Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Atlantic Antic – Brooklyn, NY

Atlantic Antic – Brooklyn, NY – September 27, 2015

The Atlantic Antic:

“is (the) oldest and largest street festival in New York City!…

The Atlantic Antic™ is a living tribute to the myriad of heritages that coexist in Brooklyn. Spanning four neighborhoods (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Downtown Brooklyn) from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue, the Atlantic Antic™ brings together people from all ages and diverse backgrounds to celebrate in the heart of Brooklyn!…

Comprised of local Atlantic Avenue Merchant’s trendy restaurants and boutiques and vendors from all over the country, the Atlantic Antic™ features live music stages that showcase free outdoor performances from various cultural genres. Families can enjoy an entire block dedicated to kids! …Best known for its eclectic delicacies up and down the 10 blocks, the Atlantic Antic™ has been given the saying “Eat it at the Antic, Walk it off on Atlantic!” (http://atlanticave.org/atlantic-antic/about-the-antic/, 2015)

And eat and explore is exactly what my husband and I did. We started off with three tacos and rice and beans from the Palo Santo stand. They were making their tortillas fresh at the event, and we ordered chicken, lamb barbacoa (pronounced bar-bah-coh-ah), and pork. Each one was delicious, but I really loved the gamy lamb flavor. The chicken had a vinegary bite to it, while the pork was definitely “porky”, but not my favorite. The rice and beans were mildly seasoned and flavorful, and they were not salty as rice and beans can be, especially in this type of setting. Of course, the freshly made tortillas were delicious. This platter cost $12.00. To see a video on my Instagram account of the tacos and tortillas being made click here.

Palo Santo Tacos Clockwise From Top Left: Chicken, Lamb Barbacoa, and Pork with Rice and Beans

Palo Santo Tacos Clockwise From Top Left: Chicken, Lamb Barbacoa, and Pork with Rice and Beans

After tacos, we stopped by a Brooklyn Soda Works stand for a Blueberry Lemon soda. For $5.00, for a small cup of soda, albeit artisanal and natural, I felt cheated. The cup could not have been much more than eight ounces, though I did not measure the volume exactly. The soda had a vegetable-type flavor to it, which I did not enjoy. This was a disappointing experience.

Foreground: Cup of Blueberry Lemon Soda Background: Brooklyn Soda Works Stand

Foreground: Cup of Blueberry Lemon Soda      Background: Brooklyn Soda Works Stand

Next, we stumbled upon the Red Star Sandwich Shop stand. We split their Korean fried chicken sandwich with twice fried chicken, gochujang (pronounced go-chew-jang) sauce, pickled daikon (type of radish) and dill, lettuce, and mayo. According to Wikipedia 2015, gochujang is:

“a savory, spicy, and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt.”

This was a great sandwich! Spicy, sour, sweet, crunchy, crispy, and savory. The chicken was crunchy and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The roll was wonderful: it had the perfect texture – fluffy and with just the right amount of chew to it. All in all, this was a really enjoyable sandwich. It cost $9.00.

Foreground: Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich Background: Red Star Sandwich Shop Stand

Foreground: Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich      Background: Red Star Sandwich Shop Stand

Finally, I was very excited when I spotted the Cannoli Queen stand. What was even more exciting was what they listed as “exotic flavors.” Let me write a disclosure before continuing that yes, I do jump on the pumpkin flavor bandwagon every autumn. I really enjoy the warm, spicy flavor. That was the “exotic flavor” that immediately jumped out and grabbed my attention.

For $6.00, I got three mini cannoli: plain with lemon zest, pumpkin, and almond joy. I am sad to say that I was disappointed by all three. The plain cannoli was unremarkable, and I have had plain cannoli that have blown my mind, but this was just not one of those. The pumpkin cannoli had hints of autumn spices and pumpkin, but it was not enough. Finally, the almond joy cannoli came in a chocolate covered cannoli shell. The almond and coconut flavors tasted artificial.

Foreground: Cannoli Background: Cannoli Queen Stand

Foreground: Almond Joy Cannoli on top, Pumpkin Cannoli underneath in front, and Plain Cannoli with Lemon Zest underneath in back      Background: Cannoli Queen Stand

Accessibility Rating for Atlantic Antic

I used my wheelchair to visit Atlantic Antic. We walked from Atlantic Avenue and Court Street to Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue. Due to time constraints, we were only able to walk these seven out of the ten blocks that the event encompassed.

Various Street Scenes from Atlantic Antic showing street, tents, vendors, and crowd

Various Scenes from Atlantic Antic

  • Entryway – 5: As the event is a street fair extending from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue on Atlantic Avenue, and there is no official entrance, they scored well because it was accessible from many points along the entire route.

    Atlantic Antic Map showing Atlantic Avenue and how the Atlantic Antic goes from Hicks Avenue to 4th Avenue and how The Disabled Foodie went from Atlantic Avenue and Court Street to Atlantic Avenue and 4th Avenue

    Atlantic Antic Map with The Disabled Foodie’s Route

  • Bathroom 3: Along the route we traveled, we found port-a-potties along one sidewalk, but none of them were wheelchair accessible. I am unsure whether these were provided by Atlantic Antic or another organization. (September 29, 2015 – I received a Tweet from the Atlantic Antic organizers stating, “ADA portable restrooms were located at Smith/Atlantic.”)
  • Walkways/Space – 4: The outdoor street setting made for an easily passable space. Beyond the crowds, I had no problem getting around. At points, the event was quite noisy due to the crowds and music being played and amplified through speakers. The lighting was natural outdoor lighting.
  • Staff – 3: None of the staff members I encountered, either from Atlantic Antic or at vendor’s tents, reacted to me at all. I did not receive any offers of help at this event, but I did not have many expectations that I would.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


The Disabled Foodie and Words I Wheel By’s Wafels & Dinges Factory Tour Event & Ample Hills Creamery (Gowanus, Brooklyn)

The Disabled Foodie and Words I Wheel By’s Wafels & Dinges Factory Tour Event & Ample Hills Creamery (Gowanus, Brooklyn) – September 19, 2015

September’s exciting event involved teaming up with Emily Ladau from the popular blog, Words I Wheel By, to tour the Wafels & Dinges factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Wafels & Dinges are the popular food trucks around New York City that serve phenomenal authentic waffles in true Belgian style. I want to thank Emily for co-planning this event with me. I also want to thank everyone who attended. It was great to finally meet Ron from the drool-worthy food blog, Gratuitous Foodity, and Taylor from Zomato, a restaurant review website. I appreciate Stephanie from Wafels & Dinges for arranging everything for our tour. Thank you to Tyler for taking us on the tour of Wafels & Dinges, and for making the delectable Liège (pronounced lee-ehzh) waffles for us.

David and Emily

David and Emily

Prior to hearing an episode on The Sporkful about Belgian waffles, I, like most Americans, did not know that there is no true Belgian waffle, as each town in Belgium has its own waffle made in its own way. Wafels & Dinges (W&D) makes Brussels waffles (made from batter) and Liège waffles (made from dough filled with pearl sugar). After listening to that episode, I immediately visited the W&D website, and I learned that for $10.00 a person you can tour the factory and enjoy a freshly made waffle with unlimited toppings.

The W&D factory is in their food truck garage. In the rear of the garage is the kitchen where employees make both Brussels waffle batter and Liège waffle dough. Check out videos (including Liège waffle dough being made and Tyler making Liège waffles) from the tour on my Instagram (Click here to visit Instagram).

After the tour, Tyler made each member of the group a Liège waffle. I topped my waffle with spekuloos (pronounced speck-you-lohs) spread on one half of the waffle. This is a spread made from caramelized gingerbread cookies. Emily described the spekuloos spread accurately when she said, “It tastes like magic!” It’s spicy and sweet, and is exactly what it sounds like, spreadable gingerbread cookies. On the other half of my waffle, I asked for their seasonal pumpkin pie topping, walnuts, strawberries, whipped cream, and crumbled spekuloos cookies. The waffle itself was light, fluffy, and sweet from the pearl sugar in the dough, which caramelized beautifully. The entire thing was a decadent treat and the perfect indulgence.

Liege Waffle with Spekuloos Spread on Front and Pumpkin Pie Spread, Walnuts, Strawberries, Whipped Cream, and Spekuloos Cookie Crumble on Back

Liege Waffle with Spekuloos Spread on the Front Half and Pumpkin Pie Spread, Walnuts, Strawberries, Whipped Cream, and Spekuloos Cookie Crumble on the Back Half

Accessibility Rating for Wafels & Dinges Factory

I used my wheelchair to visit the Wafels & Dinges Factory.

  • Entryway – 5: There is one large garage door, which was open while we were there. There are no stairs at the entrance.  The transition from the sidewalk to the inside of the factory is smooth.

    Entrance to Wafels & Dinges Factory

    Entrance to Wafels & Dinges Factory

  • Bathroom – 2: The doorway to the bathroom is narrow. It took some maneuvering on my part to get inside. The toilet does not have any grab bars around it. I was unable to get close to the sink in my wheelchair as the sink had a cabinet underneath it. The faucet has short handles. I was able to make a 180º turn while in my wheelchair inside the bathroom. The bathroom is well lit with outside light from windows. I was unable to find the light switch while inside, but the ambient light was adequate for me, but I could imagine this being difficult for a person with a visual impairment.
  • Walkways/Space – 4: The interior is spacious and passable, with the exception of the bathroom door and some cracks and divots in the floor. The space is moderately lit, with the kitchen being the most brightly lit part. Most of the noise came from vehicles passing outside since the garage door was open.

    Interior Photos from Wafels & Dinges Factory (Clockwise from Top Left): Pearl Sugar, Entrance to Kitchen, Wafels & Dinges Cart, Waffle Making Station, Breakfast Special Sign, and Tyler, Our Tour Guide Center: Wafels & Dinges Guiding Principles (We Aspire, We Take Pride in our craftsmanship, we own our actions through integrity, responsibility, & accountability)

    Interior Photos from Wafels & Dinges Factory (Clockwise from Top Left): Pearl Sugar, Entrance to Kitchen, Wafels & Dinges Cart, Waffle Making Station, Breakfast Special Sign, and Tyler, Our Tour Guide      Center: Wafels & Dinges Guiding Principles

  • Staff – 4: Upon our arrival, the staff that was there was unaware that we had a tour scheduled for that afternoon. After describing that I had spoken with Stephanie to arrange the tour, everything was sorted out. Our tour was scheduled for 1:00 PM, but Tyler did not show up until almost 1:30 PM. This made our time schedule tighter, as I had Access-a-Ride scheduled for our return trip at a specific time from the Ample Hills Creamery Gowanus location. This made the experience feel a little more rushed, but it all worked out in the end. The staff did not react to the users of mobility assistive devices at all, which is great to be treated equally, but we also were not asked if there was any way to meet our needs to make for the best visit possible.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus at the factory, but Tyler described everything in detail to the entire group.

Following our visit to the Wafels & Dinges factory, I could not resist visiting the nearby location of Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Having been to their Prospect Heights location (Click here to read the review of that location), I am a huge fan of their ice cream. I, personally, believe it is some of the best ice cream that I have had in New York City. I had not been to this location before, but my husband had ordered and picked up a cake for my birthday (It was divine!) from this location last year. Ron joined us on this part of our visit to Gowanus.

I ordered one scoop in a cup of a flavor they only offer at this location: It Came From Gowanus. It is a salty dark chocolate ice cream with hazelnut crack cookies, white chocolate pearls, and orange-scented brownies. Naturally, I had to have rainbow sprinkles on top. After all, I am an overgrown five year old when it comes to ice cream. The flavor was deep and complex with bitter and salty flavors from the ice cream itself. The other components added chewy texture and the flavors of nuts and oranges. It was a unique flavor experience that I completely enjoyed.

Cup of It Came From Gowanus with Rainbow Sprinkles

Cup of It Came From Gowanus with Rainbow Sprinkles

 

Accessibility Rating for Ample Hills Creamery (Gowanus)

I used my wheelchair to visit Ample Hills Creamery (Gowanus).

  • Entryway – 5: There are two wide doors at the entrance. There is a ramp that goes up to the doors. There are stairs at the entrance.  The transition from the ramp to the inside of the ice cream parlor is smooth.

    Foreground: Top Right - Entrance Doors, Bottom Right- Entrance Ramp Background: Ample Hills Creamery Building

    Foreground: Top Right – Entrance Doors, Bottom Right- Entrance Ramp      Background: Ample Hills Creamery Building

  • Bathroom – 3: There are two grab bars around the toilet. I was able to get underneath the sink with ease. There are short handles on the faucet. The bathroom is dimly lit. I was able to make a 180º turn while in my wheelchair inside the bathroom.
  • Walkways/Space – 3: The interior space is largely passable, but the area at the ice cream case where orders are placed was quite crowded while we were there. The space is brightly lit. There was loud music playing while we ate. The table area is tight for someone using a wheelchair because there is no convenient area where I would have been able to sit at a table (They were all banquettes) and not have been sitting in the middle of people walking past.

    Interior of Ample Hills Creamery (Clockwise from Top Left): Ice Cream Case, Kitchen Where Ice Cream is Made, Ice Cream Case, and Interior Seating Area

    Interior of Ample Hills Creamery (Clockwise from Top Left): Ice Cream Case, Kitchen Where Ice Cream is Made, Ice Cream Case, and Interior Seating Area

  • Staff – 1: The staff did not acknowledge me at all. There was no offer of help, nor was there anyone who asked how they could accommodate me to make my visit better.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


Ample Hills Creamery-Gowanus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Disabled Foodie and Words I Wheel By September 2015 Event

The Disabled Foodie and Words I Wheel By September 2015 Event

This event is a collaboration with Words I Wheel By, a blog I admire. It features a visit to the Wafels & Dinges factory. Wafels & Dinges food trucks sell Belgian waffles around NYC. On the tour, we will tour the factory and eat fresh waffles afterwards. The tour and waffle cost $10 (Paid in cash at the factory on the day of the tour).

Wafels & Dinges Event Digital Flyer with Illustrated Waffles & logos from The Disabled Foodie & Words I Wheel By

When: Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (2:30 to allow enough time for Access-a-Ride users to schedule)

Where: 264 Butler Street, Brooklyn, NY

RSVP to thedisabledfoodie@gmail.com with “W&D RSVP” in the Subject Line by Wednesday, September 16, 2015Please note in your email if there are any accommodations you require, and include a phone number should the event be canceled. Make sure to RSVP so we do not start without you.

 

Brooklyn Pie Day – August 26, 2015

Brooklyn Pie Day – August 26, 2015

As my summer vacation winds down, I created a fun theme day for myself: Brooklyn Pie Day! I visited two restaurants on either end of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park that serve different kinds of pies. As I went through my day, I took photos and videos that documented my journey. You can view those by visiting my Instagram account (click here to view).

DUB Pies – Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

I began my adventure at DUB Pies. According to their website:

“Down Under Bakery (DUB) Pies, established 2003, is proud to be the first specialty bakery to bring the authentic New Zealand-Australian experience — the culturally iconic meat pie — to New York City.” (http://www.dubpies.com/, 2015)

Not only are the pies available at their storefront, but they also have a food truck that brings them to various parts of NYC, as well as delivery and catering services. What is great is that they serve both hot pies to eat right away as well as frozen pies to bring home to heat up later.

I ordered a mince (ground beef) and cheese pie that I brought to nearby Prospect Park to enjoy outside for lunch. It cost $5.75. The pie was nice and warm, but not too hot, which I appreciated since it made it easy to eat using my hands. The filling was savory and loaded with the flavor of beef followed by the sharp aftertaste of white cheddar cheese. It was really enjoyable! The cheese helped the filling stay together and not ooze out after I took bites of the pie. The crust was light and flaky, but my only complaint was that it was quite soft. There were no crispy parts on the pie I ate, so the pie was a bit wobbly as I held it, and it lacked varied texture due to not having crispy parts of the crust.

Foreground: Mince & Cheese Pie from DUB Pies Background: Wall Inside DUB Pies

Foreground: Mince & Cheese Pie from DUB Pies      Background: Wall Inside DUB Pies

Accessibility Rating for DUB Pies

I used my wheelchair to visit DUB Pies.

  • Entryway – 3: There is one wide door at the entrance. There is a slight ramp outside leading up to the door. There are no stairs, and the transition from outside to inside is decent. The problem was that in order for me to enter or exit while in my wheelchair a patron had to move a bunch of stools out of the way. This is due to the restaurant’s small interior space, as described further below.

    Entrance to DUB Pies

    Entrance to DUB Pies

  • Bathroom N/A: There is no bathroom available for public use. Patrons tend to grab and go, even though there are a few tables where they can sit.
  • Walkways/Space – 2: As described in the Entrance section, several stools had to be moved out of the way for me to enter and exit. Once inside, there was basically room for me in my wheelchair with very little extra space around it. Due to this, there was no room for me to sit at a table inside, should I have wanted to do that. If it were not for the windows on two sides of the restaurant, it would be quite dim inside. Beyond some soft background music, there was no noise at the time I was there.

    Background: Interior of DUB Pies Inset: Pies on Display

    Background: Interior of DUB Pies      Inset: Pies on Display

  • Staff – 1: The staff was not helpful in terms of assisting me with my needs as a person in a wheelchair. There were two staff members behind the counter, and it was only myself and another patron inside. Instead of one of the staff members helping me get into and out of the restaurant, they both watched as the other patron helped. While I appreciate the kindness from the other patron, the staff should have at least offered to step in to help.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Café – Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza

After my lunch, I made my way through Prospect Park (The paths are not great for wheelchairs, and none of this is noted on any maps of the park. There are paths that are made with cobblestone-like tiles, and paths that end in curbs without curb cuts. I had to do a lot of backtracking). I headed to the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library. My reason for going there was the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Café inside. I had been meaning to go to their main pie shop in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, but upon calling ahead I learned that there is a step in the front of their shop with no available ramp. Fortunately, they have a café in the atrium of the Central Library.

For months, I heard nothing but rave reviews of Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ pies, particularly their salted caramel apple pie. So, I capped off Brooklyn Pie Day by indulging in two slices of pie. Slices cost $5.00 each. I ordered the salted caramel apple pie, but another pie piqued my curiosity, so I had to try both. This second slice was matcha green tea pie.

I started with the matcha green tea pie with low expectations, but, WOW! This pie blew my mind! The first thing I saw was what looked like a grass green pudding in a pie crust. My curiosity pushed me forward, and I was so glad it did. It was so creamy and luscious. It was sweet and a tiny bit salty.  There was an herbaceous note from the green tea, but not in an overpowering way. The crust was light and flaky with perfect texture. It had crispy parts. I could not get enough of this pie.

Afterwards, I ate the salted caramel apple pie. I should have reversed the order in which I ate the pies because this pie was really good, but after the matcha green tea pie, it was a bit of a let down. Again, it had excellent crust. The apples were perfectly cooked, not droopy or limp like they can sometimes be in an apple pie. I enjoyed this pie, but the former pie was definitely my favorite.

Left: Slice of Salted Caramel Apple Pie Right: Slice of Matcha Green Tea Pie

Left: Slice of Salted Caramel Apple Pie      Right: Slice of Matcha Green Tea Pie

Accessibility Rating for Four & Twenty Blackbirds Café

I used my wheelchair to visit Four & Twenty Blackbirds Café.

  • Entryway – 5: There is a set wide doors at the entrance that have a button that opens both the exterior and interior doors. There are two ramps outside leading from the sidewalk up to the door. There are steps, but the ramps help patrons using mobility assistive devices avoid these.  The transition from outside to inside is smooth.

    Background: Entrance to Brooklyn Public Library/ Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe Inset: Ramp at Entrance

    Background: Entrance to Brooklyn Public Library/ Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe      Inset: Ramp at Entrance

  • Bathroom 4 (Men’s): There is one grab bar that wraps around two sides of the toilet. The stall itself is small, and I struggled to be able to make a 180º turn inside. Wheelchairs lower than mine will be able to fit underneath the sink. There are two sinks, one of which has long faucet handles. The space is well lit.
  • Walkways/Space – 4: The interior space is great! It is spacious with many tables available. The furniture is easily moved to provide space for people who use various mobility assistive devices. It is brightly lit, and the only noise comes from the patrons sitting in the atrium café area and those passing through. My only problem was that I struggled to read the menu as various machines on the counter blocked my view.

    Interior of Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe at the Brooklyn Public Library

    Interior of Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe at the Brooklyn Public Library

  • Staff – 5: The staff member who assisted me read the menu to me since it was hard to see (as described earlier). She provided a bag for me to make carrying my slices of pie easier.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


Click to add a blog post for DUB Pies on Zomato

Doughnut Making Class at The Brooklyn Kitchen – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Doughnut Making Class at The Brooklyn Kitchen – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – July 26, 2015

Clockwise From Top Left: Gabi mixing doughnut dough, Frying doughnuts, Raw doughnuts, and Peeling apples for apple fritters Background: Wallpaper from The Brooklyn Kitchen with illustrations of produce

Clockwise From Top Left: Gabi mixing doughnut dough, Frying doughnuts, Raw doughnuts, and Peeling apples for apple fritters      Background: Wallpaper from The Brooklyn Kitchen

Doughnuts are one of the latest (and maybe I’m so behind that they are already passé) artisanal baked good trends. With my love for baking and desserts, I dove head first with my husband into a doughnut making class at The Brooklyn Kitchen.

The Brooklyn Kitchen (TBK) store sells food, cookware, utensils, cookbooks, and a range of small kitchen appliances. TBK offers many cooking classes ranging from doughnut making to knife skills to tomato canning to cooking Cambodian food. (Before you book a class, call ahead to ask which classroom will be used for the class as there is an upstairs room that is not accessible to wheelchairs or those with other mobility issues.)

Our class was led by Gabi who taught us how to make beer battered apple fritters, chai spiced cake doughnuts, and coffee glazed yeast doughnuts. The class consisted of 15 students, and the room has several tables for students to work. The instructor’s station has an adjustable mirror above it so students can watch what the instructor is doing. Gabi prepared the dough for the chai spiced cake doughnuts and the yeast doughnuts. We peeled, cored, and cut the apples, prepared the fritter batter, rolled out and cut the doughnuts, and fried the fritters and doughnuts.

The apple fritters were lightly battered and deep fried. They were delicious! Crispy, juicy, sweet,  with a slight malt flavor from the beer. The chai spiced cake doughnuts were dense and exploded with the flavor of cardamom, which is one of my favorite spices. The coffee glazed doughnuts were lighter and airy in consistency, but the glaze did not have a strong coffee flavor.

I enjoyed the class, but it felt a bit crowded. There were some accessibility issues, as I detail in the accessibility review below.

Top Left: Apple Fritters Bottom Right: In front - Two coffee glazed yeast doughnuts, In back - Chai spiced cake doughnut Background: Wallpaper from The Brooklyn Kitchen with illustrations of produce

Top Left: Apple Fritters      Bottom Right: In front – Two coffee glazed yeast doughnuts, In back – Chai spiced cake doughnut      Background: Wallpaper from The Brooklyn Kitchen

 

Accessibility Rating for The Brooklyn Kitchen

I used my wheelchair to visit The Brooklyn Kitchen.

    • Entryway – 5: The entrance has one set of wide doors with a smooth transition from the sidewalk outside. There are no stairs. Once inside, there is a large ramp that leads up into the store.

      Entrance

      Entrance

    • Bathroom 3: The accessible bathroom is small. There are two grab bars around the toilet. I could get close to the sink while in my wheelchair. The sink has a long handle on the faucet. It is a well-lit room with the light turned on. There is a changing table for infants in this room which takes up a good deal of space, so I was unable to turn my wheelchair around while in the bathroom. The staff had to remove the garbage can from the bathroom in order for me to get inside.
    • Walkways/Space – 3: The store is spacious, though some aisles are more difficult to negotiate than others. This is due to having items and baskets being displayed on the floor. The classroom is large and easy to negotiate, though when it had 15 students in it it became a little more difficult. The store and classroom are brightly lit. There was some soft music playing in the background. The classroom was not set up when we entered to accommodate me in my wheelchair. TBK had been given prior notice that I would be using my wheelchair during the class. Upon entering, I noticed that there were no tables that I would be able to fit underneath while in my wheelchair. As I will detail in the staff evaluation, they adjusted the room, and added tables in the back of the room that I was able to fit underneath. Once this was done, I could not see what Gabi was doing in the mirror above the instructor’s station. The staff adjusted the mirror to fix this problem right away.

      Clockwise From Top Left: Interior of The Brooklyn Kitchen (TBK), Interior of TBK, Produce Case, and Meat Case Background: Wallpaper from TBK with illustrations of produce

      Clockwise From Top Left: Interior of The Brooklyn Kitchen (TBK), Interior of TBK, Produce Case, and Meat Case      Background: Wallpaper from TBK

    • Staff – 4: The staff adjusted furniture in the classroom, fixed the mirror in the classroom, and helped take the garbage can out of the bathroom so I could get inside. They had to shift the tables in the room and brought another table inside. I did not fit underneath that one. So, they pulled some tables away from the rear wall, and I was able to fit underneath it. I need to take a point off of this area because they were not properly prepared for me in my wheelchair even though they were informed of this ahead of time.
    • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.

 


The Disabled Foodie’s Smorgasburg Event

Group Photo by Diahann Hambrick

Group Photo by Diahann Hambrick

Imagine being able to try amazing food from the Philippines, Ethiopia, West Africa, Mexico, and America all in one place, and you can enjoy it all outside in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. That’s what we did today at The Disabled Foodie’s event at Smorgasburg. It was a great event with incredible people! I am grateful to everyone who showed up. Thank you for supporting The Disabled Foodie and my goal to increase accessibility to fantastic food everywhere. Everyone commented how great Smorgasburg is, and how they cannot wait to come back with friends and family.

The group sampled many different types of food and drink. I started out by visiting Woezo West African Cuisine’s booth. I had the Koliko Fries. These were thick, tropical yam fries with a ginger gazpacho dipping sauce and homemade sriracha. The fries were sweet and starchy with a crisp outside and a toothsome bite. The gazpacho and sriracha was spicy and piquant. Not your ordinary fries, which was a very good thing!

Foreground: Koliko Fries Background: Woezo West African Cuisine

Inset Photo: Koliko Fries      Background: Woezo West African Cuisine

From there, I visited Bunna Cafe’s booth. Bunna Cafe makes Ethiopian food. I was on an African food kick because I wanted to sample things that are not your everyday American foods.  In addition, while I did not go there to make today a vegetarian day, I was able to do just that because there were plenty of great vegetarian offerings.

I ordered a meal which came with three dishes and injera (Ethiopian sourdough bread made with teff, a grass native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, and wheat flour). The three dishes I chose were: Misir Wot (red lentils with a spicy berbere sauce), Yatakilt Alicha (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and tumeric), and Gomen (steamed kale with carrots, red onions, ginger, garlic, and herbs). The injera was spongy and sour, as it is supposed to be. It sopped up all of the delicious sauces from the dishes. The Misir Wot was earthy from the lentils and had the right amount of heat from the berbere sauce. The Yatakilt Alicha was crunchy from the cabbage and carrots with sweetness from the carrots and an earthy flavor from the potatoes. Finally, the Gomen was filled with the flavor of the kale. It was quite simple, and very yummy.

Ethiopian food from Bunna From Left to Right: Misir Wot, Yatakilt Alicha, & Gomen with Injera

Ethiopian food from Bunna Cafe     From Left to Right: Misir Wot, Yatakilt Alicha, & Gomen with Injera on top, sides, and underneath the vegetables

Finally, my friend, Diahann, tried a Chamoyada from La Newyorkina. She let me try some of it. This frozen, slushy drink from Mexico hit all the right flavor notes: fruity, spicy, salty, sweet, and sour. It has tamarind candy (I am not a fan of tamarind, so I stayed away from this part of the drink), chamoy (pickled plum juice), pineapple ice, and salted chili powder. Every taste sensation in a cool, refreshing drink!

Chamoyada from La Newyorkina Photos by Diahann Hambrick

Background: Chamoyada from La Newyorkina      Inset Photo: Sign listing the Chamoyada’s ingredients      Photos by Diahann Hambrick

Accessibility Rating for Smorgasburg

I used my wheelchair to visit Smorgasburg.

Smorgasburg Sign

Smorgasburg Sign

  • Entryway – 5: The entrance is accessible. The entire market is outdoors on a field of asphalt, so there are some bumps and cracks to deal with along the way, but it is largely accessible.
  • Bathroom (Men’s) – 4: The bathroom is 0.2 mile away in a building south of Pier 5 where Smorgasburg is located. The thresholds at the entry were a little bit high, and I needed a push to exit the bathroom. The one accessible stall had two horizontal grab bars and one vertical grab bar around the toilet. I was able to fit my wheelchair under the sink which had automatic sensors. The bathroom was brightly lit and spacious.
  • Walkways/Space – 4: The aisles are wide and easy to navigate. The only concern is large bumps and cracks in the asphalt for people using mobility assistive devices. I did get stuck in one crack at one point and needed help to get out of it. As this is an outdoor event in an area with limited shade, you definitely need to wear sunscreen, and a hat is helpful.

    Scenes from Smorgasburg

    Scenes from Smorgasburg

  • Staff – 5: The staff at each booth was friendly and helpful. I have to compliment Mitch from Woezo because he discussed with me how to get a Braille menu printed. We are going to work together to try to make this happen for Woezo. Kudos to Mitch for his inclusive and progressive thinking. We need more restaurateurs and chefs like Mitch. If you go to Smorgasburg, definitely support Woezo!
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


Paulie Gee’s – Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Paulie Gee’s – Greenpoint, Brooklyn – March 28, 2015

Last night, my husband and I ventured to Greenpoint, Brooklyn to visit Paulie Gee’s. This pizzeria came highly recommended by one of my husband’s coworkers. (Note: If you choose to go, be aware that they are only open in the evening/night, and a line quickly forms, so getting there when it opens is best.) Overall, the food was excellent, but the accessibility left a lot to be desired as you will read.

Disclaimer: Due to the dimly lit space inside of the restaurant, all photographs had to be lightened to be easily visible.

We started with draft beers. I am more of a beer person than my husband, and I know that he dislikes hoppy beers. So, I selected Ommegang Witte beer for him, and I had a Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. Milk and Honey beer. The Witte beer was light, crisp, and citrusy. It is a refreshing summer beer. The Milk and Honey beer is made with N.Y. barley, wildflower honey, milk sugar, and chamomile. It was earthy in flavor from the barley with a creamy flavor and texture due to the honey and milk sugar.

Left: Ommegang Witte Right: Greenpoint Beer Milk and Honey

Left: Ommegang Witte         Right: Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. Milk and Honey

The pizzas are all cooked onsite in their pizza oven (see photo in review of interior space below). They are all twelve inch pizzas, so we selected two pizzas, and we made sure to select non-traditional pizzas. The first pizza was Anise and Anephew: Fresh Mozzarella, Braised Fennel, Anisette Cream Drizzle, Berkshire Guanciale and Fennel Fronds. If you love the licorice flavor of anise/fennel, this is the pizza for you. The dough is so good! It is thin, charred from the pizza over, perfectly chewy, and had a light sweetness. Unlike most pizza doughs, this one was not flavorless. The toppings caused the pizza to explode with a mix of flavors: sweet anise/fennel licorice flavor, the mozzarella was buttery, and the guanciale was savory and salty. Our second pizza was Greenpoint Benedict: Fresh Mozzarella, Baby Spinach, Sliced Canadian Bacon and a Post-Oven Hollandaise Drizzle. Again, the dough was charred, chewy, and delicious. The mozzarella was buttery and fresh. This pizza was much more savory in flavor than the first. The spinach was perfectly cooked: bright green with just a touch of bitterness. The Canadian bacon was salty, and it was all complemented by the slightly eggy Hollandaise. The pizzas were truly unique and delicious.

Left: Greenpoint Benedict Pizza Right: Anise and Anephew Pizza

Left: Greenpoint Benedict Pizza             Right: Anise and Anephew Pizza

When I saw whose ice cream is featured on their menu, I had to order some. Van Leeuwen makes artisanal ice creams in Brooklyn. We were adventurous and tried the Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream. It is made with a coconut milk base, and that nutty flavor was definitely present. The sweet, burnt caramel flavor was balanced by the salt. The texture was different from dairy based ice cream. It did not have the creamy texture you get from milk fats, but it was still quite good.

Van Leeuwen Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Accessibility Rating for Paulie Gee’s

I used my wheelchair to visit Paulie Gee’s.

  • Entryway – 4: The entrance is accessible. There is a steep small ramp at the exterior door that does create a bit of a bump. There are two doors: an exterior door (below) and an interior door. The interior door consists of two doors. When both are not opened, it is too narrow for most mobility assistive devices to pass through. The staff immediately opened the second door so I could get inside. There are no stairs.

    Entrance

    Entrance

  • Bathroom – 2: I had difficulty entering the bathroom because the restaurant had a table inside that had to be removed by my husband. Even with the table removed, the door would not close with my wheelchair inside. My husband had to help me in, and then, take my chair away. There are two grab bars around the toilet. It was quite difficult getting in and out of this bathroom. (The reason for the 2 rating instead of a 1 is due to the presence of the grab bars.) The sink is outside of the bathroom, and I was unable to reach it from my chair because it is too high and set too far back.
  • Walkways/Space – 2: The interior is very tight, especially considering how crowded the restaurant gets. The main walkway is passable, but once the bar at the entrance becomes crowded it is difficult to negotiate. The tables are various heights, so wheelchair users should be aware of that. The space is dimly lit, making it difficult for people with visual impairments. Plus, the menu is printed in a tiny font, which makes reading it more difficult for those who have visual impairments. It is loud inside due to loud music and people talking in the relatively small space.

    Interior (Center: Pizza oven)

    Interior (Center: Pizza oven)

  • Staff – 4: The staff was good. Upon entering, they gave me my choice of table. Our waitress was helpful when it came to answering questions about the bathroom. When we left, the hostess cleared the path, and she opened the doors to make our exit easy.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


Paulie Gee's on Urbanspoon

Fette Sau – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Fette Sau – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – March 8, 2015

Today, I went with my friend, Amy, to Fette Sau in Williamsburg. Fette Sau is a barbeque restaurant whose name is German for fat sow. They smoke all of their meats in-house with wood supplied by The Woodman. The meat comes from heritage animals (They list the farms of origin on their website), and all of it is dry rubbed with their proprietary house blend. They also have many beers on tap, and if you are a fan of whiskey, they have an enormous selection. All food and drink is served at the counter and bar.

I ordered a Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner to drink. This light, Brooklyn-made beer stood up to the barbequed meat without being too heavy or hoppy. It would make a great summer beer.

Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner

Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner

I ordered a half pound of the brisket and a side order of Guss’ half-sour pickles. It came with two dinner rolls on the side. The brisket was beefy, tender, and had just the right amount of fat. The dry rub was nice, but I would have enjoyed a stronger punch of flavor. They serve the meat right onto a piece of paper on a tray. The Guss’ pickles were just as salty and delicious as I remember them from my childhood. My family would sometimes go to Guss’ storefront on the Lower East Side to get pickles from the barrel if we happened to be in that area. The rolls were plain dinner rolls, and while they were decent, they did not add much in the way of flavor to the meal.

Left: Brisket  Center: Guss' Half-Sour Pickles  Right: Rolls

Left: Brisket   Center: Guss’ Half-Sour Pickles   Right: Rolls

Afterwards, we visited Oddfellows Ice Cream. My first The Disabled Foodie Review included a review of Oddfellows Ice Cream. I had Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ice Cream and Burnt Honey Rosemary Ice Cream. The olive oil ice cream was light and fruity in flavor while the burnt honey rosemary ice cream was the star. The pine-like rosemary flavor was  complemented by the caramel notes from the burnt honey. Both ice creams had excellent smooth and creamy texture. This was my first time using a wheelchair at Oddfellows, and I discovered that the entrance has a huge bump which made it difficult to enter. Upon exiting, my wheelchair got stuck on the mat at the door.

Oddfellows Ice Cream Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Burnt Honey Rosemary Ice Creams

Oddfellows Ice Cream Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Burnt Honey Rosemary Ice Creams

Accessibility Rating for Fette Sau

I used my wheelchair to visit Fette Sau.

  • Entryway – 4: The main entrance is accessible. There is an exterior door, a vestibule, and an interior door. The space near the interior door is tight due to a small bench in that area.The transition from the outside sidewalk to the exterior door is smooth. There are no stairs.

    Entrance

    Entrance

  • Bathroom – 3: I had difficulty entering the bathroom because like other bathrooms, there was little space for the door to close once the wheelchair was inside. Inside, there was one grab bar near the toilet. The faucet does not have long handles.
  • Walkways/Space – 1: The interior is tight. The furniture is not moveable, as it consists of huge picnic tables. There was no room at the end of the table where I could sit comfortably. I had to transfer to the table, but I could not get my leg up and around the table leg.Therewas limited space to move the wheelchair around. The space is dimly lit which could be problematic for people with visual impairments.

    Left: Picnic Tables Inside  Center: Bar Area  Right: Food Counter

    Left: Picnic Tables Inside   Center: Bar Area   Right: Food Counter

  • Staff – 1: The staff did not ask if there was any way to help me. They did not offer to help me bring my tray to a table.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.


Fette Sau on Urbanspoon

Little Cupcake Bakeshop & Ample Hills Creamery – Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Little Cupcake Bakeshop & Ample Hills Creamery- Prospect Heights, Brooklyn – March 1, 2015

After how horrible this winter has been, I was finally able to get out of the house to review a food venue after not being able to since Valentine’s Day. What was even better was that my husband and I were able to meet my old friend and former co-worker, Beth Ann, and her family at Little Cupcake Bakeshop. I have not seen her in years, and I was finally able to meet her adorable daughter. Unfortunately, the weather did not hold out, so our visit did not last as long as we would have liked. After they left, we had to wait for my Access-a-Ride (NYC Paratransit), so we visited Ample Hills Creamery across the street. It turned into an afternoon dessert extravaganza.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop was the winner of my poll about where I should review next. I learned about it from the Unique Sweets program on the Cooking Channel. The bakery has two locations in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. My husband and I shared a Meyer Lemon Square and a Coconut Custard, and we brought home cupcakes to try later on. Both things that we ate at the bakery were fantastic. The lemon square was tart, but not to the point of mouth puckering, and it was sweet, but not overpowering. It all was on top of a thick, buttery shortbread crust. Delicious! The Coconut Custard was creamy, nutty, and delectable. The toasted coconut on top added the perfect complement in texture to the smooth custard. I am looking forward to trying the cupcakes later on when I come down from today’s sugar buzz.

Left: Meyer Lemon Bar Center: Cupcakes Right: Coconut Custard

Left: Meyer Lemon Bar   Center: Cupcakes   Right: Coconut Custard

Accessibility Rating for Little Cupcake Bakeshop – Prospect Heights

I used my wheelchair to visit Little Cupcake Bakeshop – Prospect Heights.

  • Entryway – 5: The main entrance is fully accessible.The transition from the outside sidewalk to the entrance is smooth. There are no stairs.

    Little Cupcake Bakeshop Entrance

    Little Cupcake Bakeshop Entrance

  • Bathroom – 4: There is a fully accessible unisex bathroom in the back of the bakery. It was a little difficult to get the door open and closed because the door is quite large in relation to the size of the bathroom and the position of the toilet and sink. The toilet has two grab bars around it. The faucet does not have long handles.
  • Walkways/Space – 5: The interior is spacious. The furniture is easily moved to accommodate all types of mobility assistive devices. The inside was brightly lit due to good lighting and large windows. The space to get to the bathroom from the dining area was a little tight.

    Various Shots of Little Cupcake Bakeshop Interior Center Inset: Bakery Case

    Various Photos of Little Cupcake Bakeshop Interior   Center Inset: Bakery Case

  • Staff – 4: The staff was good. They moved a chair from the table to allow me to sit at the table using my wheelchair. The only thing they did not do was ask if there was any other way to help me.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.

After Beth Ann and her family left, we decided to enjoy some of the best ice cream in New York City at Ample Hills Creamery across the street. I had been to this location (the original location with the other two being in Brooklyn and the newest opening recently in Manhattan) before, and my husband bought my birthday cake last year from Ample Hills Creamery. They make all the ice cream in small batches in house. The flavors are very creative, and today, I had butterscotch pudding ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and my husband had coconut fudge sorbet. The butterscotch pudding ice cream was rich, buttery, and had the bite of bourbon. The coconut fudge sorbet was delicious, but all I could taste was rich chocolate flavor and no coconut.

Left: Butterscotch Pudding Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles Right: Coconut Fudge Sorbet

Left: Butterscotch Pudding Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles   Right: Coconut Fudge Sorbet

Accessibility Rating for Ample Hills Creamery – Prospect Heights

I used my wheelchair to visit Ample Hills Creamery – Prospect Heights.

  • Entryway – 5: The main entrance is not the accessible entrance. There is an accessible entrance a few feet down the block with a ramp.The transition from the outside sidewalk to this entrance is smooth. There are no stairs.

    Main Entrance to Ample Hills Creamery (Accessible Entrance Down the Block)

    Main Entrance to Ample Hills Creamery (Accessible Entrance Down the Block)

  • Bathroom – 2: I had difficulty entering the bathroom. Even though there is a small ramp at the entrance, it was not flush with the floor, and I could not enter forwards. Instead, I had to enter backwards. Inside, there are no grab bars around the toilet. The faucet does not have long handles.
  • Walkways/Space – 5: The interior is roomy. The furniture is easily moved to accommodate any type of mobility assistive device. The space is brightly lit.

    Left and Right: Interior of Ample Hills Creamery Center: Ice Cream Case

    Left and Right: Interior of Ample Hills Creamery   Center: Ice Cream Case

  • Staff – 1: The staff did not ask if there was any way to help me, nor did they move any furniture out of the way to help me access a table.
  • Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus, though when I asked they were the first place to say they would happily read everything to blind patrons and provide them with taste samples.


Little Cupcake Bakeshop on Urbanspoon

Ample Hills Creamery on Urbanspoon

Where Would You Like Me to Review?

Voting on this poll closed on Wednesday, February 25. Thank you for participating. Congratulations to Little Cupcake Bakeshop. I will be visiting soon!

I want my readers to be able to interact with me and contribute more to The Disabled Foodie. As a result, I want your opinion about where you would like me to review. I am including links to five places that I want to review, so please look at each website, and then choose your favorite in the poll below.

Sockerbit (Scandinavian candy store)

Four & Twenty Blackbirds (Pie shop)

Royce (Japanese chocolate)

Co. (Artisanal pizza)

Little Cupcake Bakeshop (Bakery with locally sourced ingredients)

Sockerbit
2 Vote
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
3 Vote
Royce
2 Vote
Co.
1 Vote
Little Cupcake Bakeshop
3 Vote

Thank you for your vote!