Lunch for One: Saltie
Saltie. Out in Williamsburg. The restaurant seats eight, with six stool seats lining the left brick wall, and two facing onto Metropolitan Avenue. The atmosphere: sunny, sparse, and cheerful. It's a neighborhood go-to in the making. The whole menu is available from open to close, whether it be museli with yogurt and apples, milkshakes, a Israeli meatball sandwich, a macrobiotic sandwich featuring wheatberries and miso—or a slice of cake.
But first, you need something to drink. Iced mint tea? Hot coffee? Plum lassi? Or an agua fresca ($3)? I went with the latter, as the fruit of the day was cantaloupe. Blended on the spot, the agua fresca came frothy, over ice with sprigs of mint. Easily one of the best in town.
Sandwiches, salads, and sweets, after the jump.
There is a well-edited sandwich menu, and one salad, Panzanella ($4). Sweet, market fresh tomatoes, torn bread, sliced garlic, and parsley. So pungent that, after a bite, my breath would have scared anyone away. The panzanella itself was too wet, the bread soaked to the point of disintegration. A deep pool of liquid remained at the bottom of the bowl remained.
Pictured above is "The Captain's Daughter" ($8) a foccacia sandwich of sliced pickled eggs, sardines, capers, and salsa verde. The price tags for the sandwiches are high, running $8-$10 for pretty small creations. Nonetheless, the quality is high and and the combinations are unusual and refreshing. Salt, as you might have already predicted, is a key player in all their dishes—both sweet and savory. This sandwich was perhaps a bit too salty, with the salt-speckled foccacia and briny pops of caper in each bite.
For dessert, house-made ice cream comes in flavors such as Plum and Saltie Caramel—a lusciously deep and intense mouthful—as well as the Eton Mess (blueberries and merignue).
But don't stop there! Ice creams are also done up in ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes—even better, there's an entire case filled with baked goods. Loaf cakes ($4) in ricotta and ginger and olive oil, chocolate mousse, currant scones, savory buckwheat olive cookies, lavender shortbread, and currant and whiskey eccles. The olive oil cake is firm, touched by fennel, and more solid and rustic than those from Cafe Pedlar or Abraco, two comparable spots. It is tinged with salt, more appropriate for a filling breakfast treat than a post-lunch dessert. I enjoyed the ricotta loaf cake more, with a sunken deep brown crust, plush and supremely moist.
378 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211 (at Havemeyer; map)