While wandering through Brooklyn's Dumbo I noticed a little cafe/bar whose sidewalk chalk board noted, "Kitchen open till 11 AM." It was 7 p.m., I thought I'd check it out. As I walked into the Dumbo General Store, I definitely sensed a hipster-vibe, but the place had a nice atmosphere. There was cool, if loud, jazz music playing, vintage tables and chairs, a seating area with a sofa and arm chairs for chatting over a cup of coffee, and an actual store in the back, selling art.
I took a seat at the bar to get a drink, and dining alone I asked what was best on the menu. The bartender suggested going for half a panini and half a salad, and recommended the goat cheese salad and roast chicken panini. I took him up on that and was definitely pleased. The salad was very flavorful with very rich and creamy goat cheese on top.
The panini was amazing. So often I have a sandwich where the bread drowns out all the other flavors, even if the bread is good, it needs to be in the right balance with the other flavors, and this sandwich got it spot on. The bread was crusty and crunchy, the chicken and tomatoes were complimented very nicely with a "special herbed citron mayonnaise" that reminded me of the mustard sauce from Max Brenners, and all together the flavors and textures came together perfectly.
And to boot, I told the bartender about the sign outside, which was supposed to read "Kitchen open till 11 PM," and he gave me a free beer. I tipped well and my total was still only $20.