If you are from New York City, you know that for many of us, the five boroughs are like five different countries. There are people who lived in NYC all their lives and have never been in any other borough outside of their own. Living in the Bronx without a car, I do not get to venture around Brooklyn to indulge in its variety of offerings.
Brooklyn has a diverse Caribbean community. Whereas uptown in the Bronx, the Caribbean community is mostly made up of Jamaicans, in Brooklyn, you get a mix of Afro-Island cultures from Haitian, St. Lucian, Grenadian, Vincentian, Trinidadian to Dominican from Dominica (not to be confused with the Hispanic Dominican of the Dominican Republic).
My childhood friend, Mota, invited me to Woodland for her birthday brunch. Walking into the restaurant, I discovered an early morning fete! The line wrapped around the block of this multi-leveled Brooklyn hotspot. Thankfully, Mota encouraged us to get there early. Even at the time I arrived, the restaurant seemed at capacity. It felt like it was a Saturday night in the City, but baby, it was a Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. Sounds of Soca, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, and Afro Beats radiated from the speakers as the restaurant’s servers regularly stopped by our table to refill the glasses of those who ordered bottomless mimosas. The energy of the crowd was all love. The food and music had people entranced to where positive vibes flowed throughout the atmosphere.
We were singing along to our favorite songs and just taking in the ambiance. Woodland’s Sunday brunch is not a good place to converse because of the loud music, but it is a great place to just sit amongst good people and enjoy the spirit of the environment. This is the true culture of New York City. People who established themselves as New Yorkers but are still able to maintain their Caribbean culture while living the fast-paced, upbeat New York City lifestyle. When the best of both worlds collide, it forms a synergy like no other.
I enjoyed my meal at Woodland. I had the chicken and waffles, and it was delicious. The buttermilk, boneless chicken thigh was fried crisp. It topped a fluffy waffle with a side of chipotle maple syrup. The ackee and salt fish spring roll with habañero, steamed spinach and caramelized onions and pepper was extraordinary. My cocktail, Park Slope Peach Punch, hands-down was my favorite flavor of the brunch. Made with Cîroc peach, lemon and sprite, the plan was to have one cocktail, but the way my taste buds are set-up, I turned it into my own little bottomless drink special.
Brooklyn is where it’s at! I plan to take part in many more Brooklyn brunches in the near future.
242 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217