Brooklyn's biggest subway hub is home to inviting spots - NY Daily News

Brooklyn's biggest subway hub is home to inviting spots - NY Daily News

Brooklyn's biggest subway hub is home to inviting spots - NY Daily News

The Smoke Joint serves a range of barbecue, plus pulled-pork hot dogs and a great Bloody Mary. (Anthony Lanzilote for New York Daily News)

It is part of Brooklyn's biggest transportation hub, at one of the borough's busiest intersections and hidden under a shopping mall.

p> But it's surrounded by small businesses, homespun restaurants, independent food markets, old-fashioned sweet shops and great bars.

Here are a few that commuters might want to remember. So it's the Smoke Joint, so it's not that easy to find, but it's a great place to stay. the wood-paneled big-city barbecue shack that sits just off the intersection's spiffy new pocket park.

The Fertile Crescent Grocery is the place for halal meats.

(Anthony Lanzilote for New York Daily News)

You could picnic on their sweetly smoky charred chickens (half, $ 9), over-the-top hot dogs piled with pulled pork (four-cheese mac, $ 4.50), but then you'd miss the passion project manager John Hoffner.

He makes a series of hyper-colorful, house-infused liquors - giant glass jars filled with mango and charred habanero-chili tequila, or vodka with jalapeño and limes. The latter is the star in one of the city's better Bloody Marys, $ 10, also spiked with housemade hot sauce and a double dollop of horseradish. Better still, your glass is rimmed with the spicy rub they use to flavor the meats.

87 S. Elliott Pl ace, (718) 797-1011 <

Betty Bakery's treats include Ring-a-Dings Twinks. (Anthony Lanzilote for New York Daily News)

At the pristine halal butcher counter, there are meats raised in Pennsylvania, and you can get lamb ground to order ($ 7.75 a pound), filet mignon ($ 8 a pound) or a whole baby goat for $ 6.75 a pound.

Until mid-August - when the Muslim holiday of Ramadan ends - you can also buy sweet dates by the case. Owner Hamad Hamad says he is one of the city's biggest sellers of fast-breaking fruit, and he typically stocks more than 16 varieties. His favorites are plump Medjools, now grown in California: An 11-pound box is $ 25.

Brooklyn's biggest subway hub is home to inviting spots - NY Daily News
Brooklyn's biggest subway hub is home to inviting spots - NY Daily News

570 Atlantic Ave., (718) 797-3066. Jeannie Taliercio at Hank's Saloon (Anthony Lanzilote for New York Daily News)

Ding Dong and Twinkie fans will marvel once they've tasted the housemade Ring-a-Dings ($ 3.50) and Twinks ($ 2.75) made at Boerum Hill's six-year-old Betty Bakery.

Those in the know also seek out the place for their ultra-modern cakes: Betty is a side project of Cheryl Kleinman and Ellen Baumwoll, who make wedding-worthy creations bedecked in flowers and flourishes in a commercial kitchen in back of the bakery It's named after Betty Van Norstrand, says Baumwoll, the Poughkeepsie baker who taught them both their cake-decorating chops.

448 Atlantic Ave., (718) 246-2402. / p>

In the back of Nunu Chocolates, husband and wife Justine Pringle and Andy Laird make lovely Martha Stewart-approved chocolates, pretty bites laced with whiskey or layered with caramel or topped with sea salt. (An assorted box of four starts at $ 8.)

But up front the Boerum Hill business functions as a neighborhood hang, featuring couches, WiFi, coffee, wine, drinks: The frozen mocha ($ 5) is 16 slushy ounces of liquid dessert, a mix of ice, whole milk, a shot of locally sourced Crop to Cup espresso, and a healthy scoop of ganache, the French name for the spreadable blend of heavy cream and dark chocolate that Nunu usually pipes into their bonbons.

529 Atlantic Ave., (718) 834-1818.

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