Wise-cracking street vendors hurling pretzels. Larry David dissecting a Reuben at his local deli. That’s the stereotypical image of Brooklyn eateries. And nearly 18,000 kilometres away, a number of venues around Adelaide have landed on the iconic borough as inspiration for new flavours and styles.
Rashaad Chenia, owner of BRKLYN, a bar on Rundle Street, chose the New York neighbourhood as inspiration after becoming fascinated by its transformation from “dilapidated and dangerous” to the gentrified, multi-functional hub it is today. He even modelled his bar on a Brooklyn street – complete with a functioning barbershop.
The New York neighbourhood inspires everything on offer at BRKLYN; from cocktails, such as the New York Sour, to the Reuben sandwich with house-made pastrami. “Flavours that signify Brooklyn to me are bold, rich and deep combinations,” says chef Jordan Christopher Varnish. “Refined over generations since the original migrants put foot on American soil.”
Baker Brendan Petty, who runs The Beigelry in Topham Mall, had a similar connection to Brooklyn produce. He decided to bring the feel of the classic no-nonsense bagel shop back home after eating his fill on a research trip.
“Our bagels are as close to New York bagels as you can get without the Brooklyn water,” said Petty. That goes for ingredients, too, which include salt beef, pastrami, lox (smoked salmon) and a twist on the classic cream cheese schmears (a Yiddish term for a spread) that come in jalapeño; cheese and chive; and maple. Each loaded bagel is served with a side of pretzels to complete the New York experience.
The only thing Brooklyn might be known for more than its food is attitude. There’s plenty of that at basement bar Jack Ruby.
Despite its Texan namesake, Jack Ruby has all the elements of a Brooklyn bar and burger joint, including the exposed brickwork, dark subway tiles and booths, chosen as a direct reference to New York and its boroughs.
“There was such a good vibe there in all the bars we visited,” says co-owner Aaron James Sandow. “Brooklyn has such a solid live-music scene, which is also something we try and incorporate.”
Jack Ruby regularly hosts blues, rock and soul acts, and serves Brooklyn Lager from Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery, which you can pair with US-icon-inspired burgers (the Belushi with beef and blue cheese; the Yoko Ono with pork belly; or the Flavour Flav with maple-fried chicken, to name a few).
Places to try Brooklyn-inspired food:
This article presented in partnership with Connoisseur Gourmet Ice-Cream’s new Brooklyn Collection.