Provision Quest: Greenpoint's best neighborhood eats
The owners of Brooklyn Kitchen, Harry Rosenblum and Taylor Erkkinen, take us shopping.
Wed Nov 25 2009
Adam's Delicatessen; Photographs: Bobby LaPointe
Rosenblum and Erkkinen frequent this eclectic sliver of a Polish food shop because it sells super-cheap, super-fresh whole fish on Fridays. But there’s a draw other days, too: meringues. “Woo!” Erkkinen yelps, taking down a few of the tingly, melt-in-your-mouth cookies on the spot. They’re $8 a pound, but no worries: They’re featherlight. 112 Nassau Ave between Eckford and Leonard Sts (718-389-7477)
This bargain Eastern European food mart—think dollar store—has just added a deli, boasting, among other cheap takeout favorites, fish-and-chips. “When I saw the sign, I got really excited,” says Rosenblum. His $7 Styrofoam tray is loaded with a sizzling pile of ordinary battered fillets and fries, but comes with one of the many house-made salads, including pickled beets and sweet coleslaw. He makes a mental note: Come back and try one of those on a hot dog ($2.99). 178 Nassau St between Diamond and Jewel Sts (718-383-4141)
Driggs Meat Market, Inc.
Shhh: This excellent butcher shop and kielbasa smokehouse has the “secret kiszka,” says Rosenblum. Put out piping hot around 2pm, these homemade links ($4.49 a pound) are crammed with a mix of mashed potatoes and pork, which you squeeze into your mouth straight from the casing. (They’re good with Polish mustard, too.) 160 Driggs Ave between Humboldt and Russell Sts (718-349-3602)
Rosenblum and Erkkinen share an apartment in a Polish enclave near McGolrick Park with their five-month-old daughter, Moxie, and Woody, their dog, just a block from one of the borough’s more charming family-run corner stores, with old wooden floors and cheap video rentals. “Buckley’s is our bodega,” says Erkkinen, “because the seltzer is 79 cents instead of over a dollar.” 251 Nassau St between Kingsland Ave and Monitor St (718-383-6270)
“I’m not telling Time Out there’s good crab rangoon there,” says Erkkinen as she pushes Moxie’s stroller past this bare-bones Chinese takeout spot, “so don’t write it down.” It’s $2.35 for an order of ten. 237 Nassau Ave at Monitor St (718-349-0869)
The Busy Bee Food Exchange
This Polish grocer puts every square inch to use. Rosenblum and Erkkinen come here for the two-foot loaves of rye and Francese breads ($3.55) cut to order—“I like the bread slicer,” says Erkkinen, who collects similar vintage machines at the couple’s kitchenware shop. It’s also good for pantry staples (Rosenblum, the family baker, appreciates that it stocks real active dry yeast), heat-and-eat pierogi and pickled vegetables. Their score today is cwikla ($3.49 a pound), a purple tub of shredded beets and horseradish. 185 Nassau Ave at Jewel St (718-389-2188)
At night, the horseshoe-shaped bar at this old-school Irish dive becomes a crowded heavy-metal hangout. But Erkkinen prefers early evenings—“the Palace!” she squeals as we approach—when Moxie can take a seat before it gets loud and crowded. It’s also a fine spot to stop and eat the cwikla and kiszka we bought around the corner, paired with a small $2 glass of Polish Zywiec beer. 206 Nassau Ave at Russell St (718-383-9848)
Erkkinen and Rosenblum hit this spare Polish restaurant for “big Styrofoam containers” of pierogi, blintzes, stuffed cabbages, goulash and borscht. “You get a ton of food for under ten bucks,” says Erkkinen. 152 Driggs Ave between Humboldt and Russell Sts (718-383-0049)