It’s been a long time since I last reviewed a restaurant for the sake of reviewing a restaurant, but this morning’s disappointing brunch at Broken English on Bergen Street inspired me – and not in a good way.

Broken English opened sometime last year in a great spot on Bergen near Smith, just off the F/G subway lines, in a section of the block that is mainly residential.  I put off trying it for a long time mainly because friends who had eaten there told me the dinner is so-so, but the brunch is decent.  Kristina and I are not really brunch people.  We prefer to make our own breakfast, or hit our local diner on Sunday mornings.  But this was a different kind of Sunday – one where my parents drove in for the sake of a visit over a mid-day meal.  We’ve taken them to numerous restaurants in the neighborhood, and we have always been satisfied.  It was my idea to try Broken English, and for that I apologized.

The atmosphere inside would have been fine had there not been multiple tables of screaming children.  But I ignore this as we are, in fact in Brooklyn – baby capital of the world.    We sat and got our menus.  There aren’t a ton of brunch options, and sides are sold separately.  Kristina and my father both ordered the Panzanella di faro salad ($12) which is a bread & tomato salad with faro (a kind of puffy grain) with basil, cucumber, celery, and pickled red onion.  The salad looked ok, but was very small.  I gave my dad about half the side salad that came with my hamburger.  Speaking of which, I ordered my burger ($13) medium rare, and I got something closer to medium-well.  Our waitress appeared as if she’d have rather been anywhere but there, so trying to send it back would have probably been a fruitless endeavor.  My mom ordered French toast with fruit ($9) which looked pretty good.  We also ordered a side of fries ($5) which got to the table a good 5 minutes after everything else.  My mom and Kristina each got coffee which they said was good.  I got a Bloody Mary which was also pretty decent.

I won’t go back to Broken English not because I didn’t enjoy my burger, but because I didn’t like the service.  In a business where you rely on tips as part of your salary, you should be more attentive to your customer.  I don’t expect a waiter or waitress to be kissing my ass over what could amount to a $15 tip for them, but a smile, and knowing the difference between medium-rare, and medium-well goes a long way.

Broken English
68 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 488-3906

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