Buttermilk Channel: a delicious river of buttermilk you can bathe in in Brooklyn.
Completely incorrect but totally what I imagine in my head every time I hear those words. I guess I shouldn’t say that it’s completely incorrect, as Buttermilk Channel is actually a mile long tidal strait between Brooklyn and Governor’s Island so it is a body of liquid…near Brooklyn…let’s just get to the facts, shall we?
In the old days, when the area was farmland, dairy farmers would cross this body of water to sell milk in Manhattan. Adding to the name’s origin story is the fact that tidal currents used to be so strong in the channel that some would even say that they were strong enough to churn milk into butter. Supposedly there’s another legend, brought up one time by Walt Whitman in The Brooklyn Eagle, that farmers would walk their cows across the channel when it was low tide to graze on Governors Island. Nowadays, the channel still remains a shipping lane.
Buttermilk Channel, the restaurant, is another one of those that offers different fare throughout the day but is pretty well-known for its brunch, which is when I went. I was expecting a long wait, but we were able to sit immediately at the bar. Their fare is New American food, with twists on traditional breakfast food. I’m thinking of the Pecan Pie French Toast with bourbon, molasses, and toasted pecans; the Short Rib Hash with sunny-side-up eggs, toast, and greens; and the dish I ordered–Fried Pork Chop and Cheddar Waffles with maple syrup.
It was actually kind of hilarious because when I told the bartender my order, she gave me a very devious look and was like, “Ooooh. Well then. I’m going to have to get you a bigger knife.” She then proceeded to slip away the knife already at my place setting and slowly replace it with this giant steak knife, all the while looking at my very slyly as if saying, “You’re in for something special.” I guess that’s one way to get a customer excited about their meal!
My fried pork chop was huge and I definitely did need that bigger knife. The dish is obviously a twist on fried chicken and waffles, and it was fun having it served in a different way. Also, I completely forgot that the waffles were CHEDDAR waffles until I bit into one and was like yesssssssss. I feel like sometimes people try to spice up standard food items with special flavors and it doesn’t always get pulled off, but it definitely did here as there was just enough cheddar flavor throughout.
A few random facts about the restaurant… If you’re someone who goes to brunch with the intention of specifically getting boozy brunch, just know that Buttermilk Channel can’t serve alcohol before noon. On Monday nights, they offer a $30, three-course prix-fixe menu. On Tuesday nights, they have free corkage. They also have a vegetarian menu if you so desire. And as you would guess, their Buttermilk Fried Chicken is supposed to be the bomb.
Personally, one of the items on Buttermilk Channel’s dinner menu that stands out to me is the Duck Meatloaf with celery root, pear, and watercress, as it seems like another fun, unique switch-a-roo on an American classic. If you’re brunching in Brooklyn, it might be worth your while to make a trip here. Just be prepared to wait for a table during normal brunch times!
Fried pork chop and cheddar waffles
524 Ct St
Brooklyn, NY 11231