Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sweet from the Bitter: Checking Out Brooklyn, NY

For the past 4 years I have listed Kami, blogger-mom-educator extrodinaire and Seth, an amazing principal-dad and, yes, blogger, as the people to call if neither I, nor my ex-husband could pick the kids up from school. They, and their beautiful sons, are more than my best friends. They are my family. And with two incredible job opportunities and a love for New York, they just moved back to The City. More specifically, they moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn. So, while I am stuck with blank lines on my sons' back to school forms, it means a chance to explore New York and, Brooklyn, a borough I barely know. So I headed down for the first time to see their new home.

The good news?  A gluttonous chance to chow and to spend time with friends. Over the next few posts you will find out more about my trip to BKLYN Larder (awesome gourmet food store, charcuterie, lunch stop, prepared food stop), our insane Malaysian barbeque experience at Fatty 'Cue in Williamsburg, fabulous sushi and homemade tofu at Habino and homemade frozen yogurt at Culture.

Some other stops I made while I was there:

The Clay Pot at 162 7th Avenue, Brooklyn: I last visited this craft store about 10 years ago. I loved it then and still do now, full of gorgeous hand crafted housewares, jewelry and accessories.

Sky Ice at 63 5th Avenue, Corner of St. Marks Ave, Brooklyn: In addition to authentic Thai dishes, this place has homemade ices (sorbets, really) in a rainbow of colors and flavors that I had never tried. Sapota, anyone? Or Dragonfruit? Magosteen or durian? I ended up chosing a "sampler" which were 5 generous scoops all served in little chocolate shells. The Mango was vegan, but creamy. The fresh coconut was a bit too sweet for my taste. The lemongrass was bright and, well, vegetal. The watermelon-strawberry was refreshing. But, my favorite by far? The lychee-rose. The two flavors complimented each other beautifully, the floral of one bouncing off the tartness of the other.

I made a few pit stops at Gorilla Coffee, on of the many artisan coffeshops, for their dark roast and cold-brewed iced coffee.

I was disappointed with the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Whether because of financial cutbacks or simply the hot summer heat, the place looked weathered and saddened. That being said, I look forward to returning at other seasons as it is simply so large and diverse.

We had breakfast at Miriam, an Israeli establishment. We dipped warmed pitas into Shakshuka: poached eggs sitting lazily in a pureed tomato sauce. The Israeli salad was refreshing after a night eating meat, though it was a bit heavy on the olives. Overall I was reminded that, no breakfast does not have to be pancakes, toast, or croissants.

After a dip in the Red Hook Pool we lunched the New York way: At El Olomega, a Salvadoran Pupusa food truck. The homemade pupusas were creamy, cheesy and filled with bits of loroco flower. The dish was served traditionally with fuschia pickled cabbage, a squirt of crema and hot sauce. For $2.50 it was one of the cheapest lunches I have had in New York, ever. We sipped up horchata which the vendor patiently explained was made with ground Morro seed. It tasted like sweetened milk, even though it was actually vegan.

Feel free, then to e-mail me or comment with other most-see Brooklyn experiences. 'Cause I can guarantee I will be back.

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