Is the New Hot Spot Spicy?

The customers at the new Spicy Pickle restaurant [143 Montague Street] seem to think it’s a “spicy” new hot spot. The people I spoke to were return customers who raved about the food. Others walked in and already knew what they wanted – like they were old time Spicy Pickle regulars.

What makes it different than other franchises? It has a neighborhood feel. First, I was greeted cheerfully as soon as I walked through the doo

r. Bob Sheahan Jr., one of the partners, stressed this was important to him.  Also, he insisted on showing the space’s character by exposing the bricks on one wall. It does give it less of a cookie-cutter feel. He and Jon Young (the other owner) want the restaurant to become part of the Brooklyn Heights community. Jon is already a resident of the nabe and Bob is looking to move here shortly.

I was surprised to hear that the breads/muffins are baked on premise from scratch. That is a nice touch, and they will have free Wi-Fi soon.

The owners are aware that people are somewhat upset about yet another franchise hitting Montague Street. They want to show you that this franchise is different. Bob said all he wants is for people to give it a try and let them convince you.

I haven’t had the food personally yet, but I plan on going in the near future. If you have, let me know what you think.

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  • teuffel shuffle

    Tried a turkey “sub” there the other day. It was pretty small and mostly bread (two tin slices of turkey).. didn’t come close to size or quality of such a sub from Lassen & Hennigs or Garden of Eden, and about the same price.

    I guess the customer service was good, but it could also very easily be described as annoying- you have employees coming up to you literally every 3-4 minutes, asking if you need help with the menu (huh?), if you need napkins, if you need to be spoon-fed, etc.

    Not really my type of place.

  • Claude Scales

    I’ve yet to try Spicy Pickle, but I’m delighted to encounter another Mets fan of sufficient longstanding to remember the Teuffel shuffle.

  • ABC

    In my continuing search of an egg sandwich, I tried theirs. I wasn’t really interested in a fancy egg sandwich, but I’ll give anything a whirl. Thumbs down. The egg was fake and cold. And I think it had a mayo spread? Yuck. It all seems microwaved there — they really make their own bread on site?

    Very friendly service. Is it a franchise? These guys own it? Good luck to them.

  • lcd

    How about the restaurant that replaced ‘the greens’ – anyone been there yet?

  • yo

    word of advice to Bob and Jon – don’t read this site. I’ve never seen a positive review of any restaurant on here….I’ve never been to spicy pickle so it may be as average as described above, but i’ve never seen the commenters here give any place a chance before slamming it…

    it’s been said before and will be said again – given the neighborhood dynamics and high rents, the only places that can survive on Montague are ones that can cater to the daytime lunch crowd. Since chain restaurants fit that bill, they are the usual tenants on the block. Our only hope is that good chains come in (dare I say it, I miss Cosi)…

    Even the places on smith street could be considered chain restaurants, since they are by and large owned by the same two owners. Montague Street from the old days has been gone for a while…..

    I just hope that a decent bar opens up along the stretch…

  • Qfwfq

    “yo” – there are plenty of comments that praise a number of local establishments.

    Also, I challenge the notion that a place on Montague Street must cater to the “daytime lunch crowd”. This isn’t midtown or the financial district of Manhattan, places where you actually have a substantial daytime lunch crowd compared to the evening and weekend. Places on Montague should cater to a variety of crowds, including the residents who largely make up this neighborhood and the surrounding nearby neighborhoods, and visitors coming and going from the area’s major tourist attraction (the Promenade).

    A place that caters only to a relatively small segment of the area’s population will not last long, especially given the high rents on Montague.

  • yo

    Walk around Montague street at noon, and walk around it at 8PM – it’s like 2 different worlds.

    And Montague street is loaded with places that only cater to the daytime lunch crowd – how else would you explain the sheer number of asian food places, subway, chipotle, and the dreaded cell phone and eyewear stores?

    I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. I think that a good restaurant could bridge the gap and cater to both crowds and do well, but I’m not keeping my fingers crossed…It’s easier for a landlord to rent to a Chipotle or Spicy Pickle than a new restaurant with no operating history…

  • yo

    with all that being said, I’m not sure how the Happy Days diner survives…i’m surprised that no one has died from the food

  • my2cents

    I have to second Yo’s statement. People forget that Montague street is right in the “downtown” of America’s 4th largest city: Brooklyn. So yes, it is analogous to the financial district. You might want to call it the “law” district. There are several major state, federal, and county courthouses here. There is a reason so many attorneys live in our neighborhood besides the brownstones. Whenever I have a day off of my job (in manhattan) I am always amazed at how bustling Montague is during the day. This is the rub, because it keeps rents high and causes a larger number of businesses to focus their profit making on the daytime hours. Sad but true for us who mainly experience Montague on evenings and weekends.

  • Cranky

    I dunno Yo. I’ve always loved La Petite March and think Henry’s End is excellent. I also like the Ale House and Siggys. I thought Oven and Busy Chef were not that good. So you are wrong, commenters here don’t slam everything.

  • ABC

    well, I agree with yo that a chain that caters to the lunch crowd is what is needed, but I object to the idea that we/I won’t give chains a chance. I posted here that I welcomed Spicy Pickle! I have Chipotle or Five Guys for dinner at least once a week. I was hoping Spicy Pickle was going to be a Cosi-type place. But I think it’s just not a good franchise. I had lunch and breakfast and they were both just not good. I’m going to try again and get a cold sandwich without all the spreads, etc. I want these guys to do well — and I need someplace to eat that is stroller-friendly. It’s just that a cold egg-flavored yellow disk is not going to work.

  • yo is right

    Yo is right, it’s common knowledge that the goal of most internet commenters is to be a total douche.

  • nabeguy

    I think it’s about time we all chipped in to open a place. Perhaps something with a deep-fried menu…we can call it “Blog Your Arteries”

  • my2cents

    Now you’re talkin’!

  • Andrew

    Don’t we have that already in the ‘hood with Chip Shop? (Which is awesome because deep fry anything?

  • AEB

    Montague’s a lost cause, a small-city, heartland boulevard of resounding placelessness.

    Remove and replace. Or, at least, build the kinds of shops and restaurants elsewhere in BH that might actually give residents a feeling of a there there.

    I don’t understand why this seems to be such a challenge; the nabe is sufficiently well-heeled and (apparently, going by the many posts here) eager for just these sort of…amenities.

  • yo is right

    It’s because people don’t put their mouths where their money is.

  • newguy

    lcd: looked over their take out menu at the new place that replaced the Green’s. Lot of interesting and new stuff. Definitely going to try.

  • Clark & Hicks

    It’s amazing to see the amount of negative reviews and slander one can give to an opening restaurant in one week. It is the first week of its new life in an old secluded community that likes nothing more than the lassen and hennings and grand canyon that have stood their ground through time. No criticism should come to a new restaurant right away, it would be the equivalent of someone calling you a failure for not being able to walk in your first week of life. It also not fair to attack a restaurant on breakfast when those who do attack the spicy pickle, have been eating the same bagel and eggs and assorted like breakfast sandwiches for years, those people that judge solely on that should know better. They should also know better that a BAGEL store will have a better breakfast. no need to attack on that note.
    As with most things in life it takes time to flourish… could it be that you old Heights folk are afraid of success, and put down the new kids on the block… and for what? Would it be better for the location be a closed store for years to come, shouldn’t Brooklyn heights be accepting the birth of business in times like these.

    These comparisons to other longstanding venues in brooklyn heights are ridiculous. Ofcourse its not as good as lassen and hennings.. well because lets see that’s all people have been eating in this neighborhood for years… why is so hard to change? come out of the shell or the closet what ever suits the old queens from nagging about their life enough in order to retreat to their apple computers to write a nasty blog…

    Then again what do i know, I’m 19… but then again at least i have more common sense then to pass first judgement. I hope this spot does well and it brings in more money and more success to this neighborhood

  • Whatever

    FYI, Clark, it’s Hennigs, not Hennings!

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Karl

    Clark, being 19, I think a Spicy Pickle is right up your alley along with Chipotle. Not a slight just a fact. Hope the business does well. I’m an old man of 55 years who still likes the tried and true, Henry’s End and Noodle Pudding and Teresa’s for breakfast.

    Oh yea, also love Cranberries for coffeee in the morning and Lassen and Hennings for take out lunch.

    Homer, I still don’t understand why you haven’t got a photo dude taking a picture of the trailer park on Middaugh and Hicks at PS 8. The bright red coloring adds much to the neighborhoods decor. Yea right.

  • AEB

    “Old queens,” Clark & Hicks, above?

    Don’t want to go all-PC on ya, but really, can we please refrain from the reflexive stereotyping of those who have legitimate complaints about the low quality of Montague restaurant fare?

    Thank you.

  • hickster

    This can go on forever bc at the end of the day it is a matter of individual taste. I am 36, right between Karl and Clark and I think that Cranberry’s coffee sucks and is overpriced, Noodle Pudding is somewhat overrated and Teresa’s can have some of the worst service I’ve ever experienced. On the other hand, I LOVE sea Asian, Iron Chef could have its moments and Chipotle is the best “fast food” going. I am still trying to figure out how Lantern sells that overpriced excuse or Thai food to anyone and why Tazza won’t cover its baked good so that flies don’t roost on them

  • ABC

    I only wish the bagel store could figure out how to make an egg sandwich without messing up the order.

  • my2cents

    Cranberry’s service moves at a pace that can be generously described as glacial. I find myself pinching my arm asking “am I still in New York City??”

  • teuffel shuffle

    Clark & Hicks- thanks for the self-righteous lecture, but I do believe the entire point of this post was to poll the constituency on the quality of a new “restaurant.” I apologize I didn’t recuse myself and reserve judgement, on a FRANCHISE, for a few months. You do realize that every nuance of the menu is pre-determined from corporate headquarters, correct? We’re not rating the latest mom & pop struggling to keep a 40-year legacy afloat. A FRANCHISE. One that’s based out of DENVER, CO.

  • nabeguy

    Ah, leave the kid alone. At 19, he’s barely out of is cuilinary diapers, so, as he says, what does he know?

  • Just a Neighbor

    So who’s in to open a wine bar or cocktail lounge on Montague Street?!

  • yo

    it would have to be a wine bar or cocktail lounge that caters to the daytime lunch crowd….oh wait, that crowd is mostly lawyers and court workers?….then the wine bar and cocktail lounge is gold!!!

  • Jazz

    topless bar. case closed.