I moved to Prospect Heights nearly 9 months ago and in trying to find some great neighborhood eats one restaurant always came up….Tom’s on Washington Avenue.
Tom’s is a classic diner where the food, service and atmosphere is always consistent. The decor is kitschy (probably hasn’t changed since it opened 70 years ago), the menu covers nearly every food item and the prices are super old school. It’s refreshing to have a place like Tom’s in a city where the great neighborhoods, stores and restaurants of the past are quickly disappearing. I mean for a girl who grew up on cherry limeades from Topsy’s in Kansas City I just cannot get over the fact that they still have a soda fountain from the 30’s where they pump out lime rickeys and egg creams!!!
Unlike many Brooklyn restaurants Tom’s is not stylish and it doesn’t tout its use of organic and local ingredients. But Tom’s is a real darn good dining experience. Whatever you do, get the pancakes (especially the lemon ricotta). They are some of the best I’ve ever eaten and have so many different options for you to choose from, satisfying every pancake lover.
There is a reason this place has a cult following; if you live in the neighborhood or close by and haven’t been here at least once then frankly you are doing your stomach an injustice. Now don’t go in expecting a culinary masterpiece or experience that will blow you away, but expect good quality food that hits the spot…every darn time. Serving only breakfast and lunch Tom’s is full of a bunch of neighborhood regulars and newbies, a microcosm representative of this whole city in its diversity.
A neighborhood favorite, it would be best to go in expecting a wait as this place packs them in on the weekends. Your best bet is to go early but if you do encounter a long line, rest assured knowing that it is not uncommon to be offered little bites and drinks as you hang out and wait for a table (in fact every time I see a wait people are noshing in line).
If you want a fancy brunch, go somewhere else, but if you want to eat well then look no further than Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights. With the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanical Garden just a few blocks away you should make a day out of eating at Tom’s….like now!
782 Washington Avenue (between Sterling and St Johns Place)