Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Food Tourism (The Time We Ate Our Way Through Winter)

To combat the soul crushing polar vortex we experienced this winter,  we’ve been taking a lot of car rides around the borough of Brooklyn.  We’ve discovered some hidden culinary gems in overlooked neighborhoods like Ditmas Park and BedStuy and one great date night go-to option in the West Village.  Here are some of our winter 2014 favorites.

Scratch Bread:   We braved the elements on two separate Sundays to get nourished at Scratch Bread in BedStuy. The Mr. calls it a fly trap because the line, even in the January freeze was 25 people deep!  This window-only establishment serves up a delectable cup filled with a soft boiled, runny egg,  grits and a topping of your choice which include mouthwatering options like pesto, smoked almond romesco, or jalepeno sauce.  Its the perfect to-go breakfast food for days when you want something a little more special than your standard homemade eggs, but don’t want to drop the cash on a champagne brunch.  On both trips to Scratch, we shared our food with the little miss in the back seat of our car. Well be back this spring to try the pizzas, the hot sticky mess (custard soaked sticky buns!) and hopefully bring some baked goods to a park nearby.

Mimi’s Humus:  Aside for the authentic Middle Eastern food, my favorite aspect of this Ditmas Park gem is the design of the dining room. Perforated wood lined walls and white penny tiled floors with pops of sage  and persimmon on the walls,   the modern design influence highlights the simplicity of the delicious, creamy and authentic humus dishes and brunch-y shakshukas (poached eggs in sauce). Garlic and cumin aromas will awaken your taste buds upon entering this cozy cafe. The large windows and relaxed ambiance at Mimi’s are a good alternative for when you’re thinking of Marrakesh or Tel Aviv but are stuck in Brooklyn.

Chez Sardine – We’ve spent two date nights at this restaurant, named after one of my favorite canned foods, and would still return for the well -edited Japanese small plates menu. Creative sushi rolls, our favorite features crushed pretzels, pickled onions and salmon, evoking an incredible Sunday bagel, are served up in an tiny yet airy dining room on a  charming West Village corner.  Add cool beats, hipster waiters and a nice bathroom and you’ve got what New York Times’ Pete Wells calls “Asian Stoner Food.”

L&B Spumoni – When we visited this Midwood stronghold with our friends who recently moved to Park Slope from Venice Beach, CA we reveled in the mobster history of the pizza.   We shared two of L&B’s classic Sicilian style saucy pies inside and played nicely with the corner slices. Spumoni ice cream, a traditional mixture of lemon, pistachio and chocolate was our desert, which we ordered behind a women who advised the scooper to ‘pack it in.” L&B’s  massive front yard was empty but come summer, fuggetabout getting a seat.

Cafe La Mejor – This tiny Bushwick coffee shop has great vibes.   In the darkness of winter, the florescent candy colors of this cafeteria perfectly convey the tropical, retro sensibility of Havana, the gorgeous city we visited just before the Mr. and I got engaged.  The little miss made a friend outside the bright shop and sat still long enough for her parents to drink a Cafe Con Leche which is prepared with a dallop of whipped butter and salt. mm.  We’ll definitely be back to celebrate our love for Cuba and support this local gem.

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This past weekend, I lost my phone of 3 years on the way back to Brooklyn after I had a little too much fun on our night out in honor of Whitney Houston. My gadget was on its death bed, but I felt unsettled about the loss instead of lucky.  Thank god for my husband who distracted me on my cell-less Sunday with a real estate hunt around Brooklyn Heights and rare trip on the G train. We got off on Nassau Avenue and after attempting to have a late lunch as the painfully hip Five Leaves was switching its menus, we ended up sitting cozy by the fireplace at Spritzenhaus33 (33 Nassau Avenue) drinking cider and sharing a large pretzel.  We left and went to Radegast Hall and Biergarten  for my cousin’s 25th birthday and bumped into my aunt and another cousin! While I didn’t eat anything, the food looked and smelled amazing and a great jazz band was playing ragtag! I’ll have to go back for my belgium frite fix asap, everyone’s invited!  After bidding the birthday girl adieu we were on our way to Cafe de La Esquina in Williamsburg (225 Wythe Avenue) for a pre-dinner snack! The Brooklyn spinoff of the original La Esquina is housed in an authentic  vintage diner, which is truly my kind of milieu for just about any type of snack! Phoneless, I grabbed the latest Vogue off a nearby magazine rack and devoured it during a lengthy wait.  We were finally rewarded with two messy fish tacos, wrapped in a corn tortilla and smothered in spicy slaw. The familiar taste brought me back to the good old days in Nolita but I was ready to ditch this slow as molasses waitress and get out of the cold for good!  We retired to Dumbo in time for the Grammy’s and Ms. Swift’s performance which inspired the #heehaw trend on twitter!After a restful off the grid type Sunday, I was feeling so relaxed, I wondered how long I could last without a mobile gadget.  A friend of mine often fantasizes about going off the grid on a regular basis, I’d like to join her, yet both our significant others are frustrated with the idea of not being able to reach us! ( the antithesis of Waiting For Him To Call!)  My cellular hiatus was short lived.  Monday evening after work, I went to the Tmobile store and plugged myself back into the human network. No one can find me right now, I thought in my post-work, midtown anxiety, before 3 customer service reps worked slowly to set up a new phone for me.  My New Year’s resolution of starting a blog must go on! While its not an Iphone, my new blackberry has a built in twitter and facebook app! Not that advanced I know, but at least me and all my BBM friends and family don’t feel guilty about supporting Chinese  child labor!  Now that’s a reason to disconnect!

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