Monday, September 9, 2013

We Talkin' Bout: Flea Market Bistro

TL;DR:

Cute French bistro that has great brunch. The space is very well-decorated with fun, historical French decor. Nice staff, good food and a reasonably priced menu — pretty sweet. 

Food: ★★★★★
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Staff: ★★★★

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 2

131 Ave. A (Between 9th St. & St. Marks Pl.)

Please play the following video to improve your blog-reading experience with some fine background music: 



So many five-star posts lately! Am I being too generous with these? 

I certainly don't think so because I really did enjoy my experiences at Flea Market Bistro! Both times I came here, it was for brunch on a Saturday morning. It wasn't busy at all (but also not completely empty; there were a few tables filled up), which kind of surprised me because this place not only has great reviews on Yelp, but also, their food is legit! Definitely didn't complain though — the several-hour-long waits make brunch almost not worth it (looking at you, Clinton St. Baking Co.). 

Because the weather was warm, the front of the restaurant was wide open, which I thought was very nice. It allowed us to enjoy the feel of being outside (dat cool breeze, ahhh) without having to deal with nasty bugs and the occasional wafts of trash. It was, however, still uncomfortably hot because half of the restaurant was open. Seriously, I was sweating in my seat. 

But it was OK because the interesting posters and figurines on the wall were a good distraction — once I got a glimpse of the wall-hangings, I forgot about the uncomfortable temperature and appreciated the work that went into the interior design. 

And of course, once we got our food, I just fell in love with the entire restaurant. I ordered the caramelized Dutch apple pancake* when I first visited Flea Market, but that was over a year ago, and they sadly have since taken the item off the menu. I was a little disappointed to not see the pancake on the updated menu when I came here more recently as I'd remembered it being very good. It was my first time trying a Dutch pancake, and I was more than satisfied.

*A Dutch pancake, sometimes referred to as a German pancake, is different from the regular fluffy pancakes in that it is usually one big pancake baked (and sometimes served) in a skillet. Or they can be served as Dutch baby pancakes, which are five smaller pancakes. The biggest difference between the Dutch and American pancakes is the texture. The Dutch is a lot fluffier and airier, kind of like a sponge cake. 

The texture of this pancake, though it did surprise me at first, was great: super light and fluffy with a lot of volume. The caramelized apples that kind of sunk into the pancake were also perfectly cooked. Tender with a great bite and packed with cinnamon, the slices of apple paired very well with the soft and spongy cake. The swirls of strawberry sauce and powdered sugar on top were, of course, a nice, sweet last touch that really complemented the dish. 


The only slight complaint I had with this dish, though, was that the pancake itself was kind of bland. It was great when I took a bite of the pancake with the apple simultaneously, but on its own, it definitely needed some more flavor.



Caramelized apple Dutch pancake

Fast forwarding to this past Labor Day weekend, I was pleased to find that Flea Market's new pancakes were much better. I got the buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, and I enjoyed every bite of them! The pancakes had great taste, texture and color to them — sweet and buttery, fluffy and golden brown — and the many blueberries that were sprinkled on top were very fresh and perfectly tart. The maple syrup was also high-quality; you could definitely tell that it wasn't from the cheap, creepy doll-shaped bottle. 

 Buttermilk pancakes with blueberries

My food also went very well with the complimentary coffee that comes with every brunch entree (orange juice and soft drinks are an option as well). Not mind-blowing, fantastic coffee, but it was definitely good enough to wash down the sweet, sugary pancakes. Plus, free refills!

One more thing to add here: The portions were huge! I got three very large pancakes, and my friends' frittata and eggs benedict were also massive. I don't think any of us were able to finish our food, which was unfortunate because we loved all of the dishes! Needless to say, Flea Market is very generous with the portions. 

All in all, you won't be disappointed with brunch at Flea Market Bistro. I'll surely be returning but next time, for dinner — all-you-can-eat mussels and fries for $18! My fellow mussel-loving friend and I will definitely be taking advantage of that.

5 comments:

  1. that video made this reading experience absolutely amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahhahaha, glad you enjoyed it, my friend.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. fellow mussel-loving friend here! LET'S GO.

    ReplyDelete