A few months ago, I received a call on my Voice voicemail, informing me that A & A Bake and Doubles was relocating from Bed-Stuy to Richmond Hill, Queens. Now, A & A was one of my favorite eateries in Brooklyn, serving the doubles, bakes, and other Indian-leaning snacks that constitute the heart of Trinidadian cuisine.
I dutifully filed the info away, considering Bed-Stuy’s A & A closed for further snacking, and went to seek my doubles (a pair of tiny pooris with chick pea curry in between, with a choice of sauces that include tamarind and fiery scotch bonnet, called “pepper”) elsewhere.
Last week, I finally made it to the new A & A. Though the prices were a bit higher, the food was good, and some friends and I tried a doubles (the word is singular and plural) and an aloo pie–a potato fritter that I hadn’t tried since I’d been in Trinidad.
But when I posted a piece on the new A & A, Dave Cook of eatingintranslation.com noted that the old place had never closed! Indeed, it was easy to miss this, since the old A & A was notorious for keeping unpredictable hours, and would often close early in the afternoon if the doubles ran out.
A & A’s doubles (the Bed-Stuy version) pried open by eager hands
So I hoofed it out to Bed-Stuy on Saturday, and re-acquainted myself with their wonderful Trinidadian food. The doubles were just as good as always–I had mine extensively squirted with “pepper,” though my companions demured. What’s more, they were only $1 apiece, as opposed to the $1.50 charged in Richmond Hill.
The magnificent herring bake
We also tried the herring bake, a fried bread (a baked version is also available) stuffed with a flaky smoked herring salad. Wonderful! And very strongly flavored.
When the kitchen door swung open at this standing-only eatery, I asked a guy that described himself as the manager if he knew anything about the new Richmond Hill location. “Never heard of it,” he tersely replied.
So, take this as a tip, that the original place is still open for business. 481 Nostrand Avenue, Brookly, 718-230-0753
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 12, 2009