I'm a man of simple means. It doesn't take a bucket of caviar or a wall-mounted spigot of Cristal by my bedside to put a smile on my face. Shit, If I ever went to prison, I'd be cool with a bread & water diet as long as that bread was fresh & flavorful and the water was cold from a woodland spring. One Dixie cup of primo olive oil & extra ice cubes please (though I would regret the fact that I'm WAY too boy-faced for the slammer).
So yeah...good bread's a simple pleasure. I mean, as it is, bread is a part of the foundation of the USDA food pyramid. If you don't get 6-11 SERVINGS of the stuff every day, Obama's secret police will bust down your door & repeatedly stab your eldest son about the face & groin. True story.
So yeah...fuck Robert Atkins & his fantastical anti-carb agenda. Don't deny the bread. It's key to human existence. Embrace it like I did on Tuesday night, when I was invited to the opening event for Baked in Brooklyn, the recently-opened storefront on 5th & 26th for Greenwood Heights' Aladdin Bakery.
A little history: Aladdin Bakery started making pita bread way back in 1972 & since then, they've transformed into a $22 million-a-year business known for pumping out quality bread. With this reputation, they've decided to add onto the wholesale operation with a storefront that serves their breads, eight sandwiches made with said breads, Stumptown coffee, and local & imported goods.
When I arrived at the Baked in Brooklyn storefront just after 8pm on Tuesday, it was packed full of forty-to-fifty folks who would've been right at home on an episode of The Real Housewives of Staten Island. As they all mingled & smiled, I grabbed a Sixpoint Righteous Rye & took a look around the place. The obvious best trait is the exposed bakery behind the storefront.
Because most of society is so removed from the source of their foods, seeing where the bread you're buying is actually made is somehow fascinating.
For this particular opening event, the joint was serving various concoctions using their breads. There were tiny lobster rolls with tarragon hollandaise.
There were tiny Dubliner cheese steak sandwiches.
There were tiny puff pastries.
In each case, the bread was ridiculously fresh & flavorful. The ingredients lived up to the standards set by the bread.
Too bad that none of these tiny treats are anywhere to be found on their sandwich menu, which has eight $8 sandwiches.
You can get The Grilled Focaccia (prosciutto, fig spread, blue cheese & arugula) or The Pita Bread (Applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo). If you're a carb hater, they've got $4 salads, stuff like a Brussel (sic) Sprout Salad & a Broccolini with Garlic & Chili Flakes Salad.
That's the lunch fare, but in the morning they have hot boiled bagels & breakfast sandwiches & the aforementioned Stumptown coffee...so if you happen to be lurking around the western walls of the Greenwood Cemetery bright & early in the morn and need a coffee & a bagel, you're all set. Stop on in.
And that's all I can tell you about the place, because when I went to briefly chat up Joseph Ayoub (the owner) to thank him for inviting me, he gave me about sixty seconds of his time, most of which was filled with regaling me with the fact that 700 people came through the door this past Saturday. By the time that minute was up, it was obvious that he didn't care to talk to me, so I said "Thanks for having me. Nice to meet you." He didn't even bother to reply.
…as such, while he's got a quality bread empire & a new storefront showcasing his goods, BAKED IN BROOKLYN IS DEAD TO ME. I will NEVER EVER AGAIN step foot in there. I've been to countless restaurant & bar openings and have never come across an owner who acted with such total disregard for me. Most folks are excited to talk about their new place. This guy didn't even have ninety seconds to spare.
I can't really tell you much about how Baked in Brooklyn came into being. I can't even tell you what hours it's open & at this point, I could honestly care less. What I can do is remind you that Ayoub once owned a six-story townhouse on East 70th St. He slept on a $50,000 mattress. He paid $200,000 IN CASH for a Lamborghini. When he & his estranged wife divorced, he had to pay her $30,000 A MONTH in child support. If you don't buy his bread, his ex-wife won't be able to afford her $20,000-a-month apartment. If you don't give Baked in Brooklyn your money...shame on you.
Baked in Brooklyn is located at 755 5th Ave.
Read way more from Shawn at eatdrinksnack.com.