Roast Bake for Breakfast


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.

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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