Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9.0)
R&D Foods is a quaint cafe/small-batch general store in Prospect Heights where you feel the love in everything they do.
When we moved to New York, the energy was electric. Our whole lives ahead of us, unlimited new restaurants to try, people to meet, places to see. But the big city can also be overwhelming and unknown and frankly, terrifying at times. Sometimes you just crave the charm of your hometown bakeshop or the friendliness of your local market. Or your mom? Luckily, we’ve got R&D.
The R and the D of R&D are Ilene Rosen and Sara Dima, the female powerhouse duo that owns this spot in Prospect Heights. Since opening in 2014, they have been true to themselves and what they are ultimately in the area to do: bring people high-quality, healthy, delicious food. They are self-described “old-school” shop keepers who want to help you find the right products and food to celebrate all the little moments in your life--whether that is just enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning, finding a gift for your friends birthday, or figuring out the best snacks to bring with you when meeting the in-laws.
R&D hand-selects only the cutest, most high-quality small-batch products. The shelves are stocked with a Pandora’s box of hot sauce, jams, honey, chips, pickles, popcorn, and chocolate bars, and you’ll drool over their made-to-order sandwiches, beautiful pastries, and freshly made donuts that are an absolute no-brainer. Don’t sleep on their pre-made salads, stews, soups, and sides either (you’ll thank us later). Pro Tip: If you are really not in the mood to cook (or even grocery shop for that matter), you can have them literally “Fill Your Fridge” and deliver their incredible prepared foods delivered straight to your door. Plus, folks living in Prospect Heights/North Slope get free delivery!
Kale Salad Sandwich
You think a salad on a sandwich sounds weird? Think again. This babe’s one of our favorite vegetarian sandwiches to date. Of course we’ll eat a roasted veggie sandwich with cheese any day, but this completely changes the game. The salad itself is a heap of fresh, curly kale with sauteed red onions, salty Grana Padano, and a bite of sunflower seeds. Then, it’s all placed on oily, warm ciabatta and covered in mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette. Each bite is surprisingly unique, and you can keep telling yourself it’s healthy because it’s a salad!
Gruyere & Avocado Sandwich
The perfect compromise for when you can’t decide between an avocado toast and an egg sandwich for breakfast. It has ripe avocado with lemon and olive oil, a healthy dose of sprouts, shavings of nutty gruyere, and is pulled together with slices of soft, seeded bread. We recommend adding an egg for a light, healthy egg sandwich. Just a rule of thumb here: when in doubt, throw an egg on it. Always.
Sunny Egg on Greek Cheese Pita
We’d like to personally thank Yiayia, the matriarch behind this Greek Cheese Pita, which is kind of like a blend between a quiche and polenta? And something we’ve both been missing out on for the past 22 years of our lives, and it is exactly what you need on a chilly Sunday morning. It starts with a salty, cheese-infused pita topped with a retro sunny-side-up egg, and is finished with a bright, acidic dollop of pickled red onion and a sprinkle of intense parsley oil. Yiayia, thank you, we love you, and what’s your address? Sorry if that’s too forward.
When you’re used to drinking a sad but free cup of coffee in your office cubicle like we are, you really come to appreciate a nice cup of coffee. At R&D, you’ll find that both their espresso drinks and cold brew coffee are incredibly smooth, nutty and bursting with flavor. It’s such a treat and makes our weekend strolls in Prospect Park that much better. And don’t stop with coffee; they pay careful attention to the quality of their freshly-brewed teas and they even have a new Iced Turmeric Elixir that uses a local Brooklyn brand, Bija Bhar that’s fueled with organic Hawaiian turmeric, ginger, lemon, maple syrup, and a dash of black pepper. YUM.