five reasons to rock down to atlantic avenue:

Come to mama, Chocolate Cloud Cookies. Via Baked.

Two blocks, five types of awesome:

1. Persuade the slightly cantankerous but quite handsome Frenchman at Tazza to reveal when those Chocolate Cloud brownie-cookies from Baked will arrive fresh in the shop. For some reason he does not like parting with this information. They are incredible the day they are made—crunchy like a cookie on the outside and soft like brownie batter on the inside. I brought them to a Cyclones game last year. The women in attendance promptly stopped watching the game. Cookies vanished in a swirl of nails and hair-pulling.

2. The short, cute, bespectacled wine expert—Elana, I believe—at Heights Chateau Wine. Lady knows her way around vino. She introduced me to Elio Perrone Moscato d’Asti (tip: look for the orange on the bottle), a sweet Italian sparkler that you will drink all spring and summer long.

3. The Sahadis Guys. God, are they crazy. The owner cornered me once when he thought I’d come in too often to ask if I—a fair-haired, Irish-American woman—was opening a competing Middle Eastern store in the neighborhood. Then there’s The Coffee Guy, who seems hang out largely in that department, the better to lord over his domain. He will call you—as he calls everyone—“my love.” (“Would you like the beans ground, my love? Half a pound of each, my love?”) I heard him talking about the seven children he has with seven different women the other day. The man has very soulful eyes. I doubt he’s exaggerating.

4. The fish ‘n chips special at Chip Shop. You don’t need a child to buy the child-sized portion of cod ‘n chips, and they’re $5 and change. I like to haul ‘em next door to Floyd and read a Sunday afternoon novel over a Sixpoint Sweet Action.

5. The nautical/ dive bar wonder that is Montero’s. The old-dude bartender likes to eavesdrop on conversations and interrupt with relationship advice, the drinks are cheap, and the jukebox is kickass.

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