We’ve been kind of lazy with food shopping recently, which is something that tends to happen whenever the seasons change. Casseroles are just around the corner, but it’s not quite cold enough yet. So, in honor of our laziness, let’s talk for a moment about food delivery. If you live in Ridgewood, you probably do a fair amount of cooking; Ridgewood is full of young couples and families with young kids, and home-cooked meals are a way of life. Not surprisingly, there’s also fewer food-delivery options in the ‘wood than in many other parts of the city. Yes, everywhere from the corner bodega masquerading as a burger joint (see “A word about Gates Burger,” below) to the Peruvian hole-in-the-wall says they deliver, but when it’s 9pm and we’re tired and hungry, we want something fast and dependable. One place we like for delivery — at least for some things — is Ridgewood Thai. It’s one of only two Thai places in the ‘wood; the other one is really, really, really gross. Sorry, but it is. Continue reading
Ridgewood, in many ways, retains that old-timey New York City feel that slips through your fingers in other parts of the boroughs. Lots of neighborhood people speak with a classic New York accent. Sometimes, you meet a white-hair with old-country inflection who tells you that Section 8 ruined the idyllic flavor of Ridgewood, and you’ll slowly back away. But most of the time, people seem content with the relative lack of change here. It’s slow.
The classic tests of “New Yorkness” in the culinary sense: Pizza, Bagel, Pickle. So when I found Eddie’s Pickles for sale in a plain glass quart jar at Seneca Garden, I breathed a sigh of nostalgic familiarity. The tiny kirbies are packaged in Maspeth, by a company that misspelled their own name on the label. They are left whole and come in kosher dill, half sour, or new. They have an expiration date about three months after when they are made, which is important! Pickles that don’t expire have been boiled for pasteurization, and since these are just lacto-fermented (i.e. brined) they won’t last forever. Eddie’s Pickles have four ingredients (plus water): cucumbers, salt, garlic, and spices. They cost $3.49 per jar.
The new pickles, which were the only type in stock on my most recent venture, taste crisply of cucumber-ness. The brine flavors the seedless cukes without softening them. The garlic, if you choose to bite into it, is still sharp and spicy, and it floats surrounded by round coriander seeds and juniper berries. The brine tastes salty but fresh; it’s completely and dangerously drinkable, and would be perfect for picklebacks, if you are into that sort of thing. I have pickled cucumbers and string beans in this brine after eating all of the original pickles. They are never as good as the originals, but still: no salt water is wasted in this home. My grandfather, originally from St. Albans, another old neighborhood of Queens, would be proud of my thriftiness.
601 Seneca Avenue [map]
Eagle Pickle Works
5730 59th Street [map]
Ari writes about her food finds in Ridgewood. She tweets @arispool.
Every once in awhile we’ll feature a Ridgewood resident and get his or her take on the neighborhood’s best spots to eat, shop, and hang out. Our first neighbor is Emily, a newcomer to the ‘wood who knows her way around Fresh Pond. Hello, Emily!
Tell us about yourself!
I am a grad student at Hunter College’s School of Education and also waitress at Morimoto, an upscale Japanese restaurant in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area.
How long have you lived in Ridgewood?
Since May 2012
Where do you live?
On Linden Street at Fresh Pond Road
Food spot no one knows about?
Stanley’s Pierogi on Metropolitan and Arnold Ave — right by Grover Cleveland High School. The potato and cheese ones are my favorite but they have other typical varieties (and blueberry) which are made fresh on the premises daily. Continue reading
Few would praise Ridgewood for its bountiful park space, though we love what we’ve got in Grover Cleveland, Rosemary’s Playground, Mafera Park, etc. With such a limited selection, though, it’s surprising not many people know about our second-biggest park: Evergreen Park, just across the freight-train tracks in Ridgewood’s east-side “Cemetery Sliver.” We’d bet even fewer are aware that Ridgewood has a burgeoning, if modest, rival to the Red Hook Ballfields emerging on Sunday afternoons out there. Continue reading
Looking for great tacos in Ridgewood? Keep reading and we’ll tell you about our favorites. But first, here’s a quick rundown of all the Mexican (and “Mexican”) eateries:
Authentic Mexican (i.e., food like it actually is in Mexico)
- Guadalajara De Dia #2 (Seneca & Menahan): Serviceable, old school taco joint and grocery. Seems to sell a lot of nostalgia products for folks far away from home.
- Fresh Pond Mexican Restaurant (corner of Fresh Pond & 68th Avenue): Busy, cluttered, lunch counter–/diner-type spot that sells big Mexican plates. Continue reading
Fruitti Yummi is finally here! I know we’ve been a little obsessed lately, but we went to the grand opening and here’s the scoop: Bright and cheery with lots of comfy seating, Fruitti Yummi is a welcome addition to the ‘wood. They serve 10 flavors of nonfat froyo, including cookies & cream, pumpkin, cheesecake, coffee, chocolate, and strawberry. Toppings are again Pinkberry-style, with everything from mango boba (tapioca pearls) to trail mix to crushed Oreos. Continue reading