There’s a reason why The Smith has so many locations. Anyone will find something to eat there, and you can spend a lot or have a burger. Or a salad. You get what we’re saying.
But there’s also a reason we have mixed feelings about that place. It’s useful, but it has about as much personality as a person who writes “have a good summer" in your high school yearbook.
Enter Mayfield. Like The Smith, its menu is diverse. There are sandwiches, salads, and fish & chips - but there's also a pork chop on polenta, steak tartare, and oysters. Here, you choose how much you want to spend. On a street with a million other restaurants, that’s what makes this a Crown Heights staple.
That and the dining room. It’s dark, with lots of wood and brick. Take a date here. Or bring some friends. This place is casual - so casual that no one seems to be wearing a uniform. Maybe that’s why the employees are so nice. They even smile when you walk in. And since they aren’t wearing a uniform, the love doesn’t feel fake. Drake would like this place.
As for the food, it’s good and occasionally great. The burger is like something you’d make on a grill in your backyard if you were better at grilling and you had a backyard, and the fried chicken sandwich is something we’d eat several times a week. It’s somehow light, and the slaw gives it a good crunch. One thing you can skip, however, is the buttermilk fried quail. It’s dainty. Like a low-calorie beer or some radio edit hip hop. We’d like to see how they’d fry a chicken.
The quail is forgiven, however, because unlike The Smith, this place has a beating heart. When you walk inside, you see people from the neighborhood. You see a table of women having a girls night out and an attractive couple holding hands in the corner, completely unaware of how dumb and cliche they look. Or maybe you'll see a few older people having a nice, quiet dinner now that their children are safely making poor decisions at college. And everyone is having a good time. Including the staff (or at least they’re good at pretending). Come here and get something with fries. Or, if it’s a weekend, splurge on some steak tartare or chicken liver mousse. This is a feel-good place, and you’ll feel just fine when you get the check.
You somehow don’t feel like garbage after eating this. Maybe it’s the bread. It’s thin and crispy. If this didn’t come with fries, we could eat several.
Like a better version of whatever your uncle makes. Or your aunt. Anyone can grill, is what we’re saying. Get it medium rare, and it’ll come out juicy in the middle and charred outside. Have a napkin handy.
One of the better kale salads. Maybe because it’s shredded. Or maybe because it’s well-dressed and served in a mound that’s fun to take apart.
Like if cornbread and souffle had a baby (but not a human one). If eggy cornbread appeals to you, by all means.
A solid mousse and almost a meal on its own. Spread mustard on your slice of baguette and mousse away.
Recommended to anyone who craves mild disappointment. You’ll finish it, but you’ll be fantasizing about good fried chicken.