a mango allergy prevented me. If you’ve tried it, please report back.
I’m planning to retry Radish at some point, once they’ve settled in a little bit more—the reviews were so positive that I’m hopeful that I just caught them on a very off day. But I certainly won’t be putting my bets on Radish to provide a full meal or to feed guests any time soon.