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A New Standard…for a Corner Deli

Name: Brooklyn Standard
Location: 188 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Roaster: Stumptown Coffee
Rating: 3-

Not far from Lucky Shot Espresso lies Brooklyn Standard, an ordinarily looking New York deli serving pleasantly updated deli fare. The atmosphere, setup and overall aesthetic to the shop resembles more or less what you might find at any deli/convenience store/bodega in the greater New York Metropolitan area. It has refrigerator cases full of various grocery and food items, a coffee counter, a menu detailing sandwich options and counter top containers and several shelves full of snacks and sweets.

Brooklyn Standard’s secret lies in its component parts. It offers many of then, shall we say, standard, convenience store items. However, the vast majority of the products this covertly upscale deli sells are selected to appeal to the food-conscious denizens that have been repopulating this traditionally working class part of Brooklyn for some time. Brooklyn Standard makes many of it own foods and offer a healthy selection of treats by other local craft food favorites such as Van Leeuwen ice cream. In other words, it’s food you can actually get excited about rather than simply subsist upon, and you can do so without paying too much of a premium. Prices are very reasonable for this kind of food.

It strikes me that the Brooklyn Standard must be a real boon to a local resident who doesn’t feel like trekking about New York City in search of the many high quality food items around. As someone who likes to trek around New York City spending time looking for high quality (even if not always high end) food items and who doesn’t have a compelling need for a sandwich when I’m visiting New York, I’m not sure the Brooklyn Standard holds a particular appeal. Still, they use and sell coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters so I had to make a stop inside.

Espresso at the Brooklyn Standard is pulled from a red, 2-group Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000. I thought the reasonably good looking shot of Hair Bender was a bit thin-bodied but sweet with various berry notes and only a slight off (tinny?) aftertaste. I can’t say this shot would have sold me on Hair Bender but it was good and certainly much higher quality than you’d ever expect to find in a corner deli. (3)

The drip coffee that day was the Honduras el Puente, which was stored in an air pump after being brewed via a Fetco brewer. This coffee seemed a bit thin and lacking many of the complexities I would have expected a cup of Stumptown to have. It was pleasant enough – sweet, not too dark – but far from inspiring me in the morning. (3-)

I’m glad this deli has taken a stand against using lousy corner store coffee, lousily prepared. At Brooklyn Standard, there is no coffee baking on burners, the beans aren’t stale or oily and the equipment is clean and good quality. Given the attention to coffee in a no-frills but attentive food environment, Brooklyn Standard reminds me a lot of Blue Spoon. Both shops do an OK job with high quality coffee in a somewhat mediocre environment. In many places within New York and elsewhere, either shop would be a godsend. However, both shops also operate within a few blocks of a cafe doing a much better job with the same roaster’s coffee; Brooklyn Standard is near Lucky Shot and Blue Spoon is near Kaffe 1668. The bottom line is that you can’t go too wrong with Brooklyn Standard’s coffee if you happen to be there for the food.

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2 comments to A New Standard…for a Corner Deli

  • Ira

    Be interested to hear what you think of RBC Coffee, which is near Worth and Church St., not far from Blue Spoon and Kaffe 1668. They opened a week ago and add another serious coffee spot to downtown Manhattan.

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