Is NYC takeout joint Ursula America’s ‘greatest new restaurant’?

Ursula will not be America’s greatest new restaurant. Ursula is barely a restaurant in any respect — solely a takeout storefront in Crown Heights with a couple of outside seats.

However this candy little spot is, ridiculously, a James Beard Award nominee for Finest New Restaurant in all the U S of A — a coveted honor beforehand earned by the Massive Apple’s Momofuku Ko, Le Coucou and Frenchette. (This yr’s winners might be introduced in June.)

It isn’t simply Beard lavishing reward on this New Mexico-inspired eatery, which serves breakfast burritos and some lunch sandwiches. Grub Avenue extolled, “Ursula could be America’s greatest new restaurant.” Eater New York and the New Yorker went bananas over it. It’s one of many New York Instances’ “subsequent nice breakfast locations.” prominently featured the recipe for Albuquerque-born chef-owner Eric See’s chorizo-and-scrambled eggs burrito.

The exterior of Ursula Brooklyn restaurant
The outside of Ursula in Crown Heights.
James Keivom
Green chile fried chicken sandwich, left, and stuffed ground beef sopaipillas
Inexperienced-chile fried hen sandwich (left) and stuffed floor beef sopaipillas.
James Keivom

Sorry to burst the burrito bubble, however regardless of having the most effective burrito on the town, Ursula isn’t even the most effective restaurant in Crown Heights, which has many advantageous locations to eat that really allow you to sit indoors.

It’s simple to fall for this cheap neighborhood eatery that didn’t ask to be thrust into the nationwide highlight. Ursula enables you to eat very effectively for peanuts. (Burritos for $11 every are giant sufficient to feed virtually as many individuals.) Smiling staff ship dishes from the tiny kitchen to al fresco tables with an abundance of cheer.

See’s menu attracts overdue consideration to the elements of New Mexico — particularly pink and inexperienced chiles from the state’s Hatch Valley area — which he appropriately says are under-represented in New York.  

Steve Cuozzo samples chorizo and vegan breakfast burritos at Ursula Brooklyn restaurant on Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
New York Publish columnist Steve Cuozzo tried each the chorizo and vegan breakfast burritos at Ursula.
James Keivom
Peanut butter and jelly donut, guava passion fruit Pop-Tart, rum cake, and Mexican wedding cookie at Ursula Brooklyn restaurant on Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
From left to proper: peanut butter and jelly doughnut, guava ardour fruit Pop-Tart, rum cake and Mexican marriage ceremony cookie.
James Keivom

However does that make Ursula extra worthy of a nationwide prize nomination than New York’s Le Pavillon, Iris or Carne Mare, marvelous, totally realized institutions led by nice cooks? In equity, Beard did additionally nominate thrilling Indian restaurant Dhamaka. But it surely’s arduous to inform what Beard even means by “new” — Ursula opened in 2020.

Actuality test: Ultimately, even the best burrito is only a burrito. Ursula’s oft-Instagrammed model with chorizo, scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheddar stuffed inside a flour tortilla delivered a payload of multiflavored, multitextured pleasure. Skillfully calibrated New Mexican pink chile lent a satisfying spark to the peerlessly cooked elements — with out scorching them.

The interior of Ursula Brooklyn.
Ursula’s inside consists of pleasant workers and a New Mexico-inspired menu.
James Keivom

However for my cash, the vegan quantity, anchored by pinto beans, had a pasty texture and restricted taste. Inexperienced-chile fried hen and floor beef sopaipillas have been palate-pleasing sandwiches too massive for regular human fingers.

Ursula’s lease is up this yr. See launched a GoFundMe marketing campaign to lift dough for a brand new dwelling. I positive hope he finds one. He deserves a correct setting with indoor seats and a full-size kitchen to point out us what he can do past burritos.

Ursula is open from 8 or 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. Wednesday by means of Sunday. Burritos and different breakfast gadgets can be found solely till midday, or earlier in the event that they run out; the remainder of the menu is on the market from 11:30 a.m. until closing. No telephone.

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