A report by Alexandra Simon for Caribbean Life.
And the award goes to…
A Bedford-Stuyvesant Caribbean eatery is an honoree of the James Beard Foundation’s American Classics award. The notable dining honor was bestowed to Noel and Greeta Brown’s A&A Bake and Doubles and Roti Shop on Fulton Street, which serves up popular Trinidadian fare as its name suggests — doubles and roti, along with other dishes from the twin-island republic.
Every year the foundation awards several established restaurants that prioritize and utilize their communities to reflect their menus and offerings. Of this year’s five recipients — A&A Bake and Doubles and Roti Shop is the only New York area restaurant, and the only one serving Caribbean-centric cuisine.
The thrilled restaurateurs have an idea as to why they were selected for the prestigious award.
“Besides the food and the price, our food is excellent and cheap and we serve it all day,” said Noel Brown.
Unlike the foundation’s other awards that can be submitted or nominated, the American Classics category however, must be brought forward by its 19-member Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee.
The group consists of food critics who suggest hundreds of restaurants that meet the criteria of being in operation for at least a decade, locally owned, and serving moderately-priced food options.
For more than 22 years, the Browns family-run business has served New York City with the fresh doughy snack and flatbread, with 18 of those years in Brooklyn.
Despite the neighborhood seeing increasingly major demographic changes since moving from Queens in 2002, Brown said it has been business as usual, and the newcomers are part of their loyal clientele.
“The area’s been changing a lot, but a lot of the new people are curious to taste what we have — they are always adventurous,” he said.
And after their award announcement, Brown says he’s already seeing a slight increase in patrons, but vows to retain the cultural authenticity that earned it to them.
“I’ve seen a few new customers and its been great, but we’re taking it one day at a time,” said Brown. “We’re not going to change and everything will still be the same. We’re going to keep maintaining our home-like vibe and atmosphere.”
A&A Bake and Doubles and Roti Shop at 1337 Fulton St. between Verona Place and Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (347) 425-0016, www.aandabakedoublesandrotishop.com]. Open Mon., 6:30 am–4:30 pm and Tues–Sat., 6:30 am–7 pm.