The galpal and I slept late on Labor Day and were planning to head over to Tom's Luncheonette in Prospect Hts around 1pm, but we stupidly forgot all about the parade. A series of police barricades shunted us over to Atlantic Ave., at which point we decided to forget about Tom's and cruise down thru Bed-Stuy and East New York instead. This turned out to be a great decision.
First stop was at the East Market Diner (corner of Atlantic and Georgia Aves). I'd noticed this joint while driving by about a jillion times but had never stopped there before. Turns out to be a classic diner with a friendly crowd, super-nice service, and absolutely *none* of that greasy smell that permeates so many diners. I had French toast (good) and the galpal had a turkey club (excellent) with fries (so-so) and two pickle spears (nice and garlicky). When we asked for iced tea, the waitress said, "Snapple or homemade?" -- nice. We got the latter, natch, and it was my-t-fine. Bottom line, including tax and tip: $16. All in all, this was solid, no-frills food, just like a diner should be, except it's so hard to find decent diners in NYC, so this one sorta feels like a treasure, especially given the very warm social vibe. Pretty classic diner aesthetics, too. Recommended.
Next was the always-wonderful Mrs. Maxwell's Bakery (Atlantic & Vermont), where, as their slogan goes, "It just isn't a party without Mrs. Maxwell's party cakes." Got a cupcake, a mini-cheesecake thingie, and a lemon meringue tart. Mmmmmmm.
Driving on a bit farther, we saw an odd sight on the sidewalk outside of Castillo's Seafood shop (Atlantic & Warwick). They had a big chicken-wire cage filled with crabs, and the crabs were climbing around on the walls and ceilings of the cage, literally hanging off of the sides and off of each other -- I've never seen crabs behave like this. Turns out they weren't blue crabs or calicos or Dungeness -- they were a rather drab blue-gray-ish variety I hadn't seen before, with big-ass claws. The proprietor said they were "Caribbean crabs." He was selling them for $8/lb., but we were already stuffed from our previous stops, so we didn't buy any. Anyone familiar with this particular crustacean?
Brooklyn is so damn cool!