It is widely known that New York City is “a melting pot”; a place of great diversity. The neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, is a microcosmic example of this mélange of humanity. In the past few years, new bars and restaurants have been cropping up around the eastern part of the neighborhood off the L subway line, but much of the area off the J and M lines is still mostly composed of bodegas, nail salons, and fast food joints, both mainstream and… not.
A few years ago, the owner of Henry’s Wine & Spirit spotted an empty space on the corner of Evergreen Avenue and Bleecker Street, a sleepy residential stretch that lies between the Central Avenue M and the Gates Avenue J stops. The potential was clear, and in August 2014, Sunrise/Sunset opened its doors and began serving well-mixed cocktails and an uncomplicated menu of refreshingly simple, good-for-you food, the kind of which had up then been absent in that corner of the neighborhood. There are salads like beets with candied pecans, dill, and yogurt; bowls like the Thai barley with carrots, pear, pickled radishes, roasted cayenne pepper peanuts, Thai basil, water chestnuts, and a lime dressing; and a few hearty sandwiches, including the chorizo grilled cheese.
A house-made arugula pesto is spread on Balthazar multigrain bread before being piled with Asiago cheese and just-spicy-enough chorizo and grilled on a flat-top. The result is the comforting familiarity of a grilled cheese, but one that’s a bit more sophisticated — and healthier – than the Kraft cheese-filled specimens you loved as a child. It’s a perfect example of the healthier, elevated fare that Sunrise/Sunset has brought to their corner of Bushwick, and it’s our sandwich of the week.
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