As an Allergic Girl who coaches the food allergic community about living well with food allergies, I love hearing about new, potentially safe dining-out spots. I was excited when a little bird, GFBird on Twitter, told me about a new restaurant in Brooklyn that she thought I'd want to try:
"I came across an eatery in Brooklyn that may be Sloane-friendly. It's called Cochinita, and is 100% GF, save for a few brands of regular bottled beer. In chatting up the owner, Adam, I found out that he has severe nut and shellfish allergies, so I know he "gets it", as far as cross-contamination, etc. It's a very casual place, with a small space for indoor seating and a backyard patio opening in mid-May...a great place to have in your back pocket if you'll be out and about in Brooklyn." Here’s her review on her blog, GF Bird.
An allergic boy running a restaurant? This I definitely had to check out. I had some back and forth over email with Adam Frank, the owner and chef about his allergies and about what he serves. He is peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergic. They have no tree nut or peanuts or shellfish on site and one fish dish, fish tacos. He asked me if being near fish would bother me. No, I replied but so kind of you to ask. (Very important to know your food allergic situation – go back to your board certified allergist if you have questions about aerosolized proteins.) So off we went to talk with Adam and try his cuisine. Here’s a video about our wonderful experience.
Cochinita, which means little pig, is a Mexican-based restaurant and Chef/Owner Adam is clearly passionate about that cuisine and his restaurant. A clean, tidy, modern space with an open kitchen, they were prepping their mini-flans, fish for tacos and afterwards, beef for tacos. Everyone was properly gloved and washing up (I watched) in their separate preparation sections.
The Cochinita menu is tailored (read: small) which is good for those with dietary restrictions as there are not many ingredients nor allergens to contend with. Adam went over how he creates the recipes himself, they have a recipe book behind the counter if you have questions about the ingredients of a dish (love that), all the necessary sanitizing steps they take, as well as cross contamination precautions. Feeling secure enough to try (on camera!), with all my emergency medications on me, my emergency plan in my phone and my safe friend with me (the producer, Heidi Bayer of Numodo and Brooklyn Allergy Mom), I dove in.
I tried the beef taco (made with a tiny amount of gf tamari) which is, I think, my fave. A brisket-like cut of beef, with that background note of extra umami from the gf tamari equaled delish. The pork was next up, so flavorful, perfectly pulled, well-spiced and seasoned. The chicken, that’s the plate with the rice and beans in the video, was like the chicken you’d pull after you made a chicken soup – tender, tasting of carrots, celery and onion and simple. The rice – what is in there Adam? Green love? (and some cilantro). They have one fryer and all it makes are fried tortilla chips, dedicated to corn chips, only in canola oil.
And if you needed more incentive, everything is green - plates, forks,
spoons, cups - all compostable - which they do as well. LOVE!
Everything was delicious, well-seasoned and totally yummy. OK, now are you ready to watch the video? Here it is!
Thank you Adam and Cochinita for creating a safe space for those of us who love homemade, authentic Mexican cuisine. And like to be green. And happen to have dietary restrictions.
Contact Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions and tell him Allergic Girl sent you!
922 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238