It took us a couple of years of drudgery, but since resolving that city life wasn’t feasible in the long term, we found ourselves accidentally stumbling across enough great Mexican grocers and terrific Indian supermarkets in the most unlikely of strip-malls to know that the terrifying tales of sneering urban hipsters, aghast at the prospect of people being forced to shop in supermarkets and suffer the ignominy of having to, gasp!, drive there and back, neither phased us anymore nor accurately portrayed suburban reality.
It’s tempting to say that for all our snobbery about unfettered access to the newest and hippest restaurants and the freshest and most diverse markets, like most city folk, even those who consider themselves into food, in the latter two years we, principally due to the rigors of carting an unwilling child around, rarely left our neighborhood in search of new victuals. Prior to that, perhaps because we always knew that we weren’t going to be staying in New York forever, we did our very best to absorb as much of it as we could – enjoying some wonderful and fascinating meals over the years – but when the advantages of Brooklyn life became inaccessible, the disadvantages of it became impossible to ignore.
Interestingly, and to throw out another old chestnut, a change really is as good as a rest, because while there is certainly rather less diversity on one’s doorstep in suburbia, recent trips to a local Persian restaurant, Carl Venezia’s pork store and a pub serving real cask conditioned, hand-pulled ales have renewed our ardor for seeking out the good stuff. And while we still have only limited time to explore our new area’s gastronomic offerings, in all honesty, outings of that variety are far more enjoyable in the company of a toddler than schlepping out to Jackson Heights, Queens, on the subway for Colombian or Egyptian food, even if they don’t have quite the same exotic ring.