i spent the greater part of this past weekend exploring brooklyn, by way of my stomach. it was such fun.
first stop was baked, a new bakery on van brunt. the F train to smith/9th street, then the B77 bus to van brunt. a super cool space with a brown and orange theme, and a spectacular carved stag mirror behind the counter. a. and i proceeded to eat a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and an oatmeal cookie that she proclaimed "the best one she had ever eaten" (it had flecks of coconut). accompanied by two cafe con leches. and good times.
i had only ever been to red hook once, at night, at the liberty heights tap room. during the day, it is so appealing...crumbling brick facades with traces of old painted lettering, stray cats and tumbleweeds, rusted out car parts, and then a hidden gem of an antique shop, and the waterfront in view, and some cobblestone streets. also, in the air: grilled meats. seriously. i was really disappointed that i had not brought my camera; there were so many good things to see.
the next stop, via a rambling exploratory walk, were the soccer fields in red hook, to partake of the mexican and dominican food stands that line two sides of the park. you'll find these stands at clinton and bay. so much like mexico, the ad hoc stands were grilling up meats, slicing up fresh fruit, and frying up arepas. i grinned with the realization that, unlike in oaxaca, i could here eat everything including the produce without a worry of bacterial infection. probably.
we were full from the cookies, but managed to pack away fried sweet plantains, fried yuca, a chicken and cheese arepa with pickled cabbage, and a sweet corn tamale with sour cream. for dessert, a bag of incredibly fresh sliced mango, eaten with a plastic fork, as we walked up clinton street all the way to brooklyn heights. clinton street is an architectural marvel, and seen with blossoming trees, a cool breeze, sunshine, sliced mango, and a good friend: priceless.
i then headed back to red hook, hoping to meet up with a new friend at le'nell's spirit shop for a bourbon tasting. i did not find my friend there. instead i found a hipster bluegrass band outside and a calico kitty. red hook is SO LOVEABLE.
dinner with h. and k. at beast, the new tapas bar in prospect heights, where we had fried manchego bites, olives, bread, wine, salad, ribs, burgers and brownies. i loved this place.
sunday i cheated on brooklyn and had lattes from mud, and then brunch at 9th street market. always delicious. headed out to the brooklyn design show with c. and saw many incredible things, including the poeple who designed the stag mirror i had loved so much at baked the day before. brooklyn is small like that, in a good way. i will not break down the design show because there are many other blogs better suited for that (see design sponge).
mother's day dinner in brooklyn heights at e. and a.'s was excellent, as dinners at their house always are. lamb, flageolets, cabbage salad and roasted asparagus. a cornucopia of simple, delicious dishes. low on the carbs, high on the flavor. plus a chance to get all the families together and every one had a good time.
by this time, my heart and stomach were swelling with love for brooklyn and all it has to offer: coffee, cookies, tapas, architecture, design, stray cats, and the home of my brother and sister-in-law. not bad.