Another beautiful day in the neighborhood! Today is going to involve covering a bit more territory, so I have enlisted a partner in crime to join my expedition. We still won’t make a dent in the cultural offerings and exceptional foods of Brooklyn, not to mention the physical area this great city encompasses. This could take all summer! Yay! How lucky am I that this particular adventure requires little more than a MetroCard, HopStop, and some imagination? Good thing too, since my next plane ticket has yet to be purchased… my inner gypsy needs all the stimulation she can find and Brooklyn fits her budget.
A very slow moving morning landed me very close to home for breakfast – classic Belgian pastries and an iced green tea at Colson on the corner of 9th Street and 6th Avenue. Actually, I don’t know how classic my goat cheese and roasted pepper turnover was, but the pastry was flaky, delicate, buttery, and baked perfectly (no soggy spots). I’m happy and ready for the real adventure to begin.
A short ride on the G train brings us to Clinton Hill (C train would bring you to the door), a rapidly gentrifying, but still fun and funky neighborhood. Our destination is Habana Outpost (757 Fulton Street at S. Portland), the far more colorful and exciting sister restaurant of Café Habana in NoLita. Just walking up to this place makes you happy! You can easily imagine that you are on a Caribbean island with all the brightly colored umbrellas, tables, walls, and huge red food truck parked in the middle of the lot. The 90-degree weather only helped the illusion along! You order your food and drinks inside the restaurant then take your ticket and your well priced margarita out to the truck where the chef will cook your food to order – a decent Cubano sandwich, an amazing ear of grilled corn with queso blanco, a good cactus salad (too many red onions), and screamin’ hot fried sweet plantains. The best part about this place is the ambiance and the laid back, diverse clientele. Hoping to make this a regular stop this summer – I imagine it is a great place to spend an evening. Next time, I’ll hit the “corn and a drink” express line.
Next time I’m in the area, I will definitely try Bati, the Ethiopian restaurant just down the street at 747 Fulton. I’ve heard good things but just couldn’t do two big meals that close together in this heat. But, I did manage a visit to Cake Man Raven’s shop at 708 Fulton Street for a piece of his famous red velvet cake, to go. Yes, it was worth all the hype and the $6/slice price tag. I can say that I never really got the whole red velvet thing, but this is damn good cake!
From Clinton Hill, we headed over to DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park to walk off lunch and work up an appetite for the multi-course dessert ahead. We already had our red velvet cake in hand. A stop at Jacques Torres chocolates provided us with one of the best chocolate chip cookies in NYC and a “wicked” frozen hot chocolate (chiles and chocolate – say no more!). If this wasn’t enough, we topped it all off with a scoop of handmade ice cream (coffee for me, chocolate chunk for my partner in crime) from the Brooklyn Bridge Ice Cream Factory. Overkill? Possibly. But so good, it was worth not eating dinner tonight!