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

Ursula is not America’s finest new cafe. Ursula is barely a cafe at all — only a takeout storefront in Crown Heights with a few out of doors seats.

But this sweet minimal location is, ridiculously, a James Beard Award nominee for Greatest New Cafe in the overall U S of A — a coveted honor previously gained by the Large Apple’s Momofuku Ko, Le Coucou and Frenchette. (This year’s winners will be announced in June.)

It isn’t just Beard lavishing praise on this New Mexico-influenced eatery, which serves breakfast burritos and a couple lunch sandwiches. Grub Street extolled, “Ursula may possibly be America’s greatest new cafe.” Eater New York and the New Yorker went bananas over it. It is 1 of the New York Times’ “following wonderful breakfast places.” prominently highlighted the recipe for Albuquerque-born chef-proprietor Eric See’s chorizo-and-scrambled eggs burrito.

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

Sorry to burst the burrito bubble, but even with acquiring the best burrito in town, Ursula is not even the most effective restaurant in Crown Heights, which has a lot of wonderful areas to take in that actually permit you sit indoors.

It’s straightforward to tumble for this cheap neighborhood eatery that did not ask to be thrust into the countrywide highlight. Ursula allows you try to eat really properly for peanuts. (Burritos for $11 each individual are large ample to feed nearly as quite a few men and women.) Smiling staff members supply dishes from the small kitchen to al fresco tables with an abundance of cheer.

See’s menu attracts overdue notice to the components of New Mexico — particularly red and eco-friendly chiles from the state’s Hatch Valley area — which he the right way suggests 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 Article columnist Steve Cuozzo tried out 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 passion fruit Pop-Tart, rum cake and Mexican marriage cookie.
James Keivom

But does that make Ursula extra worthy of a national prize nomination than New York’s Le Pavillon, Iris or Carne Mare, great, totally recognized institutions led by wonderful cooks? In fairness, Beard did also nominate thrilling Indian restaurant Dhamaka. But it is challenging to inform what Beard even indicates by “new” — Ursula opened in 2020.

Actuality check out: In the end, even the very best burrito is just a burrito. Ursula’s oft-Instagrammed edition with chorizo, scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheddar stuffed inside a flour tortilla delivered a payload of multiflavored, multitextured satisfaction. Skillfully calibrated New Mexican pink chile lent a satisfying spark to the flawlessly cooked ingredients — devoid of scorching them.

The interior of Ursula Brooklyn.
Ursula’s inside involves friendly personnel and a New Mexico-encouraged menu.
James Keivom

But for my income, the vegan quantity, anchored by pinto beans, experienced a pasty texture and limited flavor. Environmentally friendly-chile fried chicken and ground beef sopaipillas ended up palate-pleasing sandwiches much too big for regular human palms.

Ursula’s lease is up this 12 months. See released a GoFundMe marketing campaign to raise dough for a new household. I guaranteed hope he finds 1. He deserves a proper environment with indoor seats and a complete-sizing kitchen to display us what he can do further than burritos.

Ursula is open from 8 or 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. Wednesday via Sunday. Burritos and other breakfast products are available only till midday, or previously if they operate out the rest of the menu is obtainable from 11:30 a.m. till closing. No phone.

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