As should be evident from my post below, I'm back from my time spent farming in Europe. It was great fun and I ate a lot of great food and hopefully, someday soon when I'm more organized, I'll share some photos and descriptions of a few of the things I ate abroad. For now, though, let's focus on the more recent past. Though I did indeed dine well during my stays in Spain and France, there were a few flavors that I started to miss, like all kinds of Asian food, and, especially, spicy food. So just a few days after my return, I met my friend Malcolm at one of my very favorite takeout joints, Errol's Caribbean Bakery.
Located on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Hawthorne Street in the area of Brooklyn traditionally known as Flatbush but newly minted by real estate agents as Lefferts Gardens, Errol's is a true neighborhood spot. The first time I visited, it was late one summer night, close to midnight, and Errol's was one of the few spots on Flatbush Avenue that was open. A few friends and I walked in, expecting to find the place mostly empty. Yet while we waited for our food, a steady stream of people came and left, chatting familiarly with the amiable folks behind the counter. Before I even tasted a morsel, I had a good feeling about Errol's: it was warm, friendly, and homey. And, possibly more importantly, it was bursting with many kinds of delicious-looking baked goods:
That's because in addition to offering a wide array of hot, savory dishes, Errol's stays true to its name by serving up a variety of freshly made breads, rolls, cakes and other kinds of sweets. Every one I've tried has been great: from soft, sliced whole wheat loaves to more Caribbean-specific delicacies like currant rolls, soft yeasted rolls studded with currants, and both regular and whole wheat versions of bread pudding, which are huge, thick squares of dense, not-too-sweet custard. I can't remember the exact prices of these items, but I do know that they are very cheap, somewhere in the neighborhood of a dollar for individual servings, and are served in generous portions. But let's get to the hot part of the menu, shall we? You can choose from the following options:
There's a lot of good stuff there, to be sure, but if you're anything like me, you'll go for an order of the stew chicken: for a small ($5), you'll get two large pieces of tender, juicy bone-in chicken cooked down in a dark, rich sauce, served with rice and peas, cabbage and two soft, sweet plantains. Now that's a recession special I can really get behind. I can personally attest, also, to the outstanding quality of the curry goat, the curry chicken, and the jerk chicken--they're all fresh-tasting and delicious--but the star of the show, for me, is the stew chicken:
So if you find yourself in Brooklyn craving some cheap, flavorful and filling Caribbean delights, check out Errol's in Lefferts Gardens. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.