I generally hate train eaters, the finger lickers and the smackers with their overly fragrant saucy sandwiches. But sometimes the day is moving faster than I am, and the only way to catch up is to squeeze a few at-home tasks into the morning commute — like breakfast. On Nostrand Avenue in Lefferts Gardens, a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood, the food options range from Haitian to Jamaican in just a few steps — island hopping, BK-style. This morning, I stopped at a Grenadian spot, De Island Restaurant, and ordered a roast bake. A bake is a type of dumpling, or biscuit either fried or roasted and then served with or without fish. De Island’s menu offers smoked salt fish, mackerel, herring, or king fish as options.
For a meager $3, I ordered the salt-fish bake and received a dumpling large enough to hold with both hands. The flat buttermilk-like disk was filled with a thin layer of salted cod made with a generous amount of onions and peppers. The dumpling was a bit doughy, but the salty center more than made up for it. Neatly wrapped in foil and tucked into a brown bag, it made the perfect on-the-go treat and was definitely more adventurous than ham and cheese on a roll. Skip the coffee; this breakfast sandwich holds its own.
De Island Restaurant
1199 Nostrand Avenue (at Hawthorne)
2/5 to Winthrop
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2012