Glady’s Goes Caribbean
The Rebirth Of A Restaurant
Michael Jacober has been known to dabble in disparate cuisines. He began his career working at the fine-dining temple Per Se, and also made stops at acclaimed modern Asian eatery Annisa and Brooklyn’s seminal wood-burning pizza spot Franny’s before breaking out on his own and joining the mobile food movement with Morris Grilled Cheese in 2011.
He continues to make the rounds in his truck (now frequently parked at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club) peddling “Chicken Tikka Masala” and andouille-studded “Ragin’ Cajun” sandwiches, but he made the jump to brick-and-mortar in spring of 2013, opening Glady’s in Crown Heights. The 28-seat spot churned out bar snacks, small plates, and large format entrées, often prepared in a wood-fired oven.
And while well-received, it wasn’t long before Jacober felt the itch to reinvent himself yet again. That’s why he shut down and eventually opened with the same name and same space but with an entirely different concept (casual Caribbean) last April. “Glady’s started out as a neighborhood sandwich shop but slowly became something I didn’t really want it to be,” Jacober says. “I needed a huge change. Something to inspire me again. And I didn’t need to look far, as Crown Heights is a West Indian neighborhood with such a rich culinary culture.
“I’m so tired of bearded and tattooed guys putting swipes of baby food and little piles of vegetables on plates and selling them for $18,” he added. “Caribbean food is beautiful and complex, and we can prepare it so it’s highly affordable for our guests.”
So instead of the kale salad with ale cheddar and pork loin with maple mascarpone, Jacober now serves jerk chicken, curry goat and escovitch fish from a tropical plant-strewn room accented with cerulean blue walls and chairs. Rum-based slushies and punches are served from an island bar. The food and drinks are undeniably delicious and absolutely perfect for summer, but the concept also raises the question: what’s the neighborhood’s reaction to a white guy trying his hand at Caribbean cuisine?
“I didn’t really know much about this kind of fare until I moved into the neighborhood about four years ago. The West Indian Day Parade was my first glimpse of it, and now I’m obsessed,” Jacober says. “But all my neighbors tell me just to make good food, and people will be happy. It doesn’t matter what color my skin is.”
788 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights