It’s the Moxie Generation

The Moxie Spot [81 Atlantic Avenue] has been open for about a month now so we thought it was time to go and check it out. Since the eatery is meant as a fun place for kids, BHB phoned up our kid correspondents to get their take on Brooklyn Heights’ newest neighbor.

Getting into Moxie is fun – its custom door is 3 sizes one for adults, another for kids and a third for pets (or garden gnomes?). The interior design with its copper tubing, pressure gauges and other industrial touches is a cross between Willy Wonka and Mario Cantone’s Steampipe Alley. There are TVs mounted on side walls as well as plenty of games and fun stuff for kids to play with and stay engage while parents munch on selections from the restaurant’s wide menu.

About that menu – not a lot in the healthy category upon first glance, however portions are not the gratuitously gargantuan size that you might find at other family restaurants. For our purposes, we sampled a few appetizers: thai wings, chicken fingers, fried tofu, nachos, chicken soup, grilled cheese and peking duck rolls.

The kids gave the ultimate thumbs up for their ages – 3 1/2 (almost 4) and 18 months – they didn’t hate it. As for the grown ups, we noticed that while chicken fingers came out “nuclear hot”, some other items were on the chilly side. We can chalk that up to the growing pains of a new establishment and it didn’t diminish our experience at all. As for taste, everything was pretty good. Not to mention that our very friendly hostess was totally amped that we had ordered thai wings, her favorite thing on the menu.

But Moxie is about the whole package. If you’re a parent and want a place to bring your kids, talk with other parents in a good atmosphere then it’s hard to top Moxie Spot. There’s an upstairs with an additional play area and tables too if you don’t want to be around the busy traffic on the first floor. Moxie also offers plenty of events and classes.

When I asked the kids if they were having fun they gave us a resounding “yes!” Then promptly went back to playing with other hip neighborhood kids and to thinking grownups (well at least Homer) are just plain goofy. We’re sure their friends (we’re talking to you “Gustav”) will want to have a play date there soon.

The Moxie Spot
81 Atlantic Ave. (near Hicks St.).
Phone: 718-923-9710

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  • MadeInBrooklyn

    I think the place is a great idea and love the design work they did but i found what I ordered (the Fisherman’s Special) to be a bit over-priced for the portion size and mediocre overall. I did enjoy the peking duck rolls though, and I was told the burgers were excellent, and the price for them seems right.

    I do wish them the best of luck!

  • Joe

    Been there once and I think its a great idea. We finally get a business the neighborhood needs. The food isn’t anything great but the fact that your children are having fun while you get to have a little peace and quiet is priceless.

  • seth

    I’m glad to see positive reviews here. I’ve seen some other reviews that were pretty negative from people who really don’t get what the place is supposed to be. So here’s a review from me and my twins…
    Ok. It’s only been open a few weeks now, so I’m sure they’re still making tweaks. And while it’s really easy to criticize the menu on the outset, one must look at the moxie experience as a whole and give them lots of credit for trying to do something different…which they DO succeed at.
    1 – The Food
    The menu is all over the place, but u gotta try things b4 u pan them.
    Burgers…very good. No frozen patties here…these are actual fresh meat burgers, and while u might need 2 of them to be fulfilled, there r tasty. Better than many others in the hood
    Grilled Cheese – very good
    Pulled Pork – decent
    Sweet Pot Fries – nice

    2 – Decor
    Moxie is the willy wonka choco factory of brooklyn. The front door is actually 3 doors in 1. An adult door with a kid door in that and a doggy dog in the kid door…and it actually works. Also, in the lower bathroom, they have an amazing custom sink, sized for adults, kids and toddlers. Eclectic lamps, metalwork, piping and funky artwork.
    Its not an ethereal relaxation zen den, but its different, interesting and provides some wonderment for the kids….which brings me to my final point…
    3 – Family Dining
    The moxie spot is a place for kids. Yes, if you’re looking for a quick lunch you’ll do fine.
    But, it’s a hangout designed for young children….the menu, the great playspace upstairs, the decor. They wanted to make a place for kids to eat and hangout, without parents having to worry about their kids being noisy, running around or getting the evil eye. The staff, while laid back, is genuinely nice. There’s a staffer upstairs who dedicates her time to making sure the kids have what they need and don’t get hurt, AND she brings everyone their food too.
    There r a few things they could do to make it better…store a set of burger fixins upstairs, taste all the menu items again and kill a few things that dont work (some people have mentioned issues w/certain dishes to me, but i didnt taste them so im not commenting on them.), and lastly, while the staff is NICE, they need a peptalk. Since it’s new and everyones still learning, they are timid and seem a bit nervous. They need a bit of training to they can live up to the name of the place. Dictionary def of Moxie is…ENERGY, PEP, COURAGE. They’ve got the concept, now they just need to live it.

  • cjp

    Just wanted to compliment Seth on a solid review. I’ve eaten there once with my wife and son and as the other reviewers have observed, the kids loved it. My 5-year-old was distracted (and that’s a good thing, mind you) by the foosball table and the stuff in the kid’s play area.

    It is a restaurant aimed at kids so keep that in mind when you go there.

    They don’t have an alcohol license, so BYOB. Given the kid-friendly-theme probably a good thing that they don’t serve alcohol.

    I didn’t love what I had when I ate there but I would definitely give the second shot and I whole-heartedly agree with the other reviewer who said it’s what the neighborhood needs and I hope they make it.


    The Brooklyn Heights Blog has found its way into Los Angeles. Those two girls are our granddaughters- Rose and Grace Greer. We think the Moxie Spot is a great idea for kids and their parents. Tell the owners to come to LA and start one here.

    The Western Greers

  • Willow Grace

    Moxie’s grass-fed hamburgers and yam fries are both legit. Good enough in fact that as a younger, childless resident of the ‘hood I will brave the loud kids and for a takeout order.

    My main gripe is the ordering situation. The menu is long, and somewhat confusing so the register lady is explaining food, making reccs, scooping ice cream, and unloading the food elevator. The lines to order are slow and frustrating.

  • ABC

    I wanted to love it, and I guess I liked it. I thought the food was too much money (we spent forty bucks for the two of us with a toddler and a baby) and not very good. I had a hard time getting the baby upstairs with my hands full of drinks and then go down again for the salads. Good thing I had my husband with me. It took two adults for sure.

    I think the play area may be better for kids who are a little older — maybe 4+. I had to run after my little girl as she dumped out boxes of blocks, etc. and clean up after her. It was sort of like eating in our playroom at home. Not really fun and not worth the money. But once she’s old enough to play foosball, I’ll be back.

  • val

    I have to agree about the pricing/portion problem. My daughter had to order two bowls of ravioli to fill her up. The amount of food was about a small can’s worth of Chef Boyardee, which costs a buck at Key Food. Her tab at Moxie? Eleven dollars. The food’s taste and quality was NOT worth the expense.

  • Billy Reno

    We LOVE Moxie! My twin 5 year old girls are fierce on the foosball table and they love to draw and play with the toys in the back. You really have to know what to order when you go there. The duck rolls are great for the price, the salad bar is great and the burgers are good and fairly priced for their size, but I was a little sad to pay $13 for two orders of pigs in a blanket. Kudos to the owner(s) for making the original metal hardware store sign into tables! The creativity that went into this place is outstanding. We’re psyched that it’s just around the corner from us and it’s been our usual Sunday afternoon retreat. Moxie rocks!

    I’m Billy Reno and I approve this comment.

  • grace

    I have been busy with work and had not ventured onto Atlantic in ages (didn’t know that outfitters had opened). Anyway, with this new spot and the kids club on montague, I feel like I died and went to heaven. I personally am not into oversized portions, and not into the morbidly obesity of it all. Let’s keep in mind that we don’t live in Kansas, so I am sure the owner isn’t paying the same rent as an entreprenuer in Kansas would. Again I have only passed by on the outside but it is a great concept. I have a long list of other places I want to see opened, after living here for 2 years and having to schlep to manhattan each time I want to do XYZ. The best part about the spot ? I live right around the corner. YAY.