When the weather turns warm, our thoughts turn to the waterfront and frozen foods on sticks. Which is why this week has been an ideal one for the chocolate-covered key lime pie pops, or Swingles, at Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies in Red Hook.
Half the fun of Steve’s is just getting there — to do so you must wander away from the Fairway crowds, across brick-lined streets, and through long weeds and the seafaring detritus of an earlier time. Steve’s itself is located in a converted warehouse right on the harbor, and seems to occupy its own slightly off-kilter parallel universe: One time we arrived there and were greeted by a small fleet of Airstream trailers hosting a family reunion of sorts, complete with a pack of Jack Russell terriers that roamed among the sunflowers.
Regardless of what’s going on outside, inside the spare bakery there are Swingles aplenty. Simply put, the sum of a Swingle’s parts — a miniature key lime pie dipped in melted Belcolade chocolate and then frozen — is one excellent accompaniment to both sunshine and sea breezes. Sweet, tart, cool, creamy, and crunchy (thanks to the Graham cracker crust), it presses a soundboard’s worth of pleasure buttons, and may cause you to reach for a cigarette after you’ve finished eating.
But be warned: in the tradition of the most potent members of the Fat Pants Friday peanut gallery, Swingles are far more substantial than their 4-inch diameter would suggest. They pack an impressive wallop, and rate a pair of sweatpants on the Fat Pants Scale. Fortunately, Steve’s is nowhere near a subway, so by the time you’ve walked the 25 minutes to the F train, your digestive tract may have regained some of its prior vigor.
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
204 Van Dyke Street
Red Hook, Brooklyn