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Friday, August 10, 2012

Field Notes

Dear friends, I know I have spoken of Chinese meats and noodles at great length over the past several weeks, and I am not ashamed of this; however, despite what you might think, I do enjoy other things.  For instance, I enjoy walking into an absolutely delightful and magical Russian bakery, which is what happened to me yesterday while in Brighton Beach.

Now, I was as confused yesterday as you must be now, for I never considered "delightful" and "magical" to be words that would describe anything directly or indirectly related to Russia, a country and people I more typically associate with death, unhappiness, Vladimir Putin, and the color black.  Yet I tell you the truth, Cafe La Brioche is a special place.

As I walked in I was filled with a rush of excitement as my senses were bombarded with various hues of brown and tan from the breads and pastries, whites and yellows from various creams, jewel-like reds and blues from jelly and fruit toppings, and, of course, the most fantastic aromas! Indeed, I felt like Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales diving into a giant room of gold coins and diamonds.

Cafe La Brioche is a place that just feels different.  Of course, it is not entirely strange in New York to step inside a place that feels as if it belongs in another time or place, but in all my adventures I had never experienced a place like this before.  There were breads, cakes, pastries, cream puffs, strudels, cookies, and Putin knows what else everywhere.  Was I supposed to just start grabbing stuff?  That cake over there - should I just grab a hunk with my bare hands and spread it all over my face like lotion?

I was in a bit of a hurry, so I took two things that seemed easy.  One was a variation of a whoopie pie: a not too sweet cookie which tasted of whole grains, and a pumpkin-spiced cream cheese frosting.  I also had a most unusual and excellent wafer cake that was filled with a delicious chocolate and honey syrup. 

Further investigations are warranted, but what a cheerful, happy place.

Cafe La Brioche
Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn