Why do people keep calling Radish on Bedford Avenue a country store? No real-life country store I’ve ever been to makes its own soda, ginger ale, homemade potato chips, or cookies. In fact, most “country” stores in America sell Slim Jims, salt-and vinegar potato chips in puffy bags, and Mountain Dew. Radish is a classic New York gourmet store through and through. Check out their summer special, cold-brewed Irving Farm iced coffee. It’s as smooth as Telly Savalas’ shiny head (you remember Kojac, right? No? Never mind). About three years ago, New York magazine tasted premium coffees served around New York. Stumptown and Irving Farm surged to the top with three stars. Somehow Stumptown has cornered the North Brooklyn market and nobody seems to know that much about Irving Farm, from upstate New York. Here’s your chance to check out Stumptown’s fiercest competitor. Radish, 158 Bedford Ave.
A generous scoop of Häagen-Dazs ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a jumbo sized, old-fashioned plain donut? Need I say more? All my “body & soul” girl pals said it sounds “Gross!” And I’m like, “And your point is?” My “me, worry?” dining companions sampled other combos, like chocolate donuts with cookie & cream ice cream; it was way too muddy and complicated. Stick to the simple flavors and you won’t be sorry. Peter Pan Donut Shop, 727 Manhattan Ave.
Do you just love those trendy saturated colored macaroons? I don’t blame you. If Carrie Bradshaw was still around, she’d be munching on them all day. Well, no need to run to Manhattan every time you need a fix: you can get them at Café Rivera. Heck, while you’re there grab yourself a turkey and cheese croissant, a plum tart, and an iced coffee. All these good eats will cost you less than ten bucks. Don’t you just love old school Greenpoint? Café Rivera, 830 Manhattan Ave.
Margo Patisserie Café, which opened a year ago on an unassuming corner on Driggs Avenue, (just off Metropolitan), has the best brioche. I love the ones with orange cream. The dough is light as a feather and the cream is lush and zippy with orange flavor. Another winner is the plain oval one with chunks of salty-sugar crystals on top. One bite and you’re transported to old Parie. Margo Patisserie Café 667 Driggs Ave.
What’s a Sorbie? It’s lighter than a milkshake and thicker than a fruit slush. You can get it at St. Alps, that cute little bubble tea place on Bedford Avenue. I love the one with black sesame seeds; it’s got the taste of ancient China. And the matcha (green tea) with red beans has the taste of ancient Japan. Somehow, when these flavors are mixed into a milky substance and doused on top of man-made snow, the frozen treats turn hip, cool, and urban. St. Alps, 164 Bedford Ave.
Compost cookies—does that sound appetizing to you? Apparently, many foodies are intrigued. It’s one of Momofuku Milk Bar’s best sellers. What’s in it? Chocolate chips, pretzel bits, potato chips, and earth worms (okay, maybe not earth worms). Other wild and crazy concoctions? A cookie made with corn. It’s my personal favorite, it tastes even more intense than fresh corn on the cob. Don’t forget the “Crack Pie” (butter, heavy cream, more butter). Don’t even think of stealing these million dollar names, they’re all registered! Be ready to shell out $1.85 for a single Compost cookie. A slice of Crack Pie will set you back $5.25. Momofuku Milk Bar, 302 Metropolitan Ave.
You have to be living in a cave not to know that The Meatball Shop opened on Bedford Avenue just a few weeks ago. It’s decorated with the owners’ grandparents’ wedding photos (sweet!) and several disassembled shiny new meat grinders (creepy). Yup—sweet & creepy—hipster chic strikes again. Go ahead, pair some saucy balls with a simple salad (arugula and sliced crisp apples dressed in a light vinaigrette). Be warned, not all balls are created equal. I like the classic beef, but the special of that day, pork with chorizo and peppers, was way too mealy (where’s the pork?). Finish the meal with a root beer float or a homemade ice cream sandwich or both. Don’t bother counting calories, sweater season is just around the corner! The Meatball Shop, 170 Bedford Ave.