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[Photograph: Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I'm not going to use this column too often to toot our own horn, but our 50 state beer map is truly magnificent, and I don't even really drink beer except the lightest, not-bitter-in-the-slightest varieties.

A bunch of SE staffers and contributors went to a highly praised Mexican grocery-taqueria in Brooklyn (Max is reviewing it for SE NY) over the weekend, but I have to say that after sampling at least twenty dishes, I concluded that too often my romance-based search for authenticity clouds my judgement. Something can be real and authentic without it being consistently seriously delicious.

Sometimes a food-related profile is of a personality and life story that is so compelling I can't stop thinking about it for days if not longer. Such is the case with a story in PS Magazine that focuses on Giulietta Carrelli, the owner of the bizarre but wonderfully named The Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club, which is apparently a seminal place in the San Francisco artisanal toast movement (if there is such a thing). What she has gone through in her life and what she continues to deal with can only be described as a profile in courage. The story is disturbing, surprising, and uplifting all at the same time. How many stories can you say that about?

I'm not much of a breakfast bar fan, but our trusty, ever-so-carefully curated local deli, Nolita Mart, is now selling the best one I've ever tasted: the Early Bird Crack of Dawn. It has an almost perfect balance between salty and sweet, and it doesn't have that indescribably generic taste and texture so many breakfast bars have. I laughed when I read on the wrapper, "Gathered in Brooklyn." What does that mean exactly? I guess it means they found the rolled oats, organic coconut, puffed rice, organic sunflower seeds, and the other ingredients in the borough that keeps on feeding me equal amounts of good food and silly food-based fodder. I have noticed that sometimes they are a little too hard to crack on occasion, but that is a decidedly minor quibble.

About the author: Ed Levine is the founder of Serious Eats.

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