Restaurant Review: Food Swings

Food Swings
295 Grand Street
(between Roebling Street and Havemeyer Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Vegiboys Rating (3/4)

At the center of the NYC hipster community with their storefront on Grand Street in Williamsburg, Food Swings has the feel of a modernized soda shop: a sort of mix between bohemian diner and fast-food venue, with a comfortably-sized dining room furnished in black and whites. It’s a counter service sort of place, with a large chalkboard menu ready to satisfy gastronomic desires.

This is not the place to go for light or healthy-style fare. Fast food creations are the heart of Food Swings’ menu, emphasizing deep-fried and cheese-covered items, from burgers and fries, to wings and shakes.

We placed our requests with the friendly and helpful counter attendant, and then established ourselves at a table in the center of the room. All of our food arrived en masse in small red plastic baskets, giving the meal a carnival-esque touch.

We had ordered a selection of their wings. The buffalo wings had a great texture and an amazing hot-sauce coating (these have long ranked among the city’s best vegetarian wings for Brian). The southern-fried wing and a sweet southern-fried BBQ wing both had a crisp exterior that proved very satisfying. Finally, a grilled BBQ wing had far less marinade than the others in the basket, but the smoky flavor was absolutely delicious. The platter of wings was joined by a blue cheese dip that matched wonderfully with all of the wings.

My Vegan Heart Attack burger handled like a sloppy joe. Within the chaos between the buns were a chili-like burger (in both taste and texture), a slab of soy bacon, cheeses, the usual array of burger toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle), and a vegan mayo.

Brian’s Chick’n Cutlet Bacon Ranch was a sturdier sandwich with breaded faux-chicken breast, a slice of soy bacon (ham-like in flavor and consistency), some usual toppings (lettuce, tomato, and onion), and a ranch dressing.

Both of these were accompanied by a generous helping of fries (they had a rough outer coating that again reminded us of the sort of food found at a summer carnival). To drink, we enjoyed Blue Sky sodas, though Food Swings also has a nice list of milkshakes and floats.

All-in-all, while not an everyday-eating sort of place, our meals had the sort of simple decadence received from eating on the Coney Island boardwalk – less attention given to refinement and more to capturing soul in their cuisine. Balancing a folk-approach to cooking with unique flavors is a rare skill among restaurants, and for that Food Swings wins our respect.

At $13.75, the price is also an incredible bargain (among the cheapest cost to a full vegetarian meal that we’ve encountered thus far). Food Swings also serves as a great post-bar, late-night noshing spot for Brooklynites and their companions on the weekends (open until 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights).

Food (3/4)

Atmosphere & Service

Value (3.5/4)

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