(Top: Marisa Wu hard at work in her candy factory.)
Brooklyn may not be a quaint seaside town, but it does have its very own saltwater taffy company, Salty Road
. Owner and chief taffy puller Marisa Wu makes delicious candy in modern flavors like salted mango lassi, bergamot and salty caramel apple. When she's not making candy, she's either at the beach, eating or drinking something delicious, or exploring Brooklyn. Here are a few of her favorite spots.
Order a treat with your coffee at Caprices by Sophie.
To get caffeinated she heads to one of Gimme Coffee's locations or to Vittoria in Williamsburg. Although you can get any coffee drink you can dream up in Brooklyn, Wu keeps it simple. "
I just order hot when it's cold, and and iced when it's hot," she explains. If she needs a quiet place to be productive she heads to Caprices by Sophie. "It's an awesome cafe to do work in and they have tasty pastries," Wu says.
Roll-N-Roaster in Sheepshead Bay is a Brooklyn classic.
For classic Brooklyn fare, Wu heads to Defonte's for roast beef or fried eggplant and mozzarella sandwiches. "They're crazy good," she says. "I also love Caputo's." Roast beef sandwiches are a bit of an obsession for her, in fact. "Roll-N-Roaster is on the way back from the beach and they have super old school roast beef sandwiches," she says. "They bake the bread and roast the meat. I know there is a lot of back and forth between them and Brennan & Carr, but I just like this place's vibe."
Pierogies are a perfect side for your borscht at Karczma.
When she goes looking for snacks north of Atlantic Avenue, Wu ranges around the world in terms of cuisine. For Polish fare she recommends Karczma in Greenpoint. "A place where you can order cold borscht that automatically comes with hot mashed potatoes and sautéed onions is just my kind of place," she says. "Also, they will never, ever rush you. You and a friend can be at a four top and there's a line out the door and it doesn't matter." She orders the Cadillac Nachos at The Commodore in Williamsburg, but tries not to linger in the notoriously loud bar. "I go before the crowd gets rowdy," she says. "I try not to step foot in there after 7pm." She also loves Chimu, an unassuming Peruvian spot near the BQE, that is a bit of a neighborhood secret. "This place has been in Williamsburg forever and it's super cozy," says Wu.
Karczma, 136 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint
Chimu, 482 Union Ave., Williamsburg
Tacos El Bronco is just one of the culinary highlights of Sunset Park.
Sunset Park is a neighborhood the Wu is currently exploring, to delicious effect. "We just moved the factory to Sunset Park and the food is insane," she says. Wu recommends Tacos El Broncos for Mexican and, "the best cold noodles you'll every have are at Yun Nan Flavor Garden on 8th Ave.," she says. "The cold rice noodles came out with peanuts, ground pork, cilantro and a vinegar sauce--and so much good dim sum over there, too."
Four Horsemen is known for its wine list and cozy room. Photo: @fourhorsemenbk
For special occasions and a slightly fancier experience, Wu loves Diner, Marlow and Sons, and Four Horseman for inventive New American food in Williamsburg. All three places are known for their excellent wine lists, featuring many natural and biodynamic wines, and locavore fare. French Louie is where she goes for French American dishes like steak tartare.
Diner, 85 Broadway, Williamsburg
Wing Bar is the place for a cold beer and a pile of wings.
When she wants a drink and snack, Wu favors Wing Bar. "I'm not gonna lie, I love cheap lite beer and wings," she says. She also loves Achilles Heel in Greenpoint. "It's all about cold white wine and some of that amazing bread and butter with whatever else is on the menu," she says. "But man the bread and butter is usually still my favorite." For a burger and beer you'll find her at The Brew Inn.
Wing Bar, 275 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
Achilles Heel, 180 West St., Greenpoint
The Brew Inn, 924 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint
Pick up a cheese plate for the park at Bedford Cheese Shop. Photo: @bedfordcheeseshop
And what does she do when she's not pulling taffy or eating her way around Brooklyn? "I just started a ceramics class at Choplet and it is so awesome!" Wu says. "If you wanna have a Ghost moment I would totally suggest this studio in Williamsburg. Otherwise I usually grab a bottle of wine, my picnic blanket, hit up Bedford Cheese and head the three blocks to East River Park-- it's pretty awesome."
Choplet, 238 Grand Ave., Williamsburg
Bedford Cheese Shop, 265 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg
East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave., Williamsburg