Thursday, September 25, 2008

Paloma: A Cozy Neighborhood Secret

Alright, so maybe it's not so much a secret, but it was new to me.

Last weekend it was so gorgeous out I couldn't sit still. I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly around Greenpoint, trying to soak up the last few days of summer. On my last stretch home Saturday afternoon I walked past Paloma, a very quaint and cozy-looking spot right next to Coco66, on the opposite side of 68. Even though it's literally just a block down the street from us, we'd never been -- always too busy with our obsession with Brooklyn Label to even think about going here instead. Then I realized I was hungry -- very hungry. All that walking had caught up to me, and when did it all of a sudden become 2pm?

I went home to convince Rob it was brunch time and a few minutes later we were at an outdoor table. A waitress came by to bring us water and a few minutes later, a different waiter came to ask us what we wanted to drink. Right after that they both came to our table with a complementary sticky bun with pecans to apologize for forgetting about us. What, they had forgotten about us? I hadn't even noticed. Already I liked this place -- they were way more attentive than any other Greenpoint brunch spot I've ever been to, even at 2:00.

We sat outside a little longer before realizing that it was a bit too chilly (how quickly autumn comes!) and the waiter and waitress were more than happy to move us inside. First impression, I was surprised at how clean and cute the atmosphere was. Even though the place was practically empty, there was a live DJ spinning some really great 80s tunes. According to some reviewers on Yelp, they project old movies and cartoons on the wall as well. How fun! I also saw that a few magazines were tucked away in the corner. Rob and I both talked about how this is the sort of place you could easily linger at all day, and it seems like that's exactly what they WANT you to do (ahem..... BK Label).

Paloma had a few really unique menu options, so of course we went for the most obscure. Rob got the quinoa hashbrown with a poached egg and chorizo, accompanied by a tomatillo-avocado salsa. While it gets great points for creativity, the taste was only average. There was certainly nothing wrong with it, but I think it lacked a wow factor.

I ordered the Turkish eggs, which I've never had before and am still not 100% sure if I like them or not. It's weird, because my mouth is watering right now thinking about them. Hmm. Turkish eggs are poached and served with a spicy yogurt concotion of paprika, garlic and red pepper. Since its all mushy (and pretty strong tasting) Paloma serves them with "devoted soldiers," deep fried pieces of bread, for you to dip into the egg mess. The crunchiness of the bread helped to offset the creamy dish, but only so much as these devoted soliders were kinda greasy. It was really unique and tasty, but I still feel like something was missing. Maybe I could get a hunk of chorizo in there next time too?

Overall I thought it was a great place to eat and relax on my weekend of wandering unrest. When you're sick of super busy places like Brooklyn Label, this is the perfect little oasis. I wouldn't go back just for the food, but the next time I want to unwind by watching an obscure movie with some live-played records, I'll know where to go.

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