Sweet treats and vegan delights line this Brooklyn J train stop

Though it’s still pretty sleepy, the stretch of Ralph Ave. just off the Gates Ave. J train stop in Brooklyn is seeing something of a renaissance in recent years. New spots like these have opened to serve their Bed-Stuy community.

Much more than coffee

The attention to detail at pretty little Cup of Brooklyn makes perfect sense when you consider what owners Agnieszka (“everybody calls me Agnes”) and John Palladino did before opening the carefully curated spot six months ago. Both worked in Manhattan’s Diamond District for 20 years, Agnes as a jewelry designer, John as a gemologist.

Today they apply that same focus on the fine points to their cafe, starting with their choice of beans from cutting edge Brooklyn roaster Devocion Coffee. (Cup of Brooklyn recycles the leftover coffee grounds into chic soaps and scrubs made with coconut oil and sells them.)

Deep-fried cheese for breakfast is a treat along this J line stop

On the savory side, there are sandwiches like the “Veggie,” or sliced avocado, tomato and red onion on toast with excellent olive oil, $ 8 with chips; but also John’s baked eggplant parm, rice balls with vegetables and herbs, or Roman meatballs stuffed with porcini mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella. (John is Italian and Agnes is Polish: expect pierogies soon on weekends.)

The Palladinos also bake their own chocolate croissants and a few other sweets, filling out the pastry case — which features smooth slices of tree trunks as natural serving platters — with cakes like pineapple coconut or apple crumb ($ 3 a slice) that Agnes picks up from her favorite Polish bakery.

Cup of Brooklyn: 1071B Gates Ave., near Broadway, Brooklyn; (347) 678-7018

Armstrong Jeune (l.) and Alex Wysoczanska own Chez Alex.

Armstrong Jeune (l.) and Alex Wysoczanska own Chez Alex.

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News)

From cupcakes to croissants

Get a taste of Nigeria and more near this Brooklyn J tain stop

Regulars may have mourned Cupcakeland when it closed in Williamsburg after rents grew pricey around 2014, but it turned out to be a blessing. Chief baker Alex Wysoczanska and her boyfriend Armstrong Jeune found a bigger place two blocks from their home in Bed-Stuy — “It was a total accident,” says Wysoczanska — where they now make far more than cupcakes.

Called Chez Alex, their living-room like bakery sells sandwiches on Wysoczanska’s excellent — and totally unique — loaves, which are like a cross between a biscuit and a baguette. They’re neatly piled with fillings like chicken meatballs and spicy pineapple-tomato sauce ($ 8.75); tomato jam, broccoli rabe, pickled onions and vegan mozz ($ 8.50); or thin slices of green apple, turkey, cheddar and arugula ($ 8.50). There’s also a breakfast sandwich made with bacon, eggs and avocado.

This breakfast sandwich at Chez Alex is packed with bacon, eggs and avocado.

This breakfast sandwich at Chez Alex is packed with bacon, eggs and avocado.

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News) Chez Alex sells homemade ham and Swiss cheese croissants, everything croissants, and a "cookie cup" with marshmallows. 

Chez Alex sells homemade ham and Swiss cheese croissants, everything croissants, and a “cookie cup” with marshmallows. 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News) Strawberry Basil Lemonade is among the goodies sold at Chez Alex. 

Strawberry Basil Lemonade is among the goodies sold at Chez Alex. 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News) Chez Alex serves the "Crazy Eyes Vegan Sandwich" with roasted kale, cauliflower and soy cheddar. 

Chez Alex serves the “Crazy Eyes Vegan Sandwich” with roasted kale, cauliflower and soy cheddar. 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News)

There are also “everything” croissants topped with a shower of black and white seeds and filled with homemade chive cream cheese ($ 3.50); thick cookies that are just $ 1 during the after-school “happy hour;” and alluringly chocolatey vegan cakes sold for $ 4 a slice.

In the fridge are chilled sweets like banana puddings and strawberry-basil lemonades you can take home in glass Ball jars.

Enjoy Nigerian food like bitter leaf soup near this J train stop

Chez Alex: 72 Ralph Ave., near Madison St., Brooklyn; (718) 484-4077

Toad Style, a vegan restaurant in Brooklyn, makes fried cauliflower, 

Toad Style, a vegan restaurant in Brooklyn, makes fried cauliflower, 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News) Stop into Toad Style for "cruelty free" vegan delights. 

Stop into Toad Style for “cruelty free” vegan delights. 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News) Toad Style makes a "cheeseburger" out of mushrooms and lentils. That's fried cauliflower on the side. 

Toad Style makes a “cheeseburger” out of mushrooms and lentils. That’s fried cauliflower on the side. 

(Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News)

What vegan dreams are made of

One thing you surely won’t get at the vegan restaurant called Toad Style — other than meat, of course — is boring food. The 18-month-old spot (the owners named it after a 1970s kung fu flick), has an appealing menu of snacky classics, many re-worked with alternatives to meat and dairy.

There’s a banh mi ($ 11), where a wide baguette is layered with coconutty fried mushrooms, mushroom “pate,” and turmeric-spiked, egg-free aioli. A BBQ sandwich ($ 9), meanwhile, features meaty, smoked and pulled jackfruit plus slaw and pickles.

The spot also lets vegetables be vegetables: A kale salad gets Greek with cucumber, olives and almond-based feta ($ 8), while fried cauliflower is flavored in rosemary-lemon brine and served with sweet chili mustard ($ 7).

Toad Style: 93 Ralph Ave., near Putnam Ave., Brooklyn; (347) 789-1589

Tags:
featured lifestyle
eating along the j line
bedford-stuyvesant
desserts

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