When we think of bodegas, we think of our favorite shady treats: quarter waters, off-brand cheese puffs, and big cans of Broadcast corned beef hash (for later). But the Brooklyn Kitchen, a Williamsburg cookware store, is now asking for customers to think outside the Nilla Wafer box with the Bodega Challenge. It’s sort of like the South Williamsburg version of the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but less healthy.
“People who have lived in this neighborhood remember when, after a certain hour, the only food you can get was from a bodega,” owner Taylor Erkkinen says. “That was how we came up with it.” The contest rules call for a maximum of $20 total, and a full list of ingredients must be vouched for with a receipt. That’s the first challenge! The dishes are supposed to be “loosely interpreted” as Thanksgiving side dishes, but we get the sense that there will be a wide degree of latitude given, especially if the dishes have a true bodega vibe to them. The prize is still to be determined, but it’s really about the glory.