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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Immaculee Bakery

Our search for Caribbean food in Brooklyn goes something like this: enter a promising spot only to discover they have already sold out most of their food that day; taste one 'Chop-Worthy Dish (CWD) that inspires a follow-up visit; when returning, stumble across a different spot that also... You see the problem, friend? It's a vicious-delicious circle: a quixotic search for delicious without clear beginnings, definitive ends or guaranteed meals.

That said, some places are consistent. They always serve that one treat that keeps us on the comeback no matter where we're headed. Exhibit A? The patties at Immaculee Bakery.
Small patty has big heart! Beef...
...and Fish always come correct

This tiny Haitian store is easy to overlook: small, unobtrusive, cramped. And contrary to their business card (that lists a baker's dozen specialties) they seem to offer only a handful of eats at any given time. But we could honestly care less, so long as they keep baking the best patties we've had in Brooklyn. Now I know what you're saying good reader: “But Slab, patties suck. They taste like gooey cardboard tacos slow-baked in a tanning bed.” I hear you; I've suffered through similar mishaps. But trust us on this one, what Immaculee serves bears little-to-no resemblance. Start with the crust: rich, flaky, buttery, hand-rolled (the French influence is evident). And the fillings? Simple, modest, delicious: tender fish (not too fishy, mildly spicy) and a wonderful beef (rich, savory, studded with onions). As for the price? Sooo nice. At 75¢, these are one of the five boroughs' Best Flavor Deals.
Now this being a bakery Immaculee is literally stuffed with bread – rolls, white loaves, flat 'biscuit'. The harder you look, the more you find: coco buns (sweet, spiced, dense, chewy, chock full o' coconut) stacked in a corner; dry, sweet, meringue-ish cookies under the counter; giant white milky mints in a jar. Turn to the fridge and you'll come across several homemade drinks in thick glass bottles: sweet syrupy bright-yellow jus au citron; creamy chocolate milk; and something called cornmeal ($2.25). I'm not entirely sure how to describe this last one. It is... unusual. Thick, milky, faintly chalky. It tastes kinda like someone spiked the “Maalox” with vanilla. To be honest, I wasn't really a fan until I brought a bottle home and, on a whim and a hope, added a shot of Barbancourt Haitian Rum. This isn't the stuff of obsessions, but it did taste pretty good - almost like a lighter, less spicy eggnog. (With corn.)
Nick Zemy with the welcoming vibe

At three years old Immaculee is a relatively babe in these Flatbush woods, but they are clearly here to stay. Anite Joseph runs the bustling bakery with her husband, Raymond Zemy and his son Nick. Nick is often behind the counter, serving a steady stream of customers and helping with personalized cake orders. He was also a good sport when fielding my dopey questions. Our only misunderstanding? For several weeks I was under the impression Immaculee made a rum cake. After 4 or 5 successive visits (and 8 or 10 successive patties) it turned out they do not, in fact, sell rum cake. Which left me rather despondent, until I saw a tray of beef patties arriving fresh from the oven. And, gentle reader, nothing says consolation quite like a piping hot patty. Which is to say, even cloudy days at Immaculee have mighty tasty linings.



Immaculee Bakery
1411 Nostrand Ave (nr. Linden Blvd), Brooklyn
(718) 941-2644

Hours: Unclear. Just try and get there when the patties come out of the oven.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Asad said...

Hey Slab, this post represents what I think the Express excels at: the application of fine discrimination to the world of food regardless of the culturally constructed lows and highs that have been assigned to various kinds and ways of preparing those foods. I am going to check this place out for sure; thanks again.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous David Lee said...

I like very much non-veg patties. But i don't know how to make, let me make by follow your recipe. Thanks for this..

3:23 AM  
Blogger J. Slab said...

dunno the recipe David, except that they use lots of butter. you would have to go by Immaculee, buy a few patties and try to recreate...

4:54 PM  
Anonymous JO said...

I went here today on your rec. Good stuff. really good. damn. it was good. but they raised the price. 80 cents now.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hotel reservations

11:16 AM  

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