Enchilada cachet discovered in Boerum Hill?

Sticking to my recent resolution not to pay any more ATM fees has produced its fair share of strange detours in search of a Duane Reade or Chase branch; last night’s exit of the 4 train at Borough Hall produced, eventually, a culinarily serendipitous experience.  After strolling through the ‘redevelopment’ mess that is the Fulton Mall, I ended up on Smith St. walking south – considering whether to stick with Bedouin Tent as my destination, or to try something on Smith south of Atlantic.

Fortunately, my roommate texted me and claimed that the coldly-named Boerum Hill Food Company had “rocked [his] humble little Sunday.”  While I’m not sure how a day can, itself, be humble, I was nonetheless intrigued enough to check it out.

Entering the restaurant, it seems to have an identity crisis: it doesn’t know whether to be a coffee house or restaurant.  A counter bearing various pastries and a huge espresso machine dominate the rear of the space, the wall decorations are restrained, and in the windowed front of the restaurant, two overstuffed chairs straddle a table (how does one eat when one is sitting so low?).

The wait staff was similarly incongruous – a couple of pasty dudes in Penguin-style shirts, seeming like they just tumbled in from a new NYU catering fraternity.  Fortunately, they were attentive enough and attitude-free, so I’m willing to forgive the occasional preppy shirt or malapropism (unless they were also NRA members, someone should explain to the staff the difference between a cache and cachet, particularly in the context of weapons in Iraq).

I ordered the chicken enchiladas with a side of mild trepidation – I wasn’t going to get anything authentic, but the menu at BHFC is pretty limited, I suppose befitting its snack bar/coffee+grub status (or should I just call it a freaky-deaky diner?).  The good news came early – a buttery triangular biscuit, whose temperature belied the waiter’s claim of oven-freshness (and who bakes biscuits on Sunday night, anyway?), was nevertheless totally delicious when paired with the portion of raspberry jam.  It tasted like my grandmother’s thumbprint cookies.

Not long afterwards, my enchiladas emerged.  Three of ‘em, to be precise, sided with a mescalun salad with shallot vinaigrette, and topped with melted cheese, a thin green salsa, a squiggle of sour cream, and a perfectly even dusting of what looked like extremely finely grated horseradish, but was probably also some kind of cheese.  Taking the first bite, I discovered the filling consisted of diced chicken, rice, and tiny brown beans – a combination more befitting a burrito but quite tasty in the context of the toppings and their corn-tortilla enclosure.

Indeed, these enchiladas were tasty and well-spiced – I’m not sure where the spice emanated from (the salsa, perhaps?), but there was enough to go around, and I was spared the dullness of most of my recent Mexi-sludge dinners.  They weren’t greasy, either!

As I was carrying a slice of Junior’s carrot cake/cheesecake hybrid (not as good as the plain or the devil’s food – and especially not as good as a slice of plain left one extra day in the fridge, until the top gets a little crustier) in my bag, I skipped dessert, but they seemed to have plenty of sweets, to those who arrive without.

My roommate also raved about a chicken dish that he had (delivered) – he said that the food could have been hotter, which makes sense considering that I saw the delivery guy leave with three bags at a time, but that the dish and associated biscuitry (strangely sans jelly, which had come to me, in the restaurant, packed in a to-go tub) were outtasight.  Personally, I’m glad these guys deliver out to my lonely corner of Boerum Hill – if the recent weather is any indication, and the installation of several new couches next weekend goes according to plan, I might turn into a hermit on the weekends from now until March or so.

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