I love burgers, but up until December 20 I had never eaten a patty melt. Considering how often I'm disappointed or underwhelmed by hamburger buns—from my experience, a bad bun has the ability to nullify the deliciousness of a juicy, flavorful beef patty and destroy all the happiness I possess at the moment I bite into that burger, so abhorrent a bad bun is—I like the idea of a patty melt since toast is, at least, reliably tasty. Or reliably un-shitty. (Having said that, the next time I eat a patty melt it will probably come on toast that is sliced too thinly, is covered in third-degree burns, and looks like it was just the victim of a vicious fork stabbing.)
The patty melt from the recently reopened Kellogg's Diner came open-faced—one side topped with a slice of American cheese and the beef patty, the other topped with another cheese single and a heap of sliced grilled onions, and the two sides bridged together by three strips of crispy bacon.
Although I thought the burgerwich could have done without the bacon, an ingredient I tend to find excessive in any kind of burger (although I welcome it wrapped around hot dogs), the double cheese and onion-swaddling action nicely complemented the juicy meat patty. Not that you would expect anything else. I may not be able to prove it, but I'm almost 1000% certain that no one has ever uttered, "Oh, there's some gooey cheese and strands of sweet onion stuck to this chunk of medium rare ground beef—woe is me."
The bread seemed to be of the "white" variety and while it exhibited nice browning coverage, the potential crispiness of such brown areas was negated by the bread possibly having been soaked in a tub of fat and thus having a slightly wet, squishy texture. It wasn't a sponge or anything, but just a smidgen more fat-soaked than I would've preferred. Of course, it was delicious—hello, I did say "fat soaked bread"—but at the expense of relinquishing the crispy texture it should have had. I would've solved this dilemma of the missing crunch factory by adding potato chips as a topping, if I had had any potato chips on me. (I generally stick potato chips in any sandwich I'm eating when the rare opportunity arises. Surprisingly, I have yet to make myself a potato chip sandwich.)
Ken ordered a tuna melt because he is incapable of ordering anything else. If a tuna melt is on a menu, he's getting it. (This will make ordering easy-peasy when he eventually eats at Shopsin's.) And his love for the combination of tuna salad, cheese, and sometimes tomato is so strong that it knocks out that part of his brain that says, "If you want to retain good gastrointestinal health, you probably shouldn't eat all that," causing him to devour everything on his plate, which is usually two servings, but can go up to five servings depending on what Jersey diner you're eating at. And then he feels fat and gross. And then I feel a bit guilty because he probably wouldn't be eating so many tuna melts if it weren't for me and my tendency to eat out 10 times a week. But Ken is about as fat as a leaf of baby spinach, so I think he'll be okay for a while.
The tuna melt appeared to be acceptable. Except that the tuna salad contained celery and was not topped with slices of tomato. :( These are apparently no-nos to a transcendental tuna melt experience.
Both the patty melt and tuna melt came with fries and a single onion ring. The ring made for a nice bonus food prize, unless it was a mistake.
I almost wish I could pass as 12 or younger so I could order from the children's menu. If only I could borrow someone's kid. ...Yes. I'd get the Bear—chicken fingers with french fries—and while I could just order chicken fingers and french fries on the menu, it wouldn't be the same. I couldn't say, "Yeah man, I defied the laws of age-appropriate foods and ordered this from the kid's menu," but just, "Yeah, I got this from the appetizers and side orders sections. Something about that sounds pathetic."
Before the renovation, Kellogg's looked like a sketchy diner you would only enter after a night of heavy drinking, and even then it'd only be because you were on the cusp of starvation. Now it looks shiny and bright inside and out, and welcoming to a sober crowd. Too bad I don't live in the neighborhood anymore or else I might go more often.
I randomly picked up a 99 cent can of SolMaya Avena oatmeal shake from the Fine Fare supermarket off of the Hewes Street J/M station for a pre-moving snack. It was refreshing: smooth, milky, cinnamony, and sweet with a slight oatmealy flavor. Its texture wasn't particularly thick except for the final dregs. Oatmeal-obsessed Erin wrote a much better love letter to this drink at Serious Eats.
After helping me move the contents of my South Williamsburg apartment to the new digs in Bed-Stuy and mop the apartment, I brought Ken to Taim, my favorite falafel joint. Yet I didn't get a falafel, but the sabich pita sandwich, a fresh, pillowy soft pita stuffed with fried eggplant slices that melt in your mouth, a sliced hard boiled egg, creamy hummus, Israeli salad, tahini, and amba sauce (spicy mango). I don't know how it compares to the kind you'd find in Israel, but I'd recommend it to anyone who likes tasty things perfectly stuffed in bread. However, if I could do a mash-up between Taim's pita stuffed with burninatingly spicy Sichuan-style eggplant, I'd be really happy. (Given the means, I'd sandwich-ify many Chinese foods. Oh, I would sandwich-ify so hard.)
Ken approved of the falafel (as have I about a million times already), although was less enthralled by the tiny, "you will inevitably get elbowed by another customer" space. You definitely do not visit Taim for the coziness factor, but the food is delicious enough that the lack of breathing room is worth enduring. At least during the the warmer months you can sit on the benches outside.
Many thanks to Ken for sticking with me for all of moving day hell. His reward was a very well-padded stomach. And maybe some indigestion.
514 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211