Friday, September 12, 2008


While in New York (in June) at the Fancy Food Show Kelli and I went on a food tour of Brooklyn. I was so excited about doing this while I was in New York. On the morning of the tour we gathered at the Javits center and took a bus over to Brooklyn passing the World Trade Center site and the cutest little dog park where there was this cute little pug chasing all of these huge dogs around the park. Anyway I digress....Our tour guide was from Brooklyn and as we were driving out of Manhattan she told us fun little facts about Brooklyn, the mix of cultures that make up all of the little neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Did you know that if Brooklyn were its own city it would be the 4th largest city in the country? I had no idea.
Our first stop was was The Chocolate Room in the Park Slope neighborhood.
This was a fun chocolate shop and dessert cafe. They feature chocolates made by chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. Each Knipschildt chocolate featured in the shop has the name of a woman. I loved that. We all got a sample of the chocolates. Kelli picked the "kelly" which was a strawberry, lemon and thyme ganache. I tried the "valentina" a tasty lavender caramel covered in chocolate.
They were voted in the 2008 Zagat as the 1# Dessert Cafe in NYC. Their chocolate cake was featured in the February 2007 of Oprah magazine. They gave us a little sample of cupcakes made from the same recipe as the chocolate cake and covered with fantastic dark chocolate frosting.
The next stop was at Sahadi
This is a Middle Eastern market. It is filled with and amazing assortment of dried fruits, cheeses, olives and spices.

I loved all of the amazing colors and smells. It really felt like I was in a spice market in the middle east.

I wish I knew more about middle eastern cooking because I am sure I could have stocked up on hard to find spices, chickpea flour, hummus and I can not even believe I did not buy any green olives.....I love green olives.
At Sahadis we sampled Spanakopita.
Right next door to Sahadi's we went to Damascus Bakery.

They are famous for the Pita bread they make. I bought a little sampling of Baklava while I was in this store. They also gave us a sample of a traditional lebanese kibbi pita sandwich. When I found out this sandwich was made from ground lamb I wanted to pass it up but I was inspired by Kelli, who had never been to NYC and was determined to try every new food she could find, so I tried it and really liked it. The next stops was Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches.

Here we had a sample of a traditional vietnamese sandwich. I was surprised to learn that vietnamese food is influenced by France and these sandwiches are made with traditional french ingredients a baguette, pate and mayonaise. I had the portobello mushroom sandwich and I really liked it.
All three of these places were on Atlantic Avenue. Article with additional places to visit on Atlantic Ave can be found here.
The next stop was my favorite. I was so hoping our tour would include a stop here so when I looked down and saw One Girl Cookies on the list I was so excited. This shop was everything I hoped it would be.

I loved the blue and brown color pallet and the great light fixtures and mirrors.
They recently added a little dessert room where the garage used to be. They still have the garage door which I hope they open when they do the dessert tasting bar which they have every Friday night.
The thing I love most about this company is their fantastic packaging, the owner used to be a buyer at Barneys which explains a lot about the great packaging. I love that the cookies are so tiny so you can eat 3 or 4 and not feel at all guilty about it. I also love that each cookie is named after the owner's grandmothers, aunts, great grandmothers etc. I love that. There is a geneology chart painted on the wall in the dessert room.
We got a fun little sampling of cookies here and I also tried the ice cream sandwich that was voted #1 Ice Cream Sandwich in NYC.
One Girl Cookies is in the Boerum Hill neighborhood which looked like it was filled with fun shops and restaurants.
The next stop was Joyce Bakeshop where we got another bag filled with cookies and pastries.
The last stop was Bierkraft in the Park Slope neighborhood.

Here they had a beer, cheese and chocolate tasting. Kelli and I passed on the beer but the cheese and chocolate tasting was really fun. It was also very interesting to hear about the way local breweries are producing beer using a lot of the methods that are used in wine making. The first tasting was a summer sampling. The beer had hints of passion fruit, the cheese had slight fruity notes and the chocolate was filled with a passion fruit syrup. It was really neat to see how all of the samplings were paired and the flavorings that tied them together. All of the items we sampled were from New York state most were from Brooklyn.
They sold 1000's of different types of beers for all around the world.
The Brooklyn food tour was really one of the best things I have ever done in NYC. I loved it. I really, really liked Brooklyn. It was great to walk around and actually see the blue sky. I really think in the future if I have an extra day in NYC I will take the subway out to Brooklyn and spend the day. It was great.


DunnsHouse said...

Your trips are SO fun to hear about! Reading about them is definitely so much fun and I always feel like I get to experience a little adventure in reading about your exciting trips! Oh and lets not forget that I am starving after reading this post!!!! I can almost imagine the spanakopeta, the olives, the cookies, spices, and lets not forget the chocolate...can ya see why I now have a desperate need to get in shape and run with!?! If you ever want a travel buddy.....count me in!!!

tffnyhll said...

I now have a strong desire to head across the Hudson to hit these little spots. Let me know the next time you are in town.