tonight i'm bringing you a special 2 for 1 entry of hammy on rye. we traveled all the way to red hook (actually only 7 miles away, but you try navigating your way through brooklyn!), which happens to be one of my favorite neighborhoods in brooklyn because of all of the culinary treasures that reside there. first of all fairway and ikea are there, prime destinations. you've got stumptown coffee roasters, red hook lobster pound, the good fork. but this entry is not about any of those places, oh no. i'm dedicating this entry to two of my favorite red hook establishments, hope & anchor and the ultra famous BAKED.
hope & anchor is a little retro diner joint situated on the corner of van brunt and wolcott streets. with an extensive menu hope & anchor is typically a crowd pleaser, we've been there several times with all different types of picky eaters (i'm looking at you, kevin) and everyone is usually satisfied. clearly this wasn't my first time visiting hope & anchor, or baked, but i felt as though they were due for some recognition on this little thing here.
h & a was rather busy this morning, we waited around 10 minutes to be seated. as soon as we sat the hostess (who was very pleasant) brought us our menus and asked if she could take our drink order. she brought us our beverages and that was the last we saw of anyone for quite some time. i don't think of myself as very critical when i dine out, but waiting 15 minutes to have your order taken is pretty ridiculous. you are serving brunch on a sunday in brooklyn, NY...you need to have more than 1 waiter on the floor. a bartender does not equal a waiter either. not only did it take that long but the bartender who took our order looked extremely pissed that he had to even be talking to us. after we placed our order the food came around 8 minutes later which was excellent timing, i wasn't sure i could contain myself any longer.
the food was excellent, as always. i ordered the cheeseburger (which i could smell from the street as we were walking up) and it was delicious as usual. all burgers come with a side salad and a side of fries, which are eerily similar to mc donald's french fries. joe was less than pleased with his meal; he ordered the granola with yogurt and fruit but found that the yogurt was too bitter. he also had a side of "hash" which to me looked like a side of roasted vegetables, not exactly hash. we waited another 10 minutes or so until we received our check, which i was ok with since i needed to digest before we walked a few stores down to my favorite place in the world.....BAKED!!
like i've previously stated, i'm not really into those hyped up places that everyone talks about and thinks is soOooO wonderful when in reality it seriously is mediocre and it's only popular because of who has endorsed it (i.e. magnolia bakery). oh, and i HATE oprah. but boy, do i love baked! apparently their brownies were listed as one of oprah's favorite things (the sweet & salty is most definitely the best brownie i've ever had) which has been HUGE for them i'm sure (they now sell their boxed brownie mix at williams-sonoma, so cool!). i'm not going there for the brownies though (that's a lie, i did buy one)....i'm going there for the WHOOPIE PIE.
that's right, whoopie pie. an amish tradition, whoopie pies are pretty much cake sandwiches. or maybe a soft oreo. i don't really know. all i know is that they are fucking DELICIOUS and after eating baked's version of them, i could pretty much die happy. today they only had the classic and peanut butter versions. the red velvet (which we sampled at last week's artisans market at williams sonoma) was by far the best one i've had yet. so moist and incredible, not too sweet and not too overwhelming. the fact that they also serve stumptown coffee makes baked my most favorite bakery in the whole entire world.
red hook is a wonderful little neighborhood that makes you feel like you're not in brooklyn, which can be a good thing sometimes. i would love to buy a little place there and start our mini farm with bees, chicken and vegetables. hopefully we can find something for a decent price! until then, i'll relish my trips to this neighborhood and pretend i'm a local.
Hope & Anchor
347 Van Brunt St
(at Wolcott St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
359 Van Brunt St
(between Dikeman St & Wolcott St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
btw, both places accept credit cards although there is a $10 minimum at baked.