The Piccolo Cafe on Columbia Steet has opened, and has already established itself as a lovable slice of Brooklyn-style eccentricity. The interior boasts a stark minimalism that would please Donald Judd. A long white counter, a grill, a few brown tables, some chairs, a fridge for sodas, and nothing else. No pictures, no tablecloths, no swank lighting fixtures.
The menu beats McSorley's for simplicity. For breakfast, you can get an egg sandwich. If you're a fancy pants, you can get it with cheese, ham, bacon, or "salad." For lunch, you're welcome to a cheeseburger ($3). No mention of a plain hamburger on the chalkboard. If you're really hungry, you can get your cheeseburger with macaroni. Don't look for chips or fries. They're not here.
There's also coffee.
A stout woman, who could be a holdover from Columbia Street's pushcart days, mans the cafe. I asked her if more items were going to be added to the menu. "Maybe," she said. "We'll see how business goes."
I orders a egg sandwich with ham and cheese. She labored over it for ten minutes. It was good. And the price, $3, was right. Piccolo may have something going here. No one else in the immediate neighborhood can make a decent egg sandwich for that price.