Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Into the Boroughs: It Tastes Like the Baker Sweated on These Brownies

Sweet and Salty Brownie -- Baked, Brooklyn, NY

Well, it has happened: the clouds gathered, thunder struck, and Ginger moved to Brooklyn.  Life as we know it has forever changed.
Incidentally, This Is Ginger's New Subway Train
In order to prepare for her permanent accommodations on the other side of the East River, Ginger has recruited Vodka to go to the latter's shopping nemesis: IKEA. 
What Do You Mean We Have to Take a FERRY to Get There?!
Now, Vodka has never purchased a single item from IKEA, being that a) the place infuriates her and b) she is not exactly a minimalist.  But Ginger, who inexplicably throws out her bed with every move with mumbled fears about "bedbugs," is in need of something new to sleep on.
There Are Worse Things Than Staring At the Water on a Sunday -- That Thing Is Going to IKEA
While in Red Hook, because, well, we are NEVER in Red Hook, we decide to venture to Baked for Claire Robinson's Best Thing I Ever Ate SALTY GOODNESS dish, the sweet and salty brownie.  
We Need More Maps to Make Our Way Through Brooklyn Than We Did in San Francisco
Now, smoked oysters aside, we are generally quite fond of Claire's tastes.  Therefore, despite its location, we are optimistic about this brownie.  That is until it is handed to us, pre-wrapped in cellophane, looking decidedly on just the wrong side of "fresh."
How Long Have These Been in This Jar?!
Now, perhaps because 195 Best Thing I Ever Ate dishes have caused us to start hallucinating, we are fairly certain that the brownie Claire described on the show had caramel in the middle.  
And We DO Love a Salty Caramel Anything
For this reason, we chew hungrily toward the center of our brownies, desperate to find caramel where none exists.
Well, This is a Travesty of Epic Proportions
What gives, Baked?  WHERE IS THE CARAMEL?
This Place Is a Fraud
Instead of chewy, oozing caramel, we find only a completely mediocre brownie -- one that is more "cake" in texture than "gooey," and which is sprinkled with salt on top.
A Mere Trickling of Salt
That's right -- it is SPRINKLED with salt, and JUST ON TOP.  A nd rather than thick, chunky sea salt, this is squarely more of the table salt variety.  Essentially, it tastes like someone sweated all over a pan of brownies before packaging them as cellophane squares.
So, You Know, SUPER Appetizing
Besides tasting like perspiration (always a "plus" -- ahem), Baked's brownie is so rich that neither of us is capable of finishing it, and while we start out rather apathetically pleased toward it ("This could be 4 stars, I guess"), after a few bites, we are definitively more hostile ("Something really good doesn't go downhill as you eat it").
First IKEA and Now This?! Are You Trying to KILL Vodka, Brooklyn?!
We are flummoxed as to why Claire Robinson would ever make this Best Thing I Ever Ate choice -- not just because the brownie is not very good, but because the location is so inconvenient that we can't figure out how she even procured one ("Maybe someone brought this brownie to her right after she finished downing the smoked oysters and her taste buds were ruined").
Because when the IKEA Swedish meatballs are more tasty than the actual dish you came to Red Hook to consume, you know there is a problem.  
5 Star Dish
Perhaps it is time for the Baked staff to make their way to IKEA and invest in a new salt shaker.  And while they're at it, they should ask if they carry any caramel.

Baked's Sweet & Salty Brownies: 3 stars

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