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For the Simplicity of “Walter Food’s”

The name of this restaurant sounds more like a grocery store then a place to retreat from the hot summers heat. This restaurant has a small yet simple sounding menu but do not be fooled, their fare is among the best I have ever had. I say that with the weight behind me of all previous such claims I have made. Naturally to prove my point this time I will share all of the details of my afternoon there.

Walter Food’s appeared for the first time on my to do list this year ( and I can already check it off. I am not sure I can say I have ever done so, so fast before. It was quite satisfying, so was the meal.

On a Friday afternoon where the sun was out shining bright, too bright for my likening, Walter Food’s provided much refuge for me. At first I was just happy to be indoors. Then I was pleased to see only one other table was occupied so there was no wait. Sure the restaurant had just opened but still you never know what may lie ahead. I was too hot, hungry, and thirsty to have to wait on a line. Luckily I was able to pick the booth of my choice and settle in.

First order up was my pomegranate lemonade, a drink from their menu. In order to appreciate the deliciousness of this beverage you will had to have tried some summer lemonade flavors at Chill’s or Applebee’s, or some place like it. Those are often so full of acid and fake sweet flavors I get sick from them. I know I should just stick to water but that becomes boring.

But at Walter’s you are save. You can try new things without fear that you make a poor choice. In fact there are no poor choices you can make!! Everything is sublime. The pomegranate lemonade had just the right amount of sweet, no acid, but a rather light taste. I almost expected it to have bubbles like seltzer but it didn’t. It was truly an original drink.

Deciding what to have for lunch was easy; I got the steak salad and the French dip sandwich. I had such a strong craving for this sandwich as well as a desire to be in Paris but the later will have to wait.

These types of foods are always a crapshoot for me. I am a picker eater and I need my steak to be cooked and cut just the way I like it. I never like ordering in a new place because I don’t know how it is prepared. I hate having a craving, ordering my meal, and leaving hungry and disappointed.

However this was not remotely the case. The filet mignon on both dishes was cooked to perfection, medium well. I was leery I was going to see some red on the meat but there was none. It was cut into pieces of plenty, dabbed with some horseradish sauce, served on a baguette with homemade au jus and petite frites on the side. The salad had creamy bits of blue cheese and cherry tomatoes on a bed of spinach. Both were satisfying on every level.

The French dip however deserves further praise. If I had closed my eyes I would have sworn I would have opened them to see the Louvre. It is literally the best steak (sandwich) I have had since I was in Paris!! It nailed all of the qualities that make French food beloved all over the world. It was made of simple yet superior ingredients, assembled to be easy on the eyes and stomach.

I was so pleased I knew I would not leave a crumb on my plate. I was true to my word; there wasn’t a single frite nor crumb from my baguette on that plate. Unfortunately I had to leave some lettuce from the salad on its plate but there wasn’t a scrap of meat or cheese, just a couple of pieces of tomato.

This experience was complete. Complete in every way. It is the kind of meal you go back to have again and again neglecting the other, and probably amazing, menu items.

Infamous guide to restaurants everywhere, Zagat had this to say about Walter Food’s:

Embodying Brooklyn's "Socratic ideal of a neighborhood place", these "pub-ish" spots supply “solid”, spiffed-up American comfort fare and "killer" cocktails; "reasonable" prices and "comfortable" interiors seal the deal – they "care about the details and it shows."

After this description, Zagat goes on to recommend a few restaurants that are of the same caliber. One, Roberta’s, I have previously patronized (

From that list I have now a new restaurant to add to my current to do list, Rubirosa Ristorante. Zagat suggests it has the same charms and quality of Walter Food’s. A thirty-second review of their menu convinced I should plan to be there as soon as I can. I will leave you with a teaser- what do the following have in common? A pizza hour, pizza mobile, an old family recipe, and a little Italy location. The answer is they are all characteristics found at Rubirosa Ristorante.

I bet that got your attention.

It sure got mine.

But so did Walter Food’s.

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