City Guide: Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
As the name suggests, Alder New York is a New York City based brand. For our very first City Guide, we thought we ought to start with our home city, and even more specifically, Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant. Bed-Stuy, as it's better known, is a special place to the ANY Team. ANY's founders first moved to the neighborhood a decade ago, and at the time the options in the neighborhood were limited to bodega fare and slices of (albeit delicious) pizza. Now, the brownstone lined streets are bursting with new cafes, restaurants, and shops, and for many long-time New Yorkers, Bedford Stuyvesant looks unrecognizable. Below are some of our favorite places, some new, some old, that one must check out when in Bed-Stuy.
BRUNSWICK 144 DECATUR STREET
Australian Alex Hall opened Brunswick a little over a year ago with plans to expand to 12 more locations by the end of 2016. Bedstuy's Stuyvesant Heights is home to the cafe's first outpost. The light filled space is decorated with reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and geometric light fixtures and wall art. The food is simple (avocado toast, grilled cheese, baby kale salad, etc.), but good. We recommend the Cheddar Chive Biscuit Sandwich filled with scrambled eggs and house-made tomato relish. Pair it with a cappuccino and you'll have a really good start to your day.
DAVID'S BRISKET HOUSE 533 Nostrand Ave
David's has a unique story for a Jewish deli - or should we say, a Muslim deli. Originally founded by David, a Russian Jew, about a century ago, the shop has passed through a few owners' hands, ending with Yemen Muslim owners and operators. The delicious once kosher pastrami, corn beef, and brisket is now halal, but still just as delicious. Our recommendation is to keep it simple here and get a regular sized Corned Beef on Rye with mustard (about $12), and you'll be stuffing your mouth with the most wonderful so-tender-you'll-barely-have-to-chew-it meat between two heavenly slices of bread. Other Manhattan delis claim they know how to do it best, but David's on Nostrand knows how to do it better.
SINCERELY TOMMY 343 Tompkins Ave
We thought Manhattan would always beat Brooklyn when it came to shopping until Kai Avent-deLeon opened up her Tompkins Avenue store. The lifestyle shop stocks collections of hard to find, up-and-coming, and obscure designers. From lurex fringe coated tops to shaggy fur slippers, you're bound to find something new. The chic minimal space also houses a full coffee bar with fresh Balthazar pastries. For the gallerist or creative girl who need a new statement piece, this is your one-stop shop.
SCRATCH BREAD 1069 Bedford Ave
Scratch Bread is our favorite spot on this list. Yes, you can get delicious loaves of bread made from scratch here, but the real draw is the selection of sandwiches, baked goods, salads, and grits. Originally served out of a window on the side of the building, the location has upgraded to a full door, and a counter at which to order. Unfortunately, you won't find any tables or chairs to enjoy your savory Anson Mill grits topped with pesto, thick cut bacon, and soft boiled egg, so this is a grab-and-go situation.
UPDATE Oct 12, 2015
We're very sad to say that as of yesterday afternoon, Scratchbread is permanently closed. While owner Matthew Tilden has not announced any definite future plans as of yet, he did hint at a cookbook in the letter announcing his closing. If the lines out the door this last week are any indicator, we're not the only ones who can't wait to see what he does next.
DORIS 1088 Fulton St
The Southwest decor and macramé plant hangers don't exactly cry out Brooklyn, but the selection of craft beers and house made cocktails do. This cozy bar is just the place to gather with friends and grab a drink. If you're feeling hungry, ask for the somewhat-secret grilled cheese menu, from which you will have six or seven decadent variations to choose, including additions like caramelized onions and truffle butter. Doris is a surprisingly sophisticated haunt for a stretch of Fulton Street that's anything but.
LE PARIS DAKAR 518 Nostrand Ave
Le Paris Dakar is stationed in one of the ground floor retail spaces of a landmarked Romanesque Revival building complete with masonry tiled roof and terra-cotta arches. If that's not enough charm for you, the Senegalese creperie has plenty to spare. Small bistro tables are filled with locals sipping coffee and eating freshly made crepes.