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The Early Word on Van Horn Sandwich Shop

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Krieger, 01/27/11

Late January saw the opening of Van Horn Sandwich Shop, a restaurant in Cobble Hill from North Carolina native Jacob Van Horn with Commodore and Roberta's vet Rick Hauchman crafting the menu of Southern-inspired sandwiches and sides. How Southern? Well, they've got fried chicken, hush puppies, and two really authentic offerings in Brunswick stew and pimento cheese. Sandwich joints are pretty common these days but will the Dixie flair here be enough for them to stand out? To the early word:

The Great News: G'Day Bklyn may have finally found the fried chicken of her dreams. "I may have met the fried chicken I always think I am going to get. It came in a huge, thick portion piled on a toasted bun with red slaw at the just-opened Van Horn Sandwich Shop on Court Street, Cobble Hill. I don't usually write about places after only one visit but an hour after finishing that sandwich, and I am still thinking about biting into the delicious fried chicken. A pickle and some tastily dressed greens come with the simple sandwich. I have to return with a group next time to justify ordering a Pimms Cup and sides of hush puppies, mac and cheese, roasted beets and collard greens. While Southern at heart and in menu, the eatery has a clean, modern feel with high bentwood stools and plenty of bar space so that eating alone, as I did, doesn't feel conspicuous." [G'Day Bklyn]

The "Surprisingly Neat" News: The Strong Buzz is delighted to see the trend of fantastic sandwich shops continue to grow. "We tried two Van Horn specialty sandwiches this weekend. The chicken was very good: a remarkably juicy cutlet wrapped in a heavy crunchy winter coat of cornflake and bread crumb, so large it overcomes its soft sesame seed bun ($12), and the vinegary pulled pork ($11), tremendous on flavor, yet surprisingly neat to eat, especially for pulled pork. The tangle of smoky swine is tucked perfectly inside a soft roll and topped with shredded cabbage. No mess!" [The Strong Buzz]

The "Southern Approved" News: Bluegrass in New York is excited for the Southern stylings to be found here. "I stopped in today with my wife and we tasted the stew and the pulled pork sandwich. Everything was great and really fresh- the hushpuppies reminded me of my childhood in Southside Virginia. Junior Brown was playing on the stereo, and the owners, Rick and Jacob, were both at the bar greeting their new customers. Van Horn boasts a back yard that will open in spring. We look forward to eating red beets, fried chicken, pork and slaw and listening to sounds of the south this spring. Give Van Horn a try when you can." [Bluegrass in New York]

The Awesome News: Chowhounder lambretta76 files a very positive review. "Cute space, much more welcoming than previous establishments in that location. Mac and cheese ($5) -- almost a cheesy lasagna with an oven-roasted tomato on top, delicious and creamy, but could have been warmer. Smallish portion, but it's a side and it's super rich; a bigger portion would be overkill unless they offer as a main. Hush puppies ($3) -- ridiculously good. Fluffy and crisp, served with honey butter for slathering. Four to an order, some of the best unadulterated hush puppies I've had in a very long time. Bacon, Lettuce, Pimento Cheese Sandwich ($8) -- Are you kidding? Of course it was awesome -- mild pimento cheese (which probably works better for sandwiches than my pickle juice and Duke's mayo-blasted version I make at home), peppery bacon, and Boston lettuce on that great griddled bread. Will definitely be going back, although I imagine that the next time it will be much more crowded." [CH]

The Mostly Good News: Yelper David S. likes the place for the most part but isn't entirely in love with it. "Two stars for the friendly staff and nice decor, three stars for the tasty fried chicken and BLT sandwiches, but minus one for the this-just-tastes-like-vinegar pork sandwich and slight overpricing. Priced like Mile End, but not as tasty. Still, a unique addition to the nabe and brand new so may work out kinks in pork sandwich and pricing. Worth a try!" [Yelp]

The Bangin' News: Yelper Megan I., on the other hand, is a bit more enthusiastic in her appraisal. "My bf and I shared the chicken sandwich and BLP (bacon, lettuce, pimento cheese) and they were both bangin'. Staff is incredibly friendly and cares about the success of the establishment. As a west coaster, I've never had pimento cheese before, and this was a delightful and tasty welcome. The fried chicken in the chicken sandwich was moist, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Definitly foresee many drunkie and non-drunkie stops here in the future." [Yelp]

The Foursquare Check-In News: Two folks who've checked in on Foursquare were good enough to leave some tips. Devin W. clearly is a fan of the pimento cheese. "Pimento cheese sandwich. Put some south in your mouth." Joe C. warns that this may not be the most diet-friendly of places. "BLT is delish, because the Pullman loaf is as fresh as DJ Jazzy Jeff's prince. Tomato fresh in Jan. too! If u need salad because you're getting fat, get the chix salad, tho it's slightly unhealthy." [Foursquare]

Van Horn Sandwich Shop

231 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 596-9707

Van Horn Sandwich Shop

231 Court St., NY 11201