Brooklyn’s Industry City Food Hall Is Home to an All-Avocado Restaurant, Steampunk Coffee, and More

By Annie Wu, Epoch Times
July 21, 2017 3:08 pm Last Updated: July 21, 2017 3:08 pm

Stroll through the mega-office and manufacturing complex Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and you will be awed by its sheer size. The 35-acre waterfront property spans multiple buildings, with outdoor gardens and patios, a ping-pong arena, and a massive food hall, all within the ground level space that is open to the public.

In a building complex filled with innovative tech and manufacturing companies, it’s no surprise that the food here has an inventive streak. For those days when you want a spacious respite from the hungry crowds in busier parts of town, the 40,000-square-foot food hall is within a 40-minute subway ride away. While there are equally good food halls in Manhattan, Industry City has a more pleasant setting and lots of creative options. There are currently 17 eateries to choose from, including Taco Mix; Burger Joint; Ninja Bubble Tea, a bubble tea and sandwich shop; and The Filament, a sprawling gastropub.

In the coming weeks, soup dumpling joint Yaso Tangbao and Red Hook’s Hometown Bar-B-Que will be joining the ranks.

Below is the lowdown on a few of Industry City’s current offerings:

Avocaderia

In this age when the appeal of a dish is equally about its taste and Instagram-ability, vibrantly-colored avocado toasts reign. Avocaderia, which touts itself as the world’s first avocado-centric restaurant, takes that idea and runs with it.

Owner Francesco Brachetti became enamored of the fruit after moving from Italy, where avocados were rare and expensive, to Mexico City in 2014. “In Mexico, you see avocados every day, everywhere. You eat avocado for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with soup, with everything,” he said. With its nutritious properties and broad appeal, the avocado was the ideal match for a fast-casual concept, he says.

The menu features Mexican Hass avocadoes dressed in flavors drawn from different cuisines, on toasts and salads, in smoothies, and as the avo “burger” (essentially, a stuffed avocado). The Mediterranean Toast, for example, includes an earthy, rustic medley of olive tapenade, feta cheese, sun-dried and cherry tomatoes, and a pistachio-dukkah spice blend ($9.95), while the Let It Beet is a bright, refreshing option for the summer, with watermelon radish, arugula, and a tangy agave mustard dressing ($8.45).

Alpha Dominche Extraction Lab

Extraction lab manager Meredith Enzbigilis pours freshly brewed coffee. (Channaly Philipp/The Epoch Times)
Extraction Lab manager Meredith Enzbigilis pours freshly brewed coffee. (Channaly Philipp/The Epoch Times)

At the center of the action at this serene coffee shop is the Steampunk, a high-tech coffee and tea brewing machine developed by manufacturer Alpha Dominche. The barista uses a tablet to control its different parameters. Steam heats the water to the desired temperature, then pulses of steam shoot out in an upper chamber to provide different levels of agitation, as needed. A vacuum forces the brew down to a lower chamber when it’s ready. It’s mostly hands-off for the barista, who is left free to chat with customers. A rotating list of coffees from the world’s best roasters is featured regularly, alongside a carefully curated list of high-end teas.

Boil Boil Ramen

Tonkotsu ramen at Boil Boil Ramen. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Tonkotsu ramen at Boil Boil Ramen. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Boil Boil Ramen started with the idea that ramen can be made for delivery: by separating the noodle and broth, and allowing patrons to cook the noodles at home for optimal freshness. At the Industry City location, most guests dine in, but the bowls are still prepared as swiftly as possible, with tricks like constantly changing the water that the noodles cook in (the residual starch that ends up in the water slows down the boiling). The satisfying tonkotsu ramen, will make the noodle-slurping go speedily ($12). The broth is made by simmering pork bones, herbs, and vegetables for more than 12 hours, resulting in a gelatin-rich broth that is equally umami-laden and good for your health, according to the staff. The addition of fried onion toppings gives it extra oomph.

Table 87 Coal Oven Pizza

The existing old-school pizzerias—think Lombardi’s and Totonno’s—that bake their pizzas in a coal oven all sell them by the pie only. Table 87’s innovation is selling coal-fired pizza by the slice, a rarity in the New York pizza scene. Owner Thomas Cucco wanted diners to have that signature charred pizza right away, without the burden of sitting down to an entire pie. The intense heat inside the oven—reaching 900 to 1100 Fahrenheit degrees—leaves a smoky char on the crust, while rendering it crisp on the outside like a Ritz cracker, with a great chew. Cucco thinks the addition of eggs to the dough made from organic malt barley also contributes to its unique texture ($4 per slice, $5 for square vegetable slice). If you so choose, you can also get Table 87’s pizzas by the pie ($10 to $30) or take home its frozen slices—an invention Cucco once pitched on “Shark Tank.”

Ends Meat

European-style charcuterie is an old craft, but Brooklyn salumeria Ends Meat takes the tradition into new territory. The butcher shop utilizes every part of the animal, using locally raised livestock. All the drying and curing is done at Industry City, resulting in some harmless native Brooklyn mold (which helps the curing process) thriving on the casings of the sausages—from spicy beef sopressata seasoned with a four-chili blend, to lomo rubbed with paprika (from $6 to $11 per quarter pound).

The shop also serves sandwiches, using throwaway cuts like slow-roasted beef neck for a roast beef sandwich and pig brisket—treated just like traditional beef brisket—for a “pigstrami” sandwich.

Industry City
220 36th St. (between Second & Third avenues)
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
IndustryCity.com

Additional reporting by Channaly Philipp