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

Kelsey W. Popham


Ursula is not America’s finest new cafe. Ursula is scarcely a restaurant at all — only a takeout storefront in Crown Heights with a couple of outdoor seats.

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

It is not just Beard lavishing praise on this New Mexico-encouraged eatery, which serves breakfast burritos and a couple lunch sandwiches. Grub Avenue extolled, “Ursula could be America’s best new cafe.” Eater New York and the New Yorker went bananas more than it. It’s one particular of the New York Times’ “upcoming terrific breakfast places.” prominently showcased 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
Eco-friendly-chile fried chicken sandwich (left) and stuffed ground beef sopaipillas.
James Keivom

Sorry to burst the burrito bubble, but inspite of acquiring the finest burrito in city, Ursula isn’t even the greatest cafe in Crown Heights, which has several wonderful destinations to eat that essentially enable you sit indoors.

It’s easy to tumble for this affordable community eatery that didn’t check with to be thrust into the countrywide highlight. Ursula lets you consume quite perfectly for peanuts. (Burritos for $11 each individual are massive ample to feed practically as quite a few individuals.) Smiling staff deliver dishes from the little kitchen to al fresco tables with an abundance of cheer.

See’s menu attracts overdue consideration to the elements of New Mexico — especially purple and green chiles from the state’s Hatch Valley region — which he accurately 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 Write-up columnist Steve Cuozzo attempted both equally 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 still left to ideal: peanut butter and jelly doughnut, guava passion fruit Pop-Tart, rum cake and Mexican wedding day cookie.
James Keivom

But does that make Ursula extra deserving of a countrywide prize nomination than New York’s Le Pavillon, Iris or Carne Mare, great, fully realized establishments led by wonderful cooks? In fairness, Beard did also nominate thrilling Indian cafe Dhamaka. But it’s difficult to notify what Beard even signifies by “new” — Ursula opened in 2020.

Truth test: In the close, even the very best burrito is just a burrito. Ursula’s oft-Instagrammed model with chorizo, scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheddar stuffed inside of a flour tortilla shipped a payload of multiflavored, multitextured satisfaction. Skillfully calibrated New Mexican purple chile lent a fulfilling spark to the flawlessly cooked elements — with no scorching them.

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

But for my money, the vegan amount, anchored by pinto beans, had a pasty texture and restricted flavor. Eco-friendly-chile fried rooster and floor beef sopaipillas had been palate-satisfying sandwiches far too large for normal human arms.

Ursula’s lease is up this 12 months. See introduced a GoFundMe marketing campaign to elevate dough for a new house. I certain hope he finds 1. He deserves a good location with indoor seats and a full-measurement kitchen area to exhibit us what he can do beyond burritos.

Ursula is open from 8 or 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. Wednesday by Sunday. Burritos and other breakfast items are available only until noon, or previously if they run out the rest of the menu is accessible from 11:30 a.m. till closing. No cellular phone.


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