The stretch of Smith & Court Streets in the BoCoCa area has seen plenty of new restaurants opening up in the last few years, and most of them are places I’d like to try. My friend Donny had been to Karloff a couple of times, and he suggested meeting there for lunch a few weeks ago. It was one of the first really warm days of the year, so I started off the meal with a root beer float. No ordinary float, this was a scoop of vanilla halvah ice cream in a Russian soda called Baikal. The soda is rich and slightly spicy, and it made an excellent foil for the ice cream.
We started our meal by sharing an order of vareniki, or dumplings. You can order them in one of three varieties: meat, cherry, or potato. We got a small order of the potato variety (a small order is 12 dumplings, a large is 24). These were the highlight of the food that day — potato bombs full of flavor. It’s definitely worth spreading out the sour cream and grilled onions so that you get a little of both on each dumpling.
My three cheese sandwich was less successful. The mix of havarti, swiss, and cheddar was good enough, I suppose, but kind of boring. Worse still the menu said that all sandwiches come with mixed greens, sauerkraut, and pickles, yet my sandwich came with only the dry mixed greens and a few slices of tomatoes and onions.
Karloff has a ton of vegetarian stuff on their menu, from brunch dishes (a vegetarian brunch lasagna (!)) to hearty dinner fare (like a vegetarian stuffed pepper). I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Karloff — 254 Court St