FROM THE DESK OF: Deo
Cortelyou Road is set right in the center of Ditmas Park, a neighborhood smack in the middle of Brooklyn. It is a half a mile long street, cutting from west to east, of a community consisting of many large Victorian houses built in the early 1900s. The trees in the surrounding area are tall, and from spring to fall, they give shade to all the houses in the area. There’s something of a new urbanism vibe in this neighborhood: it looks and feels like a rich suburb, yet it’s still part of and connected to the city. There are shops, cafes, bars, schools, community organizations, and railway transit. All of these are somehow densely packed in this suburban neighborhood, making it one of the most unique places in Brooklyn.
It’s also one of the most diverse areas in Brooklyn, but unlike say Crown Heights, there’s no tension created by gentrification. You know what I mean—that weird dichotomy where wealthy white women push strollers past screaming crack heads. You also won’t find tourists or people who think they’re in a fashion show on the street like in Williamsburg. So, if you’re visiting Brooklyn and don’t want to be surrounded by people trying too hard, take the B or the Q and visit Cortelyou! Here are some of the things to do there:
I’ve only been here for brunch, but the coffee is really good and so are their omelets. I don’t want to talk too much, so here is a pic I found on the internet:
I’m not going to bother describing their entire menu as I pretty much get the same thing when I come here: chicken adobo! From NY Times:
There is that chicken adobo, for instance. Adobo is a national dish of the Philippines, with probably as many recipes for it as there are islands in the archipelago. Some are soupy braises of chicken or pork in soy sauce and vinegar. Others are cooked down until almost dry.
This is Purple Yam’s version: the chicken braised in rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and Thai chili pepper, and served in a vastly reduced pool of that liquid, now cut through and softened with coconut milk. Eat it with a bowl of fried rice anointed with bagoong, a kind of fermented shrimp paste, and it’s possible to imagine it on the level of a neighborhood staple, up there with pizza or rotisserie chicken.
I just made slurping noises. Don’t forget to try the dessert: halo halo or better, than mango sorbet. Jesusmariejosep!
This is by far my favorite place on Cortelyou. The restaurant is the size of a shoe box, but it hangs right on the top of the train station overlooking the tracks. If you peek out, it will feel like you’re on the side of a mountain in Tibet.
Again, I’m not going to give you a run through of their menu, but trust me, what I get is incredible: lamb curry! Lamb is a very underrated meat and when it’s combined with curry, oh my god, droolfest 2000. Also amazing: the yak butter tea. Yes, it’s tea mixed with yak butter and it is delicious. It’s also the inspiration for the invention of bullet proof coffee which is made from coffee, butter, and coconut oil blended together.
Really great fresh food. Probably from a farm, I don’t know. I’m not a food critic. It’s just good, okay?
Shawarma Bowl or even better the Shakshuka Bowl. On Tuesdays their wines are half off. Or maybe it was Wednesday, I can never remember as I always end up getting too drunk.
On the outside it will say that it’s a flower shop (and it is), but inside, it also doubles as a full bar. I know, it’s very Brooklyn, but it gets even more Brooklyn when you go to their backyard: there is a taco stand inside of a tent. So if you’re counting, it’s a speakeasy flower shop where there is a secret taco stand outside in the back. Did I mention it also doubles as a place you can pick up groceries from the local co-op?
It’s a bar that plays live music and they make mescal mules right and there is a garden in the back.
It’s a wine bar with brick walls. It’s a small place which I prefer. Smaller places are more intimate.
If you just want to talk and have coffee or tea and or just sit and maybe do nothing and be alone and read or think then this is the place for you I know it is for me kthxbye.