- scene: Hip retro diner that is not trying too hard
- sip: Fun, soda counter inspired cocktails with a kick; BOOZY EGG CREAM; also beer wine, etc
- savor: Fried burrata; turkey club; fried chicken; burger
- sit: With a group for a night out; with a friend at the bar for drinks and bites after work; by yourself at the bar to cure all that ails you
- spend: $$
- address: 68 Greenpoint Avenue (BK)
- phone number: (347)422-0645
- website: hailmarybk.com
To quote Crazy Stupid Love, Hail Mary is the “perfect combination of sexy and cute.” It is located in Greepoint (cute), run by Ham and Sohla, a husband and wife team who met in culinary school (sexy), has a laid-back retro diner vibe (cute) and features homemade ingredients (sexy sexy.) Hail Mary is also both a destination and a locals place; the food is perfect to eat while drinking at the bar, but good enough that you will most certainly crave it as a proper meal in it’s own right. My meal included down and dirty pimento cheese, perfectly soft octopus, fried burrata in marinara, fried chicken, a ridiculous burger, a turkey club and an ice cream sundae. While those items might sound approachable and possibly unsophisticated, they all demonstrated both heart and ambition, and were executed by an extremely skilled hand.
…Are you still there? Or have you stopped reading and run out to Greeepoint? Did I mention they even make their own “Doritos?”
I chatted with Hail Mary owners Ham and Sohla to get some additional insight into their quirky, delicious world…
On the inspiration for the decor and menu:
The space and budget dictated the decor. Our design was all about getting bang for your buck which is why we went for bright colors and heavily patterned wallpaper. Sohla always remembers the scene from ET in the pizza shop and that was the inspiration for the tiffany lamps. The most important thing with the design is that everything is comfortable. Hooks everywhere to hang anything and padding everywhere. The menu is inspired by our favorite things to eat. We grew up eating family style so we also wanted to make sure everything was easy to share. We also have a passion for sustainable, local products but wanted to present them in a familiar, unpretentious way.
On being a couple and working together: (Pants Facts for $100, Alex: our parents also were a couple who built a successful restaurant together.)
Like any business relationship, it has its highs and lows. Sohla handles the business aspect and all aspects of the food are collaborative.
On plans for the future:
Our plans are to make this restaurant as successful as possible. We have other ideas for concepts in the pipeline, but we are not even thinking about those yet. This has taken up too much of our brain power!
On Instagrammers taking photos of their food before they eat it:
We don’t mind. We just hope that they are quick because we are always worried that their food is going cold
On what makes their buttons burst- where they like to eat off duty, and what they crave:
Right now our favorites are Mission Chinese Food and Roberta’s. We like going to a place where we can gorge on consistently, excellent food. We don’t have a lot of free time, so usually on our one free day we do Roberta’s for a large lunch and Mission for a larger dinner. We rarely cook at home but when we do, we usually cook the largest ribeye we can find with some roasted potatoes and salad. The salad usually goes uneaten. Sohla constantly craves dosas and pizza. Ham always wants a traditional Lebanese chicken shawarma with extra garlic whip. Always. At all hours of the day.
(p.s. I love chicken shawarma more than I should as well…)