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The Hothouse: Brooklyn's Answer to Southern Comfort Food

By Elisha Neubauer

While New York is known for its city life- it's no match for good ol' Southern hospitality. Ben Grossman and Craig Samuel looked to change all that when they began the B + C restaurant chain. The down-home chain began in 2006 with an iconic barbeque spot called The Smoke Joint in Fort Greene. After being met with mass approval, they opted to open a second Southern-themed restaurant named Peaches in 2008. Within the next few years, the pair opened three more eateries- Marietta, Little Brother BBQ, and The HotHouse.

"When we first opened Peaches HotHouse, our inspiration was the traditional 'meat and threes' of Nashville, Tennessee," say Grossman and Samuel when asked about their concept. "These are simple cafes featuring handmade, easily recognizable food. These cafes are frequented by locals and have simple menus where one could choose from proteins like Fried Catfish, Baked Chicken or Smothered Pork Chops and then select two sides and a piece of cornbread."

Given a spectacular 4.5 star rating on online review websites such as Yelp!, UrbanSpoon, and TripAdvisor, the HotHouse has clearly carved a niche for itself in the Brooklyn community. Reviewers claim the food is, "Divine," "Incredible," and "Best they've ever had."

It wouldn't be Southern food without Southern hospitality. "When our guests first arrive, we want them to feel the same welcome that they would feel returning to their family home. From the greeting when they open the door to the personality of our servers, our style of service is designed to wrap our guests in a warm atmosphere and encourage interactions with both employees and other guests," Grossman and Samuel explain.

"Peaches was an instant hit, but some guests were surprised by our modern spin on Southern dishes. Many regulars loved what we do at Peaches so much that they would special order dishes from their youth or things they experienced while traveling. We saw the need for a restaurant featuring these dishes and when a space became available six blocks away, we jumped on it. We decided to use it as an opportunity to cook some of those dishes that we ourselves love but hadn't found a place for on our other restaurants' menus. Hello Nashville Style Hot Chicken!"

HotHouse aims to bring Southern cooking to the North, creating a space where guests can behave as if they're with friends instead of in a restaurant. If you get a chance to swing by and say hello, take it! You won't regret sampling Brooklyn's version of good, old-fashioned comfort food.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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