The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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The Ploughman

October 9, 2012 , ,

While the inspiration I’ve been seeking has yet to reappear in the kitchen, I have been enjoying my new neighborhood and all the stores it has to offer. A quick, Friday dinner at Bogota was delicious but North Slope left me wheezing with anxiety and I was pleased, more than ever, to return to my place on the hill.

As part of my new plan to stop being so g- damn boring in the kitchen, I’ve decided to cut Fresh Direct out of my kitchen life. I’ve gotten too used to the convenience, indulging too often, and am realizing, once again, that nothing replaces the inspiration a sunny day at the market can give you. While yes, having your veggies hand delivered by 2 friendly delivery men is one of New York’s finest pleasures, a big cardboard box does not compare to Saturday morning spent sifting through a rainbow of tables to find your dinner.

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So, with that, on Saturday, I ventured out. The original plan was just to go to Union Market. I left completely miserable and uninspired and I was more than excited to run into The Ploughman (438 7th Ave.) on my way home. I’ve passed several times, seduced by the large widen bin of fresh bread displayed in the front window, but have never gone in. I know what a cheese store can do to my checking account and me. One look at an aged cheddar or heaven forbid, a truffle cheese, I’m three pounds in, $50 broke and weeping on my way home to an inevitable Saturday night in of eating cheese for dinner and an even more miserable Sunday morning.

It’s not a pretty site.

But, since I was unsure of what my Saturday night plans were, I was able to control myself. And lucky me because this place is awesome.

Don’t get me wrong. It is small. But it is so delightful. First off, the customer service was very nice. The bread drew me in but I stayed because of the smiling faces accompanying the autumn beer tasting and the meat and cheese pairings. Never mind the lovely cashier who filled me in on their “Ploughman’s dinner” of cheese, meat, bread and beer for $10.95 for those days when I “just don’t feel like cooking.”

Overall, it was one of the best customer service experiences I’ve had in awhile. They were friendly but not pushy. They knew their stuff and were willing to share…if you asked.

Other than that, the one thing that set The Ploughman apart (for me) from the other beer places in town and that’s the fact that you can buy a pint of beer to go. $4! Can’t beat that. Granted, the glass pint does leak but they are sure to warn you about it. I thought I was safe until I got home and found my cell phone soaking in a quarter cup of a beer at the bottom of my canvas bag. They constantly change their taps so you can promise to never be bored.

As for the cheese and meat, they have a curated range focusing on the local. I went with a quarter pound of New York state hard cheese. It had cheddar like texture and the sharp smell, verging on a Romano, hit your noise with a light punch. It was perfect with the grain bread and a bit of marina sauce. (I cannot remember the name because the wrapper is long gone.)

The bread was exactly what I wanted. Crusty, fresh, full of grains and nice as is – no need for toasting. I’m looking forward to trying more of their selections.

There isn’t a lot of info on their place. Their website is very bare bones. According to yelp, it was recently a different meat and cheese store but overall, people seem pleased with the change. So check it out! I know I’ll be back.

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