The review Chowhound doesn't want you to read!

Sheryl and I had spent a lovely fall Saturday walking around Brooklyn yesterday–specifically, from Cobble Hill to Prospect Heights. (There are some accompanying pictures.)

After walking around Grand Army Plaza, we stopped in the Brooklyn Museum to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit. It was arty, though I like my snapshots better.

We were both starved after the museum and I wanted to try Franny's, which was nearby on Flatbush Ave. The meal was... well, the details of the meal can be found in the below review. The important thing about this review is that I originally wrote it as a post on Chowhound, a genuinely useful foodie bulletin board. Within a few hours after posting the review it was removed from Chowhound, and I got an email from the site's moderators saying that reviews of Franny's were banned from the site due to previous "suspicious" posts. This ban has apparently been in effect since at least January of 2005, based on a comment I found in the archives (and which was subsequently removed by the moderators after I mentioned it). Now, it's their website and they can do whatever they'd like with posts (and they make it clear that they will), but preventing all discussion on a given restaurant for almost two years is pretty ridiculous. Fortunately, 34 gets some non-zero fraction of the traffic that Chowhound gets, so who needs them anyway? Here's my review:

I've been meaning to eat at Franny's in Prospect Heights for a few years now, ever since the owners had their column in the NY Times Dining In section. After hitting up the Brooklyn Museum today I did get around to stopping by with my girlfriend. It was, unfortunately, a disappointment.

We arrived at 5:45pm (we both had light lunches and were quite hungry) and expected to beat the dinner rush. Surprisingly the dining area was mostly full–a number of families were there with kids. There were a couple of four person tables open and one two person table, though. Instead of seating us at any of the open tables, the hostess told us there would be a five minute wait, so we sat down on some stools by the window. After a few minutes the hostess came by with drink menus, though we weren't interested in ordering at the bar, and after another couple of minutes she decided that the time was right for us to be seated at the open two person table.

I ordered a Six Points ale at the table and my girlfriend had a glass of a chilled red wine. We also ordered our meal: sardines and butter crostini, the cured meat plate, and a clam pizza.

The crostini and meat plate arrived within three minutes of ordering them, which was nice as we were starved and Franny's apparently doesn't offer any complimentary bread or other snacks. Unfortunately, the crostini consisted of one slice of bread cut in half with about four sardines on it. It was very tasty, but for a $9 order, bringing out a single slice of bread is an insult. We were in a similar situation with the meat plate: it was tasty, and if served with some bread might have actually been a substantial appetizer. But the meat plate was inexplicably meant to be consumed without accompaniment, and at $15 could not be described as worth it.

Then the clam pizza arrived. Again, it was tasty, but at $16 for what turned out to be an individually-sized serving, there should have been many more clams on it. To contrast, the clam pizza I had not too long ago at Otto was cheaper, loaded with clams (in the shell, which is fun), and in my opinion, tastier.

At this point we were both still hungry, but rather soured on the Franny's experience and not in the mood to give them any more money towards another pizza.

Based on the crowd, the prices and serving sizes don't appear to be doing much to hurt it's popularity, and I appreciate what the owners are trying to do with organic ingredients, but I personally can't imagine going back for another meal there.


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