Complex staffers take urban exploration very seriously. My Spot takes you inside some of our favorite destinations, both in the 'hood and around the globe.
This week Complex Director of Content Strategy Joe La Puma takes us to Brancaccio's Food Shop.
Chef Joe Brancaccio does things his own way. On the ever-evolving block of Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn, Brancaccio's food shop sits, a 600 square foot space that boasts an out-of-the-box Italian menu that you won't find elsewhere in New York City. You won't be able to get a quintessential "Godfather" Italian hero here—Brancaccio prides himself on not serving deli meat sandwiches. But you will be able to get unlikely combinations, like a balsamic chicken, gorgonzola dolce, and guacamole sandwich that will keep you coming back in a way cold cuts slapped onto a hero never could.
Before Brancaccio set up shop four years ago on Fort Hamilton Parkway, the block was pin drop quiet. Now, by way of exceptional food, and a fuck-you-to-the-norm attitude, Brancaccio's has become the spot residents want to put their friends up on. When Complex rolled through the shop, Brancaccio invented—yeah, invented, so if you see the sandwich popping up elsewhere remember where it came from—an eggplant caponata sandwich layered with eggs, fresh ricotta, and tender broccoli rabe that could body any menu item you get at your bougie brunches. Check the breakdown below, and get out to Fort Hamilton Parkway to see the spot (and get hassled by Brancaccio) for yourself.
PERFECT FOR: A full dinner on the go. The $6 rotisserie chickens quickly sells out each night, but if you don't make it in time, Brancaccio's has everything from cavatelli bolognese and pistachio pesto chicken to red wine braised duck legs and meatballs with pine nuts, all of which make the perfect grab-and-go dinner.
WHAT TO BRING: A personality. Branaccio can be a ball-buster, but it's part of the spot's appeal. Conversation is frequent here, and he knows his clientele well. The great rapport makes you want to stop in, even if you've already had dinner.
ONLY REGULARS KNOW: There's a special everyday of the week, and you never know what's coming until Brancaccio posts it on the store's Facebook page. Some favorites include a roasted turkey and smoked bacon sandwich with bourbon gravy, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe, and during ST. Patrick's Day weekend, a fried egg x corned beef x spicy mustard sandwich which made the holiday bearable (even for a full-blooded Italian person). Also be on the lookout for the espresso chocolate chip cookies.
THE UNSPOKEN RULES: Don't ask for a sandwich after 4 p.m. (the daily fresh bread from Caputo's on Court Street usually sells out), and don't you dare request ham and cheese on a roll. Brancaccio prides himself on offering a menu that’s more creative than ham and cheese on a roll— respect the technique.