Brunch with Ashley at one of my new favorite spots, Sel de Mer. No whole lobster this time, but I did get the whole Bronzini fish. I asked the waitress for her recommendation and she said the baked eggs because of all the bones in the fish …but that’s what sold me. Yeah a lot of bones, but I like to put in the effort.
Then we walked around the neighborhood. We tried looking into a sausage shop with cartoon pigs on the windows. The place has weird hours and I never see it open. Then an older man walking his dogs yells out, “You looking for sausages?!” He came over to tell us that the owner of that sausage shop had recently passed away and told us where we should go to get sausages, along with a bunch other food stops down the street. Ashley thinks the guy had already passed us and came back across the street to talk to us. Maybe he saw us poking our heads where they don’t belong.
We stopped in at the Blue Stove bakery that the gentleman mentioned. We almost got a slice of pumpkin pie, but then I wanted to get one of those small enclosed pies. It turned out to be a chicken pot pie. We didn’t get anything, but the baked goods looked and smelled real good.
A stop over at the old charming Caffe Capri coffee shop. It looks like what you would imagine a 1970’s coffee shop in an Italian Brooklyn neighborhood would look like. They even have shirts with their name for sale. I got the Coffee Float, which turned out to be what I thought it would be –coffee and ice cream. After the ice cream melted a bit, it sort of tasted like a Manhattan Special (coffee/expresso soda), which the factory is only a few blocks away.
Before we ventured off to check out the factory, we stopped in front of the weird storefront window close to the coffee shop. There’s an old Apple computer, a Betamax tape deck in the box in the window and a sign that says “If you don’t find it in the window, you will surely find it inside.” You couldn’t see through the window, but it looked like the door was possibly open. The gate in front of it was open. We tried to look in, but then another older man walked by and said, “Yeah, I don’t know what’s in there.” with a wink and a smile. He proceeded to enter his apartment building two feet away. He looked like he could have lived there for years, but apparently he didn’t know or didn’t want us know what was going on in there.
Walking over to the Manhattan Special factory, we passed by a bodega that had a big menu of sandwiches with Presidential names. I can understand the Obama, the Jackson, the Grant …but the Buchanan? What was his legacy? Salami, Provolone, L/T, Oil, Vinegar …I suppose.
Then over to Fortunato Brothers where we split a cannoli. I’ve only had a few in my life and this was surely the most enjoyable. The cream wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet like I’ve had before. It tasted almost like a Bavarian cream doughnut …one of my favorite doughnuts.
Before Fortunatos, we walked by a sketchy basement with no signs that looked like a bar. There were people drinking and we were trying to figure out what it was. Then a guy above us sitting on his second-floor window sill shouts, “They’re playing cards” also with a smile and perhaps a wink.
We also walked into a few other places (wedding trinket store and pizzeria) just to look. No other guys were around to make these places seem sketchy, but I know what I want on my birthday cake –a naked girl wedding trinket and maybe a pizza.
Sel de Mer -374 Graham Ave (btw Skillman Ave & Counselyea St) Brooklyn New York 11211
The Blue Stove – 415 Graham Ave (btw Withers & Jackson St) Brooklyn, NY 11211
Caffe Capri Coffee Shop – 427 Graham Ave (btw Frost & Withers) Brooklyn, NY 11206
Fortunato Brothers Cafe Pasticceria – 289 Manhattan Ave (@ Devoe St) Brooklyn, NY 11211