Brunching in Brooklyn

The Chocolate Room

The Chocolate Room

I hope everyone had a delicious Memorial day weekend! This little image of a perfect ice cream sandwich consists of a peanut butter chocolate sea salt cookie sandwiched together by the artisan chocolate ice cream at The Chocolate Room.

I ate my way through Brooklyn via brunch and pastries. I should add that brunch is my favorite meal because when else can you insist on both savory and sweet dishes? Benedict and donuts? Yes! Hash and chocolate brioche? Why not!  I thought I would share a few highlights from my favorite brunch spots in Brooklyn.

First off I had eggs Florentine and donuts at Dumont.Image I made the mistake of having my Hollandaise sauce on the side in anticipation of homemade donuts. The poached eggs were perfect and sat on two pieces of toasted brioche. And the donut holes did not disappoint.

Image The next day we brunched at the Farm on Adderly where I had the best beets, potatoes and beef hash with eggs.Image And this was followed by chocolate brioche with sea salt.

The Farm at Adderly

The Farm at Adderly

This brunch was nearly perfect, and I believe this is the best beef hash in Brooklyn. 

And since Monday was a holiday, we lucked out  in having Monday brunch at the Buttermilk Channel which is also quite the decadent meal.

Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk Channel

We started with a side of biscuits and jam.

hashbuttermilk

Travis had the corned beef hash with the greens. And I had  salmon Benedict also served on a biscuit. The Hollandaise sauce was really perfect, light and lemony and topped with fresh dill.Image

And this brunch concluded with one of the most delicious berry jam donuts I have ever had (even compared to Manhattan’s Doughnut Plant).

the jam donut at Buttermilk

the jam donut at Buttermilk

Can you see that delicious berry jam?

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You must go to Buttermilk just to enjoy these sweet treats.

As if three brunches weren’t enough for one week? I also decided to order brunch for lunch Tuesday at the General Greene. The General Greene is one of my favorite spaces in Brooklyn. It has the ambiance of a general store but it’s also in the lovely neighborhood of Fort Greene. They make their own ice creams, jams and I have always loved lunch here as well.

General Greene

General Greene

The steak and eggs were great and I chose the spicy kale and breakfast potatoes for my sides.  But the biscuit and blueberry jam really made the meal.

biscuitgeneralgreene

But one should not leave Brooklyn without a Brooklyn Blackout cupcake from Ladybird Bakery. This is the best cupcake you can get in New York City. Yes, I’ve been to Magnolia’s, Crumbs, Bouchon Bakery, and Billy’s.Image But if you really love dark chocolate and wouldn’t mind an ooey gooey almost pudding like chocolate filling, don’t waste your time with those other over-hyped cupcake boutiques. Can you see that chocolate filling?

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All this brunching? Remember, it’s research!

http://brooklynexposed.com/food-drink/entry/brooklyn-cheap-eats-dishes-under-10

Please check back Monday after I check out the Funky Flea in Syracuse!

Yes, I am a carnivore!

Street Eats Roast Beef Melt

Street Eats Roast Beef Melt

And when I want a meaty sandwich or some comfort food, I head to Steve’s Street Eats.

I loved Street Eats food truck last summer but I really like having a storefront to go to on a rainy day like today. This was probably my third trip to Street Eats this year since they have moved to 989 James Street. The space is small and comfy, and I always anticipate what the lovely menu might entail.

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Today I had the Street Eats Roast Beef melt and Laurie had Galveston Melt (Turkey with bacon, Muenster cheese and guacamole). The Street Eats Roast Beef Melt consists of Angus beef with melted Swiss cheese, horseradish sauce, caramelized onions and tomato jam. The tomato jam is generous, and the Angus beef is warm and fresh.  I could have had a bit more cheese and horseradish, but that being said I was extremely satisfied with this abundant sandwich.

What we both loved about our sandwiches was the bread tasted homemade and fresh, and the meat tasted like it was off the bone rather than brought in from an outside deli. We both really enjoyed these warm toasty sandwiches on such a cold and rainy day! My only regret was that I didn’t order a cherry chocolate cupcake before they sold out.

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Steve updates his menu at least weekly, and you can follow him here: https://www.facebook.com/steviesstreeteats

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Next up: brunching my way through Brooklyn (please post your recs) and great eats at Syracuse’s Funky Flea. www.funkyfleasyracuse.blogspot.com/

Heavy Things #1 (warning: no pictures or restaurant review).

This is the beginning of my series on “Heavy Things” usually related to Sociology of Food, what I am reading or writing.

 So yesterday was my end of the semester lunch with the other sociologists in my department at Rileys.  I chose the spot because it’s one of my favorites and seemed like a good place to discuss heavy things such as conferences and our ongoing research projects. For me this included food blogging, a book review, taking students to Paris for my fall diversity class, and considering a  Sociology of food panel at the Eastern Sociological Society in 2014. But the most interesting thing that lunch raised wasn’t what we were eating or doing, but what we weren’t doing. I mentioned that when I read for pleasure, it tends to be fiction and as I sat down to write this blog I realized this summer I’ll be reading a little fiction when I travel but I’ll be reading quite a bit of Food Studies nonfiction. Our most junior sociologist said he never reads fiction though he’s a baseball enthusiast, and in the early stages of developing a freshman seminar on sports. See more at http://milieuxmorass.wordpress.com/author/milieuxmorass/. And our most senior colleague confessed that he never reads fiction and never watches television. In addition to obligatory nonfiction, I’ll be  watching Madmen, Arrested Development and Breaking Bad this summer (and aren’t they all full of sociology).

So what am I reading this summer?
Currently I am reviewing Beyond hummus and falafel : social and political aspects of Palestinian food in Israel by Gvion, Liora.  I am reviewing this for Food, Culture and Society largely because I am interested in how food can be used to teach social issues and global politics.

And later this summer, I intend to read Smart Casual: The Transformation of Gourmet Restaurant Style in America by Alison Pearlman because of some great reviews I have seen as “Smart Casual” intends to provide an interesting critique of foodies, class and consumption.  I also need to read Michael Pollan’s Cooked so I can weigh in on the debate in terms of how we understand the class/gender and racial privileges that often shape how we can fix our national food problems, food crisis, obesity epidemic etc. And I even intend to take a look at Gwyneth’s new cookbook, though I might not purchase it.

And getting back to lunch, the food at Riley’s is always good. I ordered the flank steak salad (one of the lunch specials). No pictures this time, but this is a place a frequent regularly because the specials are great, the atmosphere is always inviting and the service is solid so many more visits to Riley’s are to come.

See:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/05/against_foodies_alison_pearlman_s_smart_casual_reviewed.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rileys/111678338868322

http://milieuxmorass.wordpress.com/author/milieuxmorass/

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

downtown turnaround ice cream

downtown turnaround ice cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Or in my case I wait patiently until the temperature gets up to 75 degrees and then, and only then, I make a careful  choice between gelato, ice cream or an ice cream sandwich. The truth is I am a liker of ice cream, not a lover of ice cream. I have always treated ice cream like a sweet cold condiment.

 

icecream..mmmm

To get to the business at hand, Gannon’s ice cream (a local and independent business) is now open in downtown Syracuse, and this opening has been much anticipated. I finally made it to the new location right next to Kabul coffee on Jefferson St at Salina. And I was told that the flavor introduced for this opening “downtown turnaround” was one I couldn’t resist. “Downtown turnaround” is a coffee ice cream with Oreos. Of course I had to try that because I love coffee, and Oreos are my favorite cookie so I had high expectations.

creamy

almost gone

Well what did I think? “Downtown turnaround” is a hard (not soft serve) ice cream. It tastes creamy and fresh. What I loved was that the Oreo chunks were large and generous and seemed to be heavily distributed throughout the ice cream. What disappointed me was that the ice cream was more like latte ice cream rather than a dark bold coffee flavor. But maybe this is just a matter of opinion because I prefer dark strong coffee (or even espresso) flavor. That being said, I’ll be back to Gannon’s try to their  crazy coffee, cappuccino crunch, chocolate bavarian torte, espresso chip and chocolate walnut!

Check out their other locally made flavors! http://www.gannonsicecream.com

Gannon's on Jefferson

Gannon’s on Jefferson

Pie for brunch

peachcobbler

This was a bit of an end of the semester celebration for me! My grades were finally submitted on Friday, and I went to Pascales for lunch and treats, and I ended up taking this peach treat to go. I didn’t realize I would end up with such a delicious piece of summer. The cobbler is more like a tart with a pie crust on bottom and a crumble top. And isn’t cobbler for brunch a wonderful thing?

 

If you can’t get to www.pascalebakehouse.com in Syracuse, consider baking your own with this simple recipe http://www.ruthreichl.com/2010/08/warm-peach-cobbler-.html that was recommended by the wonderful Lesley Porcelli at http://uglybutgood.wordpress.com/2012/08/

North Star in Ithaca

North Star in Ithaca

My favorite black bean and mushroom burger at Northstar in Ithaca, NY.

I love this locavore gastropub Northstar in Ithaca not only because the food is fresh and fabulous, they are committed to local food. I am quite the carnivore but this is one of the few places I am more than delighted to have a vegetarian meal because of all the local tasty options. At dinner on Thursday I had the buffalo tofu wings, the basket of fries,the black bean and portobello burger with local cheddar cheese and I finished my meal off with espresso creme caramel. It was all delicious. I always have a hard time deciding because I also love the garlic beef burger and and the bread pudding.I hope to be back later this summer for brunch!

fries and dipping sauces

Northstar has a commitment to local meat and produce within 100 miles.
http://northstarpub.com/web/Welcome_to_Northstar.html

cremedecaramelIMAG0481

If you can’t get to Northstar and Ithaca, and are craving a bean burger, do try
http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/12221/McBittys-Bean-Burgers.html

brunch in Burlington

brunch in Burlington

Florentine benedict

We’ll be headed to Burlington, VT in June 2014 for the Association of the Study of Food and Society conference next summer. This picture reminds that Burlington is only a 5-hour drive from Syracuse and how many great places to brunch there are in Burlington, VT including Shelburne Farms. Along the way we always stop in Saratoga Springs, NY for Hattie’s fried chicken and waffles and pastries from Mrs. Londons. More on the history of eggs benedict and brunch to come soon in my forthcoming book, Brunch: A global and social history.