Food Stuffs: One of the wonderful perks of having so many Chinese bakeries in our area, is that it’s super easy to eat well and on-the-cheap — particularly at breakfast time.
Stop by any Hong Kong-style bakery before noon, and you will find a plentiful dim sum menu, including dumplings, crullers, sesame balls, and congee — a mild flavored rice porridge — all for little more than a dollar a piece. Get there early, though, as the variety of options begins to slim down at 11am, as items get sold out.
Today, however, we decided to skip the dim sum, and explore some of our neighborhood’s steamed buns, which come stuffed with endless combinations of meat, fruit, cheese, bean fillings — from sweet and tropical coconut cream rolls, to those ubiquitous hot dog buns. Filling, and comforting, these delicious and doughy buns offer an easy, on-the-go breakfast, and they will only run you 80 cents a piece!
We dropped into one such bakery today, JJM Cafe (6310 20th Avenue), and ordered the corn and ham bun. The thick, glazed bread was stretchy and sweet and melted in our mouths. In the center was a decadent combination of salty ham bits, sweet and juicy corn, and full fat mayonnaise, which offered a rich and creamy contrast.
The buns generally come wrapped in plastic, which is not the most appetizing of food containers, and it left our ham filling looking a little flattened, though it did not ultimately detract from the taste. Between the mayo and ham, it was was a pretty indulgent breakfast that left us sated and paired well with a cup of creamy coffee ($1).
If you are like many of us, and somehow always find yourself scraping by in the final days before pay day, you should consider the many diverse and hearty breakfast bites available at our local bakeries — like JJM — that cost little more than your spare pocket change. The brightly lit, modern cafe, which also sells an assortment of bubble teas, noodle soups, and fried rice and noodle dishes, provides an inviting space on 20th Avenue to grab a snack before heading over to the N train across the street to start your day.
JJM Cafe, 6310 20th Avenue, (718) 256-0138. Open 6am until 11pm daily.
Food Stuffs is a column exploring the gastronomic landscape of Bensonhurst and the surrounding neighborhoods. Each entry will cover anything and everything remotely related to food. Because here in Bensonhurst, food is always news.