Grodzinski, a Most Magical Place

When I go to my friend Aru’s place in Hackney Downs, I ride the 253 from my neighbourhood to hers.  Every time I do so, I always pass by Grodzinski, a bakery that has intrigued me in Stamford Hill because: a) it’s a bakery and I love baked goods; b) it seems to stay open really late–it’s open when I ride home past midnight; and, c) I REALLY love baked goods.

So, last night, I decided that I was going to make a stop into this gem that seems to gleam on into the wee hours.  I got off at the “Stamford Hill Broadway” stop and proceeded into the shop after pushing a green button for entry through the sliding glass doors.

I was rewarded by a brightly-lit vision of breads, rugaleh, cakes, take-away sandwiches, rolls and a whole array of tasty sweets and salads and sandwiches and yum-yum.  I wandered around Grodzinski with eyes roving over everything, unable to decide what to get.  After a dazed ten minutes or so pouring over the delicious options, including the biggest cream puff I’ve ever clapped eyes on, I wound up in the queue for a falafel and pita.

THEY FRY THE FALAFEL FRESH WITH EVERY ORDER!!  WHAAAAAT???!!!

Yeah, so I got this profoundly fat pita stuffed with olives, aubergines, hummus, red cabbage and whatever–oh yeah, and freshly-fried falafel.  Along with the falafel, I got sweets like three “tutti” rolls (tasted like caramel or butterscotch), a couple of cherry and cheese pastries and one with just cheese.  This isn’t cheese like cheddar cheese, but sweet and creamy cheese with just a light suggestion of salt.  The total for this bounty was very reasonable: £8.52.  The large falafel I got was £3, and when I took it over to Aru’s place, the Buttons were all mightily impressed.  The Buttons, by the way, are the folks who live with Aru in the Old Button Factory.  She has four other housemates, and last night, her friend Johnny was over as well.

The pastries were enough for a snack after my gigantic falafel pita sandwich to be shared among all the Buttons andhonourary Buttons (Johnny and myself), and to have some left over for this morning’s breakfast.  Because the pastries were so big, we cut them up into wee bite-sized pieces, which you can see in the photo I took with Aru (where I look incredibly giddy… or high).  The bite-sized bits were nice to enable everyone to try a piece, and I think my favourite sweet pastry was the “tutti” one with the caramel/butterscotch inside.

J Grodzinski & Daughters stays open until 1 am (!) Sunday through Thursday at its location in Stamford Hill on Upper Clapton, which is good to know if you happen to find yourself on the N253 and could use a food fix.  Next time, I’m going after the gigantic cream puff.

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