Battle of the Brooklyn Egg Creams: Brooklyn Farmacy vs. Hinsch's

So it was on to Bay Ridge, where Hinsch's crimson neon sign and low-slung green awning have beckoned Fifth Avenue passersby since 1948. Inside, there were no knitted children's hats for sale, but there was plenty of Formica, chrome, and wood paneling. A small flock of elderly waitresses tended to diners in an unhurried but attentive fashion, and welcomed new arrivals with, "Sit wherever you like."

The egg cream at Hinsch's costs $2. It is not made with U-Bet, but from syrup made on the restaurant's premises. And it is most likely not made from organic milk. Still, its combination of syrup, seltzer, and milk tasted ... almost exactly like Brooklyn Farmacy's. As the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" played in the background, we sipped and sipped, trying to find any major, egregious differences that would have made the egg cream so deserving of Freeman's disdain. But we couldn't, though the milk wasn't quite as frothy as the Farmacy's. Otherwise, it, like Freeman's creation, was an extremely solid egg cream, one worthy of Lou Reed's nostalgia.

Really, the only differences we discerned between the two egg creams were their surroundings. And while we admired the Brooklyn Farmacy's impeccable renovation, we were more moved by Hinsch's un-self-conscious, slightly dog-eared beauty. Nobody there is trying to best anybody or prove anything, and while Freeman has indeed succeeded in creating a very tasty egg cream, Hinsch's utter lack of pretension makes theirs go down a little easier.

Hinsch's Luncheonette
8518 Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Farmacy
513 Henry Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn


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