If you’ve been walking around Greenwood Cemetery on Fifth Avenue, you may have noticed an overpowering bread smell wafting over the streets. Don’t worry, they haven’t started burying ciabattas near the graves of the Civil War soldiers; you’re smelling Baked in Brooklyn, a colossal new factory / storefront that takes up nearly all of the corner of 26th Street and Fifth. What exactly is Baked in Brooklyn? We scoped it out over the weekend then did an FAQ-style interview with ourselves to fill you in on pertinent data points.
Why is it the size of eight regular bakeries???
Most of that is the bakery part, which has been distributing baked goods to NYC supermarkets like Whole Foods and Union Market around New York for 38 years, under the name Aladdin Bakery. The store itself is not very big, but you can see through the floor-to-ceiling windows, where the giant machines and oompa-loompas are hard at work. This is all to say that I have no idea why it needs to be that big. Maybe because yeast makes things rise?
Do they just have bread?
Nope! The storefront also sells Stumptown Coffee, fancy cheeses and some meats, and some of the most ridiculous and delicious spreads you’ve ever seen. (The red pepper walnut spread is addictive.) They also serve breakfast and lunch. For now, it’s a pretty simple menu: gourmet sandwiches, eggs, bagels, etc.
Alright, stop talking about carbs. Should I check it out or not?
Yes, and for two huge reasons. First, they’ve got a pretty baller setup as a supply shop for picnics in the park this summer. If you’re heading to Celebrate Brooklyn, impress your friends by filling a basket with the spreads, pate, prosciutto de parma, cheeses, quince spread, and the yeasty delivery vehicle of your choice.
Second, you’re getting a pretty great deal on bread there. They sell rolls at 2/$1, three packages of pitas for $1, and an entire shelf of bread products, all for $1 apiece. You know those bread bowls that Whole Food carries and probably sells for $3? Yes, one dollar. Basically, you’re getting the same bread that gets picked up every morning by delivery trucks and stocked around town, and you’re getting it at close to wholesale prices. The pita there is actually even fresher, because you’re getting a batch that didn’t have to sit around in boxes waiting to be picked up. Seriously, their packages of pita are soft and slightly warm, which is weird to feel through plastic. Baked in Brooklyn also carries one of the best pita chips around, but their bags sell at just $2, as opposed to the $3+ you’ll usually lay out at other supermarkets.
Aside from the financial reasons, it’s a pretty nice place to walk around in. They’ve got a very Dean & Deluca vibe going on, and on weekends they usually do tastings of some of their products and experiments. When I went, I got to try their semolina cheesecake, which might develop a cult following in very short time. I pointed to another dessert and asked if it was flan. “We’re not really sure what that is just yet,” they told me. It was delicious, and there’s something fun about being part of their experiment.
I have dietary restrictions.
That’s not really a question, but they do carry vegetarian and vegan options. If you’re vegan, you’re best off asking what fits into your narrow window of edible food.
So about their name…do they make…you know, those products?
God, how old are you?
Baked in Brooklyn, 755 5th Ave. at 26th St. 718-788-3164. When you go, get a slice of the cheesecake. Seriously.