Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cubana Social (Williamsburg)

This should be a post about Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, as that was my intended destination on Memorial Day weekend. Alas, when I arrived, it looked like this:

Hello? Anyone here?

It was a drizzly windy day and, from what I heard and saw, vendors tried to set up, but their tents kept blowing away! Only a small handful of vendors - five? - were left when I arrived.  I was meeting up with a Dear Friend who has many food allergies and fretting over what the hell the two of us would eat.

After grabbing a gluten-free treat from Danny Macaroons - the only safe-for-me vendor left - I tweeted CakeBites, the vendor my friend most wanted to visit. Cakebites are vegan cake truffles covered in chocolate, that give with a satisfying crack as your teeth bite through the chocolate shell. Made from top-notch fair trade ingredients, they are decadent and addictive - and not easy to get your hands on, except at the Williamsburg Smorg. Heard back from Kelsey, the owner, that she had set up, only to have her tent fly away and break! She had just left, but offered to meet us in the rain, to hand deliver some CakeBites to us!

Cue the angels singing. 

Buoyed by this kind gesture (thank you, Kelsey!), we decided to try to find safe eats in Williamsburg instead of just heading home. Dear Friend pulled the name Cubana Social out of thin air, recalling that it is gluten-free friendly and had been on her to-try list for ages. I checked Googlemaps and - boom - found that it was a mere block and a half away.

Hello, lovely. 

Oh,  yes, this will do just fine. 

I usually do a ton of recon before trying a new-to-me restaurant, but we were ravenous and the staff said most of the right things when we inquired re: gluten. That the brunch menu mentioned gluten-free options was heartening. They also offer gluten-free vegan baked goods from Clementine Bakery. A nice touch, but I wish they went with a dedicated GF bakery for those items; Clementine's "vegan and organic all the time, and gluten-free when you feel like it" has kept me from risking a taste of their baked goods. I just feel safer eating from kitchens where gluten-free is the primary focus. I decided to go with a low-risk option, an omelet and salad.

Brunch-y goodness

Tasty - and safe. Both Dear Friend and I are gluten-free girls and neither of us had gluten issues with our meals. She is also dairy-free, and there were many GF/DF options to choose from at Cubana. Huzzah!

One of my favorite things about this place: They serve delicious Blue Bottle coffee. I just couldn't say no to refills and was buzz buzz buzzing by the time we left. Also love that their focus is on local, organic, and seasonal food. The space is beautiful - airy with high ceilings and acoustics that make it possible to actually have a conversation with your dining companion without shouting.

Bottom line: A safe meal in a lovely setting. I'll be back to try more of their gluten-free options.

Cubana Social is located at 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY. 718-782-3334

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