Lunchtime With Tillie: Brooklyn Public House

We’ve done Thai, Mexican, Indian and Italian. But how about something simple, like a good ol’ hot dog and fries?

Hey everyone, it’s V and T here with the latest in Lunchtime With Tillie-ness. This time, I decided to take it down on new tastes for the little one sample and took her to the neighborhood’s new gastro-pub, Brooklyn Public House on Dekalb Avenue

It’s not that I don’t want her to try new things, it’s just this time around, the idea of eating a Public Dog just took over! It’s a hot dog wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon and slathered with cheese. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. I did give Tillie something to try, though, and it almost backfired on me, but more on that later!

After a trip to the playground in Fort Greene Park, we headed on over to the Public House. Upon entering, the waitress/bartender directed us to the roomy dining area since I had the stroller with me. I asked for a high chair and they didn’t have any, so it looked like Tillie would be going retro and eating in the stroller like she did as a younger youngster.

I got a menu, but since I knew what I was going to eat, it didn’t really do me much good. However, the lunchtime drinks special did pique my curiosity, especially after seeing that the Checker Cab ale was among the discounted options.

Here’s the Van Sias guide to Public House happiness (and this is for the grown-ups): Order the Public Dog and a Checker Cab or two, and you, my friend, will be thanking me at the end!

Anyway, so after a mini-debate within myself, I decided to top off my frank and fries with a beer. But the Checker Cab was out of the rotation of the beers on tap, replaced by something else not available among the discounted options! Arrgh! But I guess that’s a good thing because I don’t want to go down a slippery path and see “Lunchtime With Tillie” become “Lunchtime With Tillie at the Public House and Dad Eating His Daily Hot Dog and Drinking Beer”! So I just went with water instead.

While I was waiting for my food, I took Tillie’s out: some butternut squash soup Tillie’s mom made up. I managed to get her a few bites in, then mine appeared just like that. (There wasn’t much of a lunch crowd, which I guess contributed to the speed of service.) There it was in front of me: the bacon-wrapped hot dog with cheese melted over it and a basket of overflowing fries! I thought to myself, “You know, I can’t just indulge my selfish lunch cravings: I have to let Tillie try something. I know, I’ll let her try a French fry.” And that is where the backfire comes in!


I gave her a fry and she really enjoyed it, which was fine. But when I tried to give her another bite of the squash, she pushed my hand away! Was she just going to want fries? That’s not a good lunch for her to have! I tried again, and she replied with the hand push. Yikes! What was I to do? I couldn’t call Tillie’s mom for help. Do I call my mom? No, Van, you’ve been a dad for nearly a year now, you can handle this!

Then I came up with this plan: I’d dip the fry in the squash soup, which was thick enough to stick to it, and let her eat the next fry like that. After some success, I took it a step further: I’d put the soup on the fry, then pull it out of her mouth before she could chomp down, basically using the fry as a spoon. And it worked! I even got her back to eating the soup from the regular spoon again.

My meal was a little hectic, but my delicious hot dog and fries promptly got eaten. I’m glad I held off on getting the hot dog topped with turkey chili because that might’ve been a little too much (but probably would have tasted excellent)!

After all the soup and big kids food was devoured, I fed Tillie some grapes for dessert. I got the bill, which was only $9.25, not including the tip (or that Checker Cab), paid it and we were off.

We’ll be back, and I’d recommend others to go, too. The no-high-chair thing wasn’t a big obstacle to overcome, the lunch menu was reasonably priced and the waitress was really friendly. She was even cheering me on in my squash soup-fries battle, which I won in the end: a big victory for dads everywhere!