Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Kellogg’s Diner currently holds a 2.7 on Yelp with 407 reviews. In other words, you should probably check out every other establishment in the neighborhood before settling on the Diner. That said, I’ve been a faithful patron for years—primarily because it’s open 24/7.
Late night it’s a total scene. A bouncer guards the front door, keeping a bullpen of aggressively drunk humans at bay. Servers casually saunter over to packed tables, taking omelet orders with zero sense of urgency. The overhead lighting is intense—like you just walked into a Shell station after a long drive down a dark suburban road.
Suffice it to say that despite the fact that the menu calls the mozzarella sticks “homemade,” we didn’t exactly have high hopes. Fortunately for us, we arrived at a reasonable hour for dinner and the restaurant was relatively quiet save the drone of the top 40 and a handful of tables. Our surly server had the amazing ability to take our order without making eye contact and remained more or less an enigma throughout our entire meal.
After half a diet coke, the sticks arrived…
For starters, the presentation was simple, yet appealing: four oversized sticks neatly arranged on a brightly colored green plate and served with a healthy amount of chunky marinara. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dish lacked the cliché base of limp romaine.
The sticks themselves looked heavenly. I’d estimate each stick was just over an inch in diameter. We were cautiously optimistic that a luxurious amount of cheese was encased inside that impeccably browned panko crust.
When we broke a stick in half, we all simply smiled at one another as the gooey mozzarella stretched in a thick, velvety ribbon. In fact, the cheese stayed at that perfect consistency while we indulged from start to finish.
After our first bite, it was clear that the breading was indeed adeptly fried. It was just the right thickness, crispiness and crumbliness to balance out the cheese ratio. The breading could have used just a dash more seasoning, but the texture was damn near perfect.
And since I’m doling out praise, the cheese was the real star of the dish. Mozzarella by its nature is a fairly mild cheese, but this variant managed to find complexity in its saltiness and tangy finish. Quite frankly, we all agreed we’d be happy eating the cheese by itself.
The only real strike against Kellogg’s mozzarella sticks had nothing to do with the sticks themselves, but rather with their accompaniment. While the sweetness of the sauce paired well with the sticks, it ultimately lacked depth and more resembled salsa in its chunky yet watery consistency; you had to scoop the sauce using the stick like a chip to get a decent amount of tomato. But here’s the deal: no one’s perfect.
When all is said and done, the mozzarella sticks were, in the words of my friend’s 90-year-old grandma, a gastronomical orgasm. Kellogg’s is one of our top picks for mozzarella stick enthusiasts. My only words of advice would be to try them before 4 o’clock in the morning.
|Price||$8.95 for 4 stix|