Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sandwich Tour Part 1: Bedford Cheese Shop & Marlow & Sons

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Most New Yorkers claim to be ready for adventure but when someone mentions Brooklyn, the typical response is “what a schlep!”  Enough is enough, it’s time to hop on the L train and discover our neighbor to the east, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A hood where family establishments stand along side the nouveau.  There’s no better way to read a neighborhood’s pulse than by their sandwiches, the true barometer of people’s desire for value and delicious food.   We’ve seen what comes out of Red Hook and Sunset Park so when my friend Charlie told me his cousin and Williamsburg expert, Andrea, was ready to open my eyes with a full tour of her hood, I gladly accepted.  Part one offers NYCFoodGuy’s take on Bedford Cheese Shop and Marlow & Sons.

Chorizo (Hot & Mild) Is A Great Snack to Walk With

Spicy & Mild Chorizo at Bedford Cheese Shop

Sopressata & Cheese Pizza at Marlow & Sons

Sopressata & Cheese Pizza at Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Desserts, Scones & Muffins from Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Desserts, Scones & Muffins from Marlow & Sons

Bedford Cheese Shop aka the Hipster Stiff Arm

We came for sandwiches, we left with chorizo and a vendetta against laissez-faire hipsters.  There was one tray of pre-made sandwiches on the counter, bread on the back wall and a ton of meats and cheeses in the display cases.  A perfect recipe for sandwich creation, right? Wrong.  One employee of this bedroom-sized cheese and meat shop didn’t even take the time to unfold his arms from his hooded sweatshirt while telling us, “No, we don’t make sandwiches here.  That’s the only one we have.”  This was news to Andrea, my lovely tour guide for the day, because she has had sandwiches made for her at Bedford Cheese Shop.  We immediately realized we were victims of the hipster stiff arm.

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Spicy (red string) & Mild (white string) Chorizo at Bedford Cheese Shop

My friend and all around good guy Charlie, was just as surprised by the confused and annoyed look he received from the counter-girl when he asked her to slice the spicy Spanish chorizo he purchased. God forbid we actually wanted to eat it right then and there.  The hipster stiff arm strikes again!

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I will not be returning to Bedford Cheese Shop next time I’m in Williamsburg because I like patronizing stores that appreciate my business. Bedford Cheese Shop is too cool for school but unfortunately for them, NYC Food Guy says class is not in session.

Bedford Cheese Shop
229 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 718.599.7588, Fax: 718.599.8644
Monday – Saturday 11-9, Sunday 10-8
Email: info@bedfordcheeseshop.com
http://www.bedfordcheeseshop.com/

Marlow & Sons Is Not Worth The Trip for Lunch

I haven’t been to the heralded Marlow & Sons for dinner, but after trying several of their early afternoon offerings, I can confidently say it’s not worth trekking to this southwest Williamsburg spot for lunch.   If you happen to be nearby, and want to stop in, your best bet is pizza or something from the dessert counter, but pass on sitting down for brunch.  I can’t speak to the deliciousness of dinner at Marlow & Sons, but all of the press I’ve read has generally been positive.

Marlow & Sons Dining Room Interior

Marlow & Sons Dining Room Interior

Nothing we ate was bad, but nothing really impressed.  Since it was a sandwich tour, we started with the Muffaletta ($11), flimsy focaccia stuffed with mortadella, sopressata, salami, coppa, provolone and an overpowering olive tapenade.  For $11 I would like to see this New Orleans classic stuffed with a little more meat and a little less olive tapenade, which really dominated every bite.

Marlow & Sons Muffaletta ($11) was overwhelmed by olive tapenade

Marlow & Sons Muffaletta ($11) was overwhelmed by olive tapenade

Chorizo with potatoes and sunny side eggs ($12) was recommended by our waiter and while it was tasty, the tomato-based sauce didn’t allow the chorizo’s spice to shine.  The best bites of this dish are when you pile a little bit of everything on the buttered and toasted slices of bread.

Chorizo & Eggs ($12) lacked the spice I was hoping for

Chorizo & Eggs ($12) lacked the spice I was hoping for

The pizza with sopressata ($4.25) was easily my favorite dish of the meal.  The flavor was definitely homemade, from the airy crust to the sweet sauce, but the slightly sharp sections of burnt cheese were the best part.

Pizza with Sopresatta ($4.25) is best where the cheese is burnt

Pizza with Sopressata ($4.25) is best where the cheese is burnt

Marlow & Sons front room, which turns into a dining area in the evening, is populated by a few others pizzas, sold by the slice…

Marlow & Sons Front Room Fare - Pizza by the slice ($4.25 each)

Marlow & Sons Front Room Fare - Pizza by the slice ($4.25 each)

…a nice selection of other sandwiches…

Front of the room fare - Sandwiches at Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Sandwiches at Marlow & Sons

…desserts including attractive white cake, milk chocolate frosted cupcakes

Front of the room fare - Milk Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes from Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Milk Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes from Marlow & Sons

…other cupcakes, scones and muffins…

Front of the room fare - Cupcakes, Muffins & Scones at Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Cupcakes, Muffins & Scones at Marlow & Sons

and a chocolate chip cookie featuring discs of bittersweet chocolate ensconsed in a buttery, slightly salty dough.  It was a tasty cookie, but nothing to write home about.

Front of the room fare - Chocolate Chip Cookie from Marlow & Sons

Front of the room fare - Chocolate Chip Cookie from Marlow & Sons

Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
Phone: (718) 384-1441
Fax: (718) 486-0165
E-mail: contact@marlowandsons.com
http://marlowandsons.com/
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11 Responses to “Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sandwich Tour Part 1: Bedford Cheese Shop & Marlow & Sons”

  1. Phil Says:

    Food Guy – all-around solid review, as per the norm. I really like what you’re doing with the google map screen shot, it’s extremely helpful. Keep on keepin on!

    -Phil

  2. Blaine Says:

    I too like the google map. There’s a decent enough sandwich place down the street on the south side. Maybe south second (?) Bedford on the east side of the street, but I’ll be the first to admit that Williamsburg eateries are a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    I hear, though, that there is a decent Japanese place on Grand St. somewhere, and a new Greek place that is pretty decent/cheap. Any readers know where these are? Any Food Guys willing to give it a whirl?

    My condolences on the stiff arm. I feel as though I speak for my neighborhood that would otherwise never apologize whatsoever. Jerks.

  3. Phil-ate Says:

    i would be thrilled to get stiff-armed!

  4. FN Says:

    Lol, “hipster stiff-arm” – you should copyright that, I love it!

  5. Matt Says:

    Wow, this stuff looks absolutely delicious. I really need to get to Brooklyn more often. A lot of the food there just seems to have more “love”.

  6. debbie Says:

    As a (reluctant) Wburg resident, I couldn’t agree more about the ridiculous service at BCS. The owner/staff really seem to think that all they’re really there to do is talk about cheese (to each other, mostly) and show off their knowledge. Couldn’t care less about treating their customers well, as far as I’ve seen.

    Never been to Marlow & Sons for lunch, though, so I can’t comment on that part…

  7. ephraim Says:

    completely agreed about bedford cheese shop. i was given a gift certificate to there by a well meaning friend, and they gave me such a cold shoulder that i hesitate to go back and use the remaining $7 left on it.

  8. moe Says:

    Lawrence,

    You make me very hungry! I am so sorry to hear about Marlow & Sons because I have heard so many good things about them. That kind of customer service with those high prices, boy that’s bad.

    Anyway, you need your own restaurant show, what you are doing for us is a great idea.

    Moe

  9. Charlie Says:

    it should be noted that while the hipsters (clearly not people) at bedford cheese shop suck, the chorizo was pretty awesome.

  10. elena Says:

    Great post. It’s high time for me to do some serious eating Williamsburg…my native ‘hood.

  11. Ulla Says:

    hahahahahahaah!
    I almost feel sorry for hipsters because no one likes them, and they are so sullen.
    Maybe they want to be adopted!

    I can not believe you gave it all not that good review(that is why I love this blog) all the food critics have been giving them all this credit for being the best restaurant in the universe.

    I am still laughing about your term for hipster, you need to copyright that!:)

    Are you on twitter? I am twittering now:)
    http://twitter.com/nycUlla

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