An eclair wears a cowboy hat. The voluminous noggin of Julia Child bubbles up in a skillful chalkboard portrait. Anthropomorphized milk and cookies interact antagonistically. These are participants in the artful dance of fanciful images that help attract an army of hipsters to the terrific Angry Baker. Well, that, plus a lot of great food.
An eclair wears a cowboy hat.
The voluminous noggin of Julia Child bubbles up in a skillful chalkboard portrait.
Anthropomorphized milk and cookies interact antagonistically.
A loose and loopy collage of culinary classics animate an open kitchen-anchored bar.
These are participants in the artful dance of fanciful images that help attract an army of hipsters to the terrific Angry Baker. Well, that, plus a lot of great food.
Open a couple of years now and with an expanding, vegan-friendly and locavore-loving menu, the patio-budding Angry Baker has evolved from upstart business to Olde Towne East fixture.
So I figured I'd head down and take its temperature. If there was any doubt, I can assure you this I-could-be-in-a-cool-part-of-Brooklyn indie is hot.
I'm not saying everything was perfect; I experienced niggling food and service inconsistencies. But the bottom line is this: Angry Baker's highs can rise near tsunami-high whereas lows are mostly shrug-them-off little ripples.
Breakfast and lunch are conveniently served all day (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at this genuinely artisanal establishment, and the "tres Francaise" Baked Eggs ($7.50) fills both bills.
Arriving in an attractive, broiled cheese-capped little casserole dish were three ova underneath -- their yolks varied from runny to not -- with a brioche bed and spinach blankets. Although it takes a while to prepare, this is a rewarding, simple and elegant, yet lusty, meal.
Over-easy eggs -- along with striations of Sriracha and tomatillo salsa -- decorated the exterior of the accurately named Fork & Knife Breakfast Burrito ($7.75).
That flavor-bomb behemoth was further distinguished by its crispy, toasted flour tortilla plus comforting meatless innards of al dente black beans, tangy Havarti cheese and roasted redskin potatoes.
Even more explosive flavors were detonated on the excellent -- and almost believably Indian -- Vegan Curry Burger ($8.75). A semi-thick, crisp and structurally sound lentil patty studded with corn, peas, beans and more was plopped on a killer brioche bun, dosed with volatile curry and garnished with pickled onions, arugula and cilantro pesto.
Also on a wonderful and puffy brioche roll was an homage to the almost-sacred Thanksgiving leftover sandwich (Turkey, $9.50).
Rosemary and "herb cream sauce" conjured up the stuffing; a pert cranberry-apple chutney radically improved on the canned stuff; and there was a lot of real-deal, high-grade pulled turkey, too. Unfortunately, some of those poultry strands were dry.
Slight dryness also compromised the joys of these otherwise delicious items: an accomplished -- if sloppy with too much sweet aioli -- Salmon Burger ($9.25); the sun-dried tomato scone star of an Egg Sandwich ($5.75); and a stacked-to-the-rafters Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding ($3).
Most entrees come with your choice of a very small, but overachieving salad (with a bold, aggressively herbed vinaigrette) or soup, such as a stellar -- although lukewarm when I slurped it -- pureed Spinach and Leek with deeply developed flavors and an impressive "richness."
When I asked my server if that sensational soup was vegan, she concluded our discussion with, "I don't know." I was later assured -- by someone else -- it was.
Barely there service also surfaced when I was forced to clean my dirty table during a Sunday-brunch rush and with clunkily timed food arrivals.
Did I get angry? After ripping into eaten-on-the-way-home old-fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies ($1.50), American-style (coconut and marzipan) Chocolate Macaroons ($1.50) and moist and intense Vegan Blueberry Brownies (my favorites, $3), I figured angriness should be reserved for talented bakers.