The spots for sprouts

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Five Leaves, $8: These Brussels sprouts are topped with whole pecans that gives this dish a toasty, nutty flavor — not to mention a serious crunch. Additionally, these lightly fried mini cabbages are tossed with a few sprigs of salad greens, providing a healthy and fresh-tasting topping to this sweet, sticky, spicy, mouth-wateringly delicious side dish.

Five Leaves [18 Bedford Ave. at Lorimer Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-5346]

Chuko, $7: These quartered and lightly fried brussels (pictured) are sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time, making for the most flavorful veggie side dish you can possibly hope for. Slathered in tangy fish sauce and topped with slightly crumbled honey roasted peanuts and thinly sliced hot chili peppers, these brussels are hot and crispy on the outside, and perfectly tender on the inside. This Asian-fusion reimagining of the Brussels sprout is indicative of the vegetable’s resurgence: it’s crept its way into every cuisine.

Chuko [552 Vanderbilt Ave. at Dean Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 576-6701]

The Vanderbilt, $5: There’s a reason the Vanderbilt’s Brussels are perhaps the most celebrated in Brooklyn. These little guys are quartered and lightly deep fried, leaving the outside leaves hot, crisp and oily, and the insides warm and tender, but never too soft. Then, they’re tossed in a vinaigrette made with Sriracha, honey and fresh lime, with a spare sprinkle of cilantro and sesame seeds ontop. The Sriracha kick lingers on the tongue, and in the back of the throat, just long enough to bring some heat, while the honey and lime complement each other, creating a versatile flavor trajectory that includes sweet, spicy, salty, smoky, and sour at once.

The Vanderbilt [570 Vanderbilt Ave. at Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 623-0570]

Prime Meats, $7: In typical Prime Meats fashion, these beautiful Brussels are tossed with — you guessed it — bacon. But that’s not all: these pan-fried Brussels served with a liberal sprinkle of thick, savory, smoky bacon bits are also generously adorned with plump pink pomegranate seeds, adding a sweet, sour and fresh pop to every bite.

Prime Meats [465 Court St. at Luquer Streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 254-0327]

Vinegar Hill House, $8: Everything at Vinegar Hill House is scrumptious, and the tender, lightly fried Brussels sprouts are no exception. Slathered in thick, tangy whole-grain mustard and topped with toasted hazelnuts, these Brussels are satisfying and flavorful without being too heavy or overpowering; the perfect side to any dish. But take warning: you might not want to share.

Vinegar Hill House [72 Hudson Ave. between Front and Water streets in Vinegar Hill, (718) 522-1018]

No. 7, $6: Brussels sprouts with chili and garlic — simple, sophisticated, largely absent of bells, whistles, and heavy sauces, allowing the integrity of the versatile vegetable to shine.

No. 7 [7 Greene Ave. between Cumberland and S. Oxford streets in Fort Greene, (718) 522-6370]

Updated 5:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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