Crispy Dough

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I am bad with secrets. I’ve always been bad with secrets. You shouldn’t tell me any secrets, secret holders, because I will give them away.

Case in point: the brunch you see above. What is it? Where can you get it? Why do I love it so?

If I were a good secret keeper, I’d end the post here. But I am not a good secret keeper and alas you shall know…

It all started last year when we moved to Park Slope. My friend Shirin, who I know from college, said: “You have to go to Miriam for brunch and have the crispy dough.”

I thought I wasn’t hearing right. “Crispy dough?”

“Yes,” she said. “Crispy dough.”

“Like the outside of a pizza? Like a freshly baked loaf of bread?”

“No you idiot,” said Shirin, who is a lawyer. “It’s its own dish–a middle eastern dish of fried dough with egg on top and it’s served with pulverized tomatoes and harissa.”

This sounded too bizarre to be true, so the next day I joined Shirin and her boyfriend for brunch and proceeded to order the crispy dough. To quote Elaine Stritch in her one-woman show: “A star was born.”

What is it about crispy dough that makes it so great? It’s certainly not its healthy qualities: it’s basically a big savory pancake fried in grease and topped with a greasy egg. But that pancake–something about the texture of it, almost like a potato pancake without the potato–is a true winner. In combination with everything else: the egg, the tomato and the harissa, it’s heaven.

And if you have a hangover, it’s essential. I can’t imagine having a hangover and not getting crispy dough to cure it. In fact, I did that on Saturday morning after a WILD NIGHT of partying Friday night. (Ok, it wasn’t that wild. It involved show tunes.)

But here’s a thing: this a secret. Miriam is already too crowded as it is. We used to be able to get in right away, and now we have to wait. I was there at the beginning of crispy dough, and now it’s too big even for me.

I feel like the kid in a movie whose best friend becomes a rock star and then totally snubs him when the kid goes backstage to say hello. Don’t do this to me, crispy dough. I MADE YOU, I CAN DESTROY YOU TOO!

But we’re all safe, as long as crispy dough doesn’t get any bigger. So don’t tell a soul, ok? And if you see me at Miriam, just give me the crispy dough stare. I’ll know what you mean—it’s just between us.

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