On the corner of Stockholm and Irving, nestled between still-naked oaks and post-war brick apartment buildings, is a friendly new neighborhood restaurant. Inside, it’s all muted yellows and touches of green. Cookbooks sit atop a high shelf, a whitewashed bench lines the length of the restaurant, a honeycomb hangs from a twig – Fritzl’s Lunch Box seems like a campground cabana in late summer.
Fritzl’s Lunch Box opened virtually a couple of days ago. Its owner, Dan Ross-Leutwyler, is a former chef of the now closed Bellwether in Williamsburg. Dan’s extensive cooking experience includes running the kitchen at Fatty Cue at Manhattan, as well helping to start things up at Roberta’s a couple of years ago. “We saw an opportunity to open a restaurant in a much smaller scale in Bushwick; also we felt an absence of this kind of a restaurant,” Dan told us. Although its name sounds like a German immigrant’s cafeteria, the food is very nouveau Brooklyn – soups, salads, a dash of Mediterranean, whole fish, pasta, all served in a friendly, forthright manner. Fritzl’s has a nice selection of wine and beer (only cans and bottles, no drafts unfortunately).
While I enjoyed a kale salad with black radish and tofu dressing ($7), neighbors popped in to take a menu and congratulate the new restaurant on opening. The Zombies played as I cut my crispy lamb, beet and yogurt sandwich($9.50). And after the whole black bass, flaky with a gingery touch of heat, I tried a cinnamony Oregonian vermouth to cleanse the palate. I followed that with the irresistible banana cream pie from Pies ‘n’ Thighs. The chef Dan is particularly proud of the Blood Sausage Tamale ($3), Hamburger ($8) and Pork Ragu Rigatonici ($11). Affordably priced and mostly delicious, Fritzl’s is definitely worth a second visit. The atmosphere is comfortable and engaging and the service is excellent.