I’d been eyeing The Pink Teacup (http://thinkpinkteacup.com/site/) in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn for several months and was anxious to patronize this Black-owned restaurant (I make it a point to support Black-owned businesses as much as possible) a try. I want to say that the food was delicious and amazing (I really do – especially because it is a Black-owned establishment), but I can’t.
The Pink Teacup was a major disappointment…. initially. Here’s why.
My girlfriend (gf) and I went here with intentions of enjoying a typical “Sunday Funday”. After viewing various pictures of The Pink Teacup’s cuisine (via Instagram @Thepinkteacup) and scouring their menu (http://thinkpinkteacup.com/site/index.php/menu), I pretty much had an idea of what foods I wanted to try.
I walked into the restaurant and admired the quaint homeliness of it. The staff was clad in Pepto Bismol pink aprons (my waiter went one step further and opted to accessorize his outfit with pink handcuffs, that hung from his left back pocket – (freaky thang) and the restaurant had various shades of pink throughout. The furniture was mis-matched and rustic (which I actually liked because it contributed to the comfort and homeliness) and the overall presentation looked clean.
My gf and I walked in right before the huge “after church” rush so we pretty much had our pick of seating. I would advise you to visit before 12:00 pm because the rush pretty much comes in after 12:30/1:00 pm.
I planned on ordering their peach cobbler pancakes (because peach cobbler is one of my favorite desserts), but the other soul food options called my name. It was late in the day and I hadn’t eaten ANYTHING so I was straight up hangry (hungry + angry). Because of this, something sweet wouldn’t do my appetite justice. I wanted something filling and flavorful, so I opted for one of my favorite dishes in the world crab cakes. Here at the Pink Teacup, the crab cakes were served with eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce. I paired that dish with a side of macaroni & cheese because I felt like that would be a good combination.
Normally I’d be excited to have my meal bought out so expeditiously, but not on this day. I wasn’t in McDonald’s and this wasn’t fast food. Why the hell was my meal bought out faster than I could finish my beverage? I swear I had my meal placed in front of me in less than 7 minutes. When my dining companion (who had the salmon dish pictured above at the beginning of this post) and I received our respective meals we shared a strong suspicion that our meals wouldn’t be piping hot (the way I like my food) – and we were right. My dish was borderline cold and unappetizing and hers was lukewarm, but tolerable.
I was tremendously turned off by the appearance of canned pineapples and thawed frozen strawberries on a bed of raw mushrooms, (tiyad) diced tomatoes & red onions, and sad looking cucumbers. It looked as if the chef thought it would be a good idea to clean the refrigerator out and put the spoiling fruit/veggies on my plate. Despite this, I still I wanted to give the restaurant a fair shot. I ignored the sides and decided to focus only on my crab cakes and eggs.
Before digging in, I glanced at my macaroni & cheese with high expectations. In fact, I decided that without tasting it that it was going to be the best part of my meal. Sadly, it wasn’t. I sampled it and quickly learned that the noodles and cheese were lukewarm, flavorless, and oily. I ate another two fork fulls (because I was starving) then set it aside because I wanted to tackle the crab cake eggs Benedict.
I’m serious about my crab cakes, so this was a big deal. To my dismay, the hollandaise sauce was pretty much non-existent (which was a let down because I live for rich hollandaise sauce), the eggs were straight up cold, the crab cakes were lackluster (hella bland), lukewarm (and oily) and the biscuits (on which the eggs and crab cakes sat) were soggy. Again, because I was immensely hungry I brushed the sad eggs off the crab cakes and begrudgingly nibbled on them until they were gone. When I was done, I set my mostly full plate aside and had a word with the server to let him know that I was very displeased with my meal.
My girlfriend’s experience was pretty much the same; she didn’t care for her macaroni & cheese (and actually thought it was undercooked). The best part of her meal were the croquettes (which I co-sign).
The server offered to substitute my side dish since I barely ate my macaroni & cheese. I took him up on his offer and decided to go with the collard greens (because they couldn’t botch collard greens right)? The greens arrived (see below) and they were actually hot and good. Redemption was coming… slowly.
To my surprise the manager approached my table to apologize for my unfortunate experience and to explain that the kitchen was currently employing a new sous chef (who obviously had a LOT of learning to do). She offered me a plate of sticky honey wings (no picture unfortunately) and I accepted. Redemption continued – the wings were piping hot, full of flavor, and delicious.
Just when I was ready to pay the bill and bring my wings and leftover greens back home I received another visit – this time from the restaurant owner, Lawrence Page. Apparently Page heard about our unpleasant dining experience and wanted to change it. He offered us drinks on house – which was greatly appreciated. Since we were keeping it alcohol free that day I ordered another cucumber mint lemonade (served in a mason jar – really refreshing and good) and my gf ordered a pink lemonade (which I found to be on the tart and flavorless side). After our drinks arrived Page presented us with a complimentary slice of molten devil’s food cake with whipped cream (and more tired canned pineapples on the side).
The cake was decadently rich and really good, but I wasn’t exactly pleased with the pineapples – they took away from the presentation.
All and all, I’d give the dishes that my girlfriend and I initially ordered a 4 and a 6 (respectively) on a scale from 1 – 10. However, my redemption dish (collard greens & wings) received a 7 on a scale from 1 – 10. I left the restaurant pleased more with the customer service than the food. What I appreciated was the fact that the manager and owner went out of their way to ensure a pleasant restaurant experience.
I’d return again, this time for dinner as maybe – just maybe the sous chef (and more importantly the food) will be on the money. Give The Pink Teacup a try and be sure to bring cash (or your debit card to use the in house ATM) as this restaurant does not accept credit cards.
Until Next Time,