Best Brooklyn Burgers & Buffalo Wings: Grand Canyon & Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope

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It’s about time Brooklyn gets some love from NYC Food Guy and what better way to start than with two foods I love: burgers and wings. Grand Canyon, a greasy spoon on 7th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Street, is the setting for our burger, which you can order griddled or charcoal grilled. Bonnie’s Grill, on 5th Avenue at Garfield Place, serves small, crispy wings that pack some big time heat. Read on to find out if the hunt for Brooklyn’s best continues…

Bacon, American Cheese and Fried Onion. There’s a burger under there somewhere.

Bonnie’s wings may look tame but a small bite packs a big punch.

Grand Canyon Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe ($10.25)

Plus $0.50 for Fried Onions

  • This 7 ounce beef patty came griddled and cooked to order (medium rare). A nice crunchy char encased the juicy, loosely packed insides. The flavor of the fatty beef combined with the flavor from the grill to create the classic diner burger taste. You have the option of a griddled or charcoal grilled burger. I would have gone with the latter if I knew this beforehand.
  • The bun was generic white with sesame seeds. It arrived lightly toasted. The bun was too soft for the burger so eat carefully if you want to avoid a total collapse.
  • Hearty bacon tasted pre-cooked and re-griddled, something I could do without next time.
  • The fried onions were closer to sauteed, as you can see, but were still a nice addition flavor-wise. I would go with these again but ask for them to be well done.
  • Accompanying the burger was a handful of steak fries, which I asked to be cooked well done. If I hadn’t, it would have resulted in a mess of soggy, half-cooked slices of potato. Make sure to ask for them crispy if you want to avoid that.

Conclusion

This was a great diner burger, similar to that of Big Nick’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, except thicker and better quality. It’s no child’s burger, however, so bring your appetite if you intend to order the deluxe version. I enjoy my burgers cooked over fire rather than the grill but I was still pleased with Grand Canyon’s griddled version. The brunch dishes of French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict that covered other tables all looked well executed and tasty. If I lived in Park Slope and wanted a no frills brunch or lunch, Grand Canyon would be my de facto spot. I look forward to returning for a charcoal grilled burger.

Bonnie’s Grill Buffalo Wings ($7.95 for 10, $11.95 for 20)

  • Despite the pedigree of Bonnie’s wings, both owners are from Buffalo, they’re not the best I’ve ever had. Their “Hot”, however, may be the hottest I’ve ever encountered.
  • Wings come in Mild, Medium, Hot or Hotter “if you dare!”. I wouldn’t dare unless I want to experience some lip-numbing, face-melting heat.
  • All the wings are first covered in a base mixture of margarine (not butter) and a generic hot sauce (not Frank’s Red Hot). The result is a light, crispy wing which instead of sitting like a rock in your stomach, ignites your taste buds.
  • For the Hot, the base sauce is combined with a hot sauce called “Endorphin Rush“, which supposedly contains molasses and soy sauce, not that I could taste either through the slowly burning heat. I was struggling to finish the last few bites by the end of my 10 wings.
  • The Hotter gets even wilder, combining the base sauce with a mixture of “Endorphin Rush” and “357 Mad Dog” Hot sauce, a dangerously hot concoction of Chile extract, Habanero pepper and Cayenne pepper. And thanks to the wonders of YouTube we’re able to see what happens if you eat a straight spoonful of 357.

  • Thin cut fries came crisp but were of the generic variety.
  • The Bleu Cheese dressing was tastier than most while the carrots and celery were crisp, clean and fresh.
  • The tall ice-filled beer glasses the soda was served with were a nice touch.

Conclusion

Super hot, skinny wings could never win the title of best Buffalo wings. Bonnie’s wings were a tasty challenge but a balance of flavor is essential for maximum enjoyment. Despite my love for spicy food, balance was absent from Bonnie’s. The Spiced Black Angus Sirloin burger ($9.95 w/ choice of toppings), however, was charcoal grilled, huge and looked pretty damn tasty. The atmosphere at Bonnie’s is relaxed and the service was great. They offer more than 10 types of bottled beer, 2 varieties of canned beer and a few on tap. I may return to try the medium wings and a burger but I won’t go out of my way to do it.

Grand Canyon – Park Slope

179 7th Ave b/t 1st Street & 2nd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-499-3660

β€Ž

Grand Canyon – BK Heights

141 Montague St b/t Henry St & Clinton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-797-1402

Bonnie’s Grill

278 Fifth Ave b/t 1st Street & Garfield Place
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-369-9527

β€Ž

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50 Responses to “Best Brooklyn Burgers & Buffalo Wings: Grand Canyon & Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope”

  1. FN Says:

    Welcome to the BK, NYCFoodGuy.

    I used to go to the Grand Canyon on Montague from time to time. Was never too impressed with their burger.

    Five Guys opened up across the street from them. I prefer their burger and fries.

  2. City Girl Says:

    Awesome you made it out to Brooklyn. If you like fish, you must check out Brooklyn’s Fish Camp on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. I keep meaning to do a review on them. And do check out Blue Marble and Joyce Bakeshop πŸ™‚

  3. BK Chick Says:

    Welcome to Brooklyn.
    Sorry your food experience was mediocre.
    I agree with City Girl about Brooklyn Fish Camp.
    You must come back and try their lobster roll.

  4. karen Says:

    More burgers and fries….Lawrence the NYC Foodguy is looking more like Larry the picky eater from Greatneck every day…

  5. karen Says:

    wtf do you know about picky eaters? who are you to judge nycfg?

    keep up the good work man and keep the tasty yummyscriddlydumpty reviews cummin!

  6. AG Says:

    Welcome to my hood. I have yet to go to Grand Canyon, but I’ve been to Bonnie’s. Not a fan of the Bonnie’s burger, too charred, spice is overpowering, but the wings are pretty good. I’ll have to check out Gc next.

  7. Gus Says:

    Dude your mad late on Grand Canyon. I worked right by the one in Brooklyn Heights and thought it was the best burger i have ever had. Ask for some blue cheese dressing to dip your fries in and yummy yummy in the tummy.

  8. lauren Says:

    NYCFG does post a lot about burgers, fries, sandwiches, pizza and other foods commonly found at children’s BDay parties. I like this site but have been saying for a while that he needs to branch out a bit more, be a bit more adventurous. This is NY after all.

  9. Pepper Says:

    im hungry

  10. Jack Says:

    Alot of bitter ladies out there…

  11. brandon Says:

    seriously son, less of these burgers and fries. all good, but for real, more of the exotic, thai, peruvian, spicy italian, moroccan food, seafood, something interesting. Just because its cost-effective doesn’t mean you could also find it in a fast-food joint. I applaud your audacity, but give us non-burger and fries guys something to read. Cheers!

    keep up the good work…

  12. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    FN,

    I don’t think I’d choose Five Guys over Grand Canyon, in all honesty, especially since you can get your burger cooked to order and grilled over charcoal at Grand Canyon. Plus, one burger at Grand Canyon is still bigger than a Regular at Five Guys.

    City Girl,

    Consider those all added to the to do list. Tell me more about Blue Marble, what’s it all about? Same with Joyce Bakeshop, what should I get at both places?

    BK Chick,
    I wouldn’t say the experience was mediocre, I just wasn’t floored. But I was full. Where else should I go in Brooklyn besides BK Fish Camp?

    karen,

    I feel like I should really know who you are right now but I don’t. Care to share?

    karen (2),

    Thank you.

    AG,

    Thanks for the word on the Bonnie’s burger, the whole “spiced” concept confused me. You may have just saved me a couple bucks.

    Gus,

    So how come I’m only hearing about it now? Thanks for the bleu cheese tip by the way, I’ll make it happen next time around. That sounds heartstopping?

    lauren,

    Its true, you have been asking for diversity. What would make you smile if you saw it on the top of this site?

    Pepper,

    I’m hungry too.

    Jack,

    Story of my life.

    Brandon,

    You want it, you got it. Stay tuned while NYC Food Guy shakes it up.

  13. lauren Says:

    “Brandon,

    You want it, you got it. Stay tuned while NYC Food Guy shakes it up.”

    πŸ˜‰

  14. Ulla Says:

    Wings are my favorite too. I love when they are all crispy. Those look so crispy! YUMMY.

  15. Before Sunrise Says:

    Next time you go to Brooklyn, you should go to Peter Luger’s Steak House. Haven’t been there myself, but heard their steak is to die for! I’d like a review on that πŸ™‚

  16. Howfresh Says:

    Food guy, what’s the deal? Brooklyn? Man listen. Time you hit the BX and get your Piper’s Kilt on. Just say the word family. A little inter borough burger battle possibly. How’s that for alliteration.

  17. loogers Says:

    before sunrise —

    peter lugers is wayyyy out of nyc food guys budget, do you see what this guy eats!?

  18. Phil Says:

    hmm.. burger looks quality but not sure it warrants a trip to brooklyn.

    why is everyone hating on the food guzzler for reviewing burgers/fries, pizza/wings etc? That food is great and the man clearly knows what he’s talking about. We should call you the burger guru!!!!!!!!!!!!! You like that nickname nycfg?

  19. AG Says:

    Anytime man, always here to help. Let me know next time you are in my hood we should grab a bite and I can show you some new places. Sidebar, you going to any of the NYC F&W events this weekend? I snagged tickets to a handful of events, really looking forward to it. (unfortunately couldn’t get into the burger bash).

  20. eager beaver Says:

    when’s the next nycfg food tour? i have a couple girlfriends who are interested in tagging along!

  21. Mo Says:

    I have been saying that the Grand Canyon BBQ burger is my favorite burger in the world since 1987. Seriously! I actually said it again yesterday while eating fries with the owner of 67 Burger over in Ft. Greene. Grand Canyon is an old local joint that I hope more “new” residents of Park Slope try. You can never go wrong with an old school diner burger. After paying upwards of $50 for those fancy pants Kobe burgers in the city, Grand Canyon still gets my vote after all these years.

  22. Funkycold Says:

    I too am a big fan of Grand Canyon’s burger. The fries are also great, making the Deluxe option the only way to go. In fact, for a few extra bucks you can have a side of chili-cheese fries instead, which are simply fantastic. I imagine one could order them with just cheese or chili if desired, but if you’re gonna splurge, you might as well go all the way πŸ™‚

  23. lauren Says:

    before sunrise, NYCFG did do PL burger (looks great):

    http://nycfoodguy.com/category/burgers/peter-luger/

  24. Jack Says:

    Dunno, I like my wings meatier and saucier. Havent found a suitable replacement wing since Scruffy’s closed.

  25. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Ulla

    That makes two of us. Can’t have wings that aren’t crispy. That’s what I’ve heard about Duff’s in Buffalo, they’re not that crispy. Don’t see how those could be as heralded or more so than Anchor Bar if they’re soggy.

    Before Sunrise,

    I’d love to review Lugers. Do you want to take me out for dinner?

    Howfresh,

    Okay man, I’m sold. Let’s do it. One night next week?

    loogers,

    Thanks for pointing out my empty wallet. Ha. Just kidding. I’m all about good and affordable. Any recs in that regard?

    Phil,

    The burger is good but you’re right, doesn’t warrant a trip to BK. I’ll find you a burger that does.

    I am down with the name Burger Guru but I think I’ll leave that to the guys at A Hamburger Today, I’ll spread the love around food wise and stick with my present name. But hey, Phil, your name is my middle name. What do you think about that.

    AG,

    Hey man. Did not get tix to Food & Wine. Would have loved to go but its a little out of the budget. Looking forward to seeing what goes down with the Burger Bash. Any predictions?

    eager beaver,

    If you’re for real, you name the time and the place. NYCFG is there.

    Mo,

    You said it, in this day of $81 kobe burgers, its great to see a place like Grand Canyon still keeping it real. How was 67 Burger?

    Funkycold,

    Now you’re talking my language. I think I’d have to reserve a booth to sleep in if I got a bacon cheeseburger and chili cheese fries. But you’re right, go big or go home. Where else do you like to eat in Brooklyn?

    lauren,

    Thanks for the assistance.

    Jack,

    Dude, we are in luck. I called Landsdowne Road on 10th Ave and 45th (Scruffy’s sister bar) and they said they serve the SAME WINGS!!! Scruffy’s used to be my favorite too and if Landsdowne isn’t lying, we have a new winner. I’ll check them out soon and let you know.

  26. Jack Says:

    Nah, I know the owners at lansdowne and have been there, the wings arent the same, pretty close though. I think it was all about the guy in the scruffy kitchen that made them, he is not working at lansdowne.

  27. Before Sunrise Says:

    Thanks for pointing it out to me, Lauren. Now I want one of those too! πŸ™‚

    NYCFG: Seems you can pay for your own dinners, you’ve been there before πŸ™‚ That burger looks great (Peter Luger’s).

  28. Phil Says:

    Phil is really your middle name? That’s great! This site really is awesome. What religion is the food guy? I’ll have you know that I’m jewish and started my fast 11 minutes ago. I bet the though of not eating for 25 hours hurts your stomach food guy!

  29. Phil Says:

    thought*

  30. Pokemon Says:

    How does NYCFG fund all these meals? Is it really for the love of the game? Or do you have some sort of deal with the restaurants? I would provide a food critique with an audience as respectable as NYCFG’s a free meal for an unbiased review. Seems like a great deal, no?

  31. katrina Says:

    omg i just came home from the barz and this burger looks incredible right now. anything looks incredible right now i’m starving!!!! food guy — what do you recommend for us girls late-night who wanna keep our girlish figures for all you guys who constantly judge us and our weight!? i need foooooooodd but i dont wanna get fat!!!! HELP!!!

  32. Shelly Borrell Says:

    I love your pictures — They always make me so hungry.

    Thanks,
    Shelly, Nibbles of Tidbits

  33. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Jack

    That’s a damn shame about Landsdowne. I hope youre wrong but I know you’re not.

    Before Sunrise

    I can pay for my own burgers, its the steak I need help with.

    Phil

    You said it man. 25 hours of no food is a painful and scary thought.

    Pokemon

    No deal with restaurants poke-man. I pay for everything out of pocket. And judging by my checking account its starting to take a hit.

    katrina
    I wouldn’t worry about pleasing guys when it comes to late night eats. NYC Food Guy wouldn’t want a girl who doesn’t like some good late night eats. I’m sure you’re a lovely young lady and if you’re feeling bad about late night eats, do what the NYCFG does, take a run the next day, your body will thank you.

    Shelly Borrell

    Always good to hear from you. Your pics are pretty fantastic as well.

  34. Before Sunrise Says:

    Maybe we can work something out – I’ll buy you a steak dinner if you’ll buy me a burger πŸ˜›

  35. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Before Sunrise,

    You’ve got yourself a deal. I already have the burger in mind.
    Check out my Brooklyn Diner post:
    http://nycfoodguy.com/category/burgers/brooklyn-diner/

    Where are we getting steak?

  36. Before Sunrise Says:

    Sounds good to me… I thought the steak was at Peter Luger’s? No? I can choose somewhere cheaper (and/or closer)?

  37. AG Says:

    Too bad, I’ll cover it extensively for you (managed to snag a handful of comp tickets to offset the cost). I’m a Shake Shack fan so I’d like to see them win, if anything just want a NY burger spot to represent on the home turf.

  38. Phil Says:

    Has anyone eaten at the Peter Luger’s on Long Island? Is there a noticeable difference between that one, and the one in Brooklyn?

  39. kristen Says:

    Phil, I’ve had both peter lugers in long island and brooklyn — and they’re both shit!

  40. Before Sunrise Says:

    Kristen, why are they bad?

  41. Phil Says:

    Thanks Kristin! That’s also what I’ve heard. Where’s your favorite place to eat steak?

  42. Ulla Says:

    Funny that you mention Buffalo. Duff’s is a buffalo thing. Anchor bar is more of a restaurant. Their wings are crispy and amazing, but Duff’s is more casual and I think they are the buffalo favorite because they are the every man’s wing place. It has that authentic hometown cred thing going on and it has lots of beer. My sister used to live in Buffalo goodness that town is cool.

  43. Jack Says:

    Kristen is a feisty one. I love the Brooklyn Lugers, never neen to LI one, all I know is that the whole island is a cesspool.

  44. kristen Says:

    jack i’m definitely a fiesty one! peter lugers is overrated, unless you like jumbo shrimp coCktail, which even i have to admit is pretty good. nycfg – do you like the jumbo cocktail?

  45. Phil Says:

    So I woke up this morning and did my normal routine and headed out to work. I went in to a local deli for my standard bacon, egg, cheese, and a hashbrown on a roll. Only problem is that deli SUCKED. How hard can it be to make a breakfast sandwich? I work in the 50’s on the west side. NYCFG – PLEASE help me find a place that makes a decent breakfast sandwich!!!! This is absurd!

  46. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Ulla,

    Thanks for clarifying on the merits of Duff’s versus Anchor Bar, that actually makes a lot of sense because the two times I’ve been to Anchor Bar its been packed to the brim with 2 hour waits.

    Phil,

    Dude, I feel your pain. The breakfast situation in this hood is pitiful. I work in the west 50s as well. I’ve had some decent egg sandwiches at Pranzo on 50th b/t 6th & 7th. I like to order the egg and cheese and ask them to put a crispy hashbrown into the sandwich. Pretty solid and you can see them making it right in front of you. It’s definitely the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had thus far in the area.

  47. Phil Says:

    Thanks man.

  48. charles Says:

    hey, i noticed you respond to your readers, im just interested in how you determine who you respond to? kristen asked you about shrimp above but you skipped over that. how can i ensure that you get back to me?

    not a big deal, just an interested reader wondering.

  49. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Charles,

    You can ensure I get back to you by asking serious food related questions which help create a good dialogue. Your questions should be mature, appropriate and thoughtful and contain no nefarious undertones or intentions.

    Stupid questions don’t get stupid answers, they get no answers.

  50. Phil Says:

    that was beautiful!

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