Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fried Pizza for Brunch

I admit I was disappointed when Gypsy bar on Greenpoint Ave closed down. Even though one of the bartenders and I didn't always see eye to eye, I liked being around the corner from a bar that was home to Punk Rope happy hours, giant plates of mac 'n' cheese and long group Jenga games.

But then Adelina's moved in and wooed me instantly with five words: fried pizza with house-made mozzarella. Rob and I hit it up on a Friday night and even though Adelina's was clearly still working out the kinks service-wise, the pizza was pretty awesome. Think fried dough pizza from the fair, only with real, chewy mozzarella instead of soggy Parmesan mess that usually ensues.

Brunch was better, if only because it was much emptier. Maybe people still see it more as a bar than a morning restaurant, or because they play heavily on the wine bar thing. I have to say that I like this wine-on-tap thing very much. At night, of course.

The brunch menu, like the dinner menu, is very reasonably priced. For around $12 they offer a prix fixe with a super-charged Americano, a fresh squeezed OJ and entree. Their pizza special on Saturday included speck with the fresh mozz and egg, adding a much-needed amount of saltiness that I thought was missing from their nighttime pesto pie.

Rob had the truffled egg with fontina and asparagus. It was tasty but on the small side and neither of us tasted any truffle. Stick with the pizza here. But go quickly, because this space has been about five different things since it was an Internet cafe when we first moved to Greenpoint six plus years ago.

159 Greenpoint Ave

Monday, August 6, 2012

Caravan of Dreams Realized

"A meat and potatoes kind of guy" is an understatement when describing the eating habits of my dad was up until a few months ago. He'd eat meat, sure, but only cheeseburgers void of any kind of condiments (and that includes tomatoes and lettuce and the other semi-healthy burger veggies). Potatoes, yes, there were potatoes, but only the kind doused in butter and cream and cheese and if its not piping hot he would not eat said caloric potatoes. And that was about it. Most kinds of dessert were fair game, as long as it wasn't anything fruity. Lemon ice being the only exception.

So when my parents came to visit the other weekend, pulled out their vegan-approved list of places to eat and suggested we have lunch at Caravan of Dreams, I was quite skeptical of how this would turn out. It's one thing to hear over the phone that a new healthy lifestyle is happily consuming my parents' lives. It's quite another to witness a real invitation to an organic vegan restaurant that isn't palpable sarcasm.

I quickly scanned the menu myself and was almost a bit skeptical. "Live" nachos? What does that even mean? Am I the only one picturing the Mexican hat dance unfolding on the platter in front of us?

Well, I honestly don't have a lot of comparison for vegan fare, but even so I'd have to say Caravan of Dreams is pretty good. My beet ravioli (live, of course), was thankfully not doing any kind of jig. The walnut and sundried tomato filling inside vinegary slices of beets were mild, the hemp mint cilantro dressing gave it a nice kick. Rob's rosemary shiitake mushroom burger was pretty slammin' with a large grilled onion and a nice flavorful tarragon ali-oli. Dad's hummus was nice and smooth with finely chopped onions on top to mix in (though he declared his homemade version was better) and Mom's rice and veggie platter was better than what I've made at home. 


For dinner they asked us to take them for their first Indian cuisine experience. Dad eating hummus and garlic naan with chicken tikka masala in one day is a little much for me, and definitely a little much for a single post.*

*In case you were wondering, we went to Bay Leaf in Williamsburg and guess what? Hey Mikey, they liked it!

405 East 6th Street