The “Brooklyn” brand is heavily associated with bespoke, locally-processed food products, peddled at Smorgasburg, advertised on Mouth, or stocked at stores like BKLYN Larder and Greene Grape. But restaurants make the best incubators—especially since chefs are increasingly forswearing bottles and bags for exclusively housemade items—so here are a few creations we’d like to see move from menus to the marketplace, from Pinto’s multi-use Thai sauces, to Sunken Hundred’s Welsh alterna-Cheetos.
Sunken Hundred’s Seaweed Cheetos Considering aggressively orange Cheetos are suffering a serious image crisis, Sunken Hundred’s seaweed-salted squiggles are perfectly poised to take their place as America’s favorite puffed corn snack. So move over, Chester Cheetah, as Welshie the Red Dragon could be headed to bodega shelf near you.
276 Smith St., Cobble Hill
Hi Hello’s Truffle Cheez Wiz The ultimate expression of hi-low cuisine, Hi Hello’s signature spread could either be jarred and marketed as an urbane canape topper, or simply siphoned into a spray can, for funneling into one’s mouth.
247 Starr St., Bushwick
El Atoradero’s Blue Corn Chips Crown Heights’s Pueblan cantina already owes so much to its house-nixtamilized blue corn tortillas; used to envelop tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more. But sliced into sturdy chips, they’ve become an integral part of the menu at their adjunct agave bar—and provided the team can significantly scale up production and wrangle a big money backer, could present a clear and present danger to Tostitos.
708 Washington Ave., Crown Heights
Pinto’s Nam Prik Sauces All that’s missing is a label for Pinto’s herbaceous Thai spreads, proffered tableside in mini mason jars. And while the restaurant offers them as accompaniment to crudité, nam prik ong (pork and tomato), jao bong (fermented fish) and nam prik noom (grilled green chili) would prove endlessly versatile as part of a home pantry, used to dress salads, enliven sandwiches, or marinate meat.
128 Montague St., Brooklyn Heights
Barano’s Mozzarella Though they’re not exactly shelf stable (chef/owner Al Di Meglio actually pulls his stracciatella and mozz balls to order) he could easily man a hyper-local operation, sending daily cheese supplies to next-door neighbors like Marlow & Daughters, Urban Market and Gourmet Guild.
26 Broadway, Williamsburg
Black Walnut’s Japanese Milk Buns Though currently offered gratis at the restaurant, these snowy, cottony rolls (a two-bite riff on Japan’s swollen, Wonderbread-esque loaves) should undergo a test run at the adjacent, Gjusta-style market. And host hotelier, Hilton, would be wise to grab a bite of that sweet, milk bun action.