I live in Queens. I love Queens. But I walk my dog in Brooklyn. As beautiful as the waterfront is at the bottom of my street, they don’t let you down there with four legs, and the rest of Long Island City just isn’t pretty. It’s a bunch of has been housing (like what I live in) and highrises. My dog and I brave the steps of the Polaski bridge, covered in all things nasty and make our way to the beacon of the Other Borough. We land on Ash street, all full of life and freshness bound for sushi, a couple of wood shops, and a city garage. As soon as you make the left onto Manhattan–a neighborhood of food. Ashbox cafe is like a little whisper, and just across the way on Commercial, an outpost of Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Then past bodegas and traditional Mexican cafes all the way up to a grocery cart at the G train serving hot coffee straight from an urn with a ladle. Champion coffee at 1108, makes a fav espresso and has humor on their sign out front. Talitha is good at everything she does.
Eastern district has blissful bottles of hard apple cider and makes some mean sandwiches. They have beautiful cheese, but I am not a believer in buying cheese that’s kept out of the fridge unless the store is super cold and the cheese is moving faster than candy from a drugstore on the last day of October.
Pork tacos at Papacitos are a whole lot of slow cooked flavor with just enough spicy sauce, in a double layered fold. And as good as they are, no need to commit. You can buy one for $3 and move right onto the fish. Bypass the corn covered in mayo, parm and paprika. The corn was fresh, but the fixings had no snap. I think the tiny lime on the side would have been better squeezed into the mayo.
I’m aching to try the Lobster Joint. I felt happy the minute I walked in to ask for a card. You can’t fake a comeoninhereandeatsomegoodfood feeling they have already. The drinks menu alone looks crazy good.
The little sparkling gem of a place that stole my heart, is Troost. It’s clear and clean and simple and sophisticated, homemade and humble. You could rest a weary soul, have a laugh, read a book, drink, sip and steal a minute to put away all devices and talk. It’s a single row of elegant tiny tables and in the classic rail road formation, booths behind on the left, a beautiful bar on the right, and a postage stamp of a kitchen at the end. To feel the sun or stars on your cheek, wander out to the back garden. They offer little bits of food–Spanish tortilla, pastries, and very European meat and cheese boards. Drinking is the feature–espresso (ask for it short) and all its cousins, bottles of wine, bottles of beer and lemonade.
Troost: 1011 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222