A few years ago, Zak Pelaccio and Ana Jovancicevic told me about a wonderful Trinidadian snack shop on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights called A & A Bake and Doubles. Sadly (for Brooklynites, at least), the closet of a place closed last year and relocated to Queens. I had my first chance to check it out last weekend, and the new space is magnificent. In addition, the menu has been expanded to add more Trinidadian street snacks than were available in the old place. Now there are booths, too–the old place had zero seating, and only enough space for three people to stand and wait for their doubles and bakes. New address: 120-09 Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens, 718-659-7400
Shown above, the doubles (the word is singular as well as plural) remains fantastic–twin miniature pooris sliding back and forth over a sloppy filling of chick peas in curry sauce. Weekends are the traditional time to enjoy doubles, and sometimes you can still find small boys selling them from ice chests (which keep the pooris hot) along Nostrand Avenue as it runs from Eastern Parkway to Atlantic Avenue.
The new A & A also sells aloo pie, a longish fritter sluiced with the same chick pea curry, a popular street snack in Port of Spain, Trinidad’s capital. Here is a picture of A & A’s rendition:
And here is the version I ate on the streets of Trinidad’s capital last year:
But the big news is not that these delicious snacks ($1.50 each!) are available in Richmond Hll, but that they are coming back to Brooklyn. The owner told me a new branch of A & A Bake and Doubles would soon be opening (a week or two, he said) near the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Church Avenue. We couldn’t be happier.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 7, 2009