As I walked into Brooklyn's Avocaderia, the world's first avocado bar, the general manager sprinted out of the restaurant. "He has to go order some more avocados!" cofounder Alessandro Biggi explained. The hurry was understandable. Today was the first day Avocaderia was open to the public, and they completely ran out of the eponymous fruit. A line started forming before they opened at 11 a.m. this morning, and by 2 p.m. they had sold out of every item on their menu-from toasts to bowls-using up all 200, give or take, avocados they had ready for opening day.
Biggi estimates that about 200 people came to Avocaderia today. Some placed multiple orders, obliterating the restaurant's avocado supply in less than three hours, thanks to wildly popular dishes like the Mediterranean toast and the quinoa salad.
"Since we just opened, we have a lot of boxes [of avocados], but they're not ripe yet," Biggi said. "By tomorrow we'll have more and more and more, but we'll have to let them ripen over the week." The three guys behind Avocaderia have figured out a good way to accelerate the ripening process: bananas. Basically, as fruits age and ripen, they release a gas called ethylene that accelerates the ripening of nearby fruits. Bananas produce more ethylene than other fruits, so they're helpful to have around when you're trying to ripen avocados quickly. Still, ripening won't happen immediately. "You put [the avocados] right next to the bananas, but they still need some time," Biggi said.
More and more avocados are going to be necessary as they expand the menu to include "more toasts, more salads, more specials, and smoothies, of course." And "more," it seems, is going to be the name of the game for Avocaderia: Even with the door closed, people kept poking their heads in, hoping to order something.
"We expected a lot of people," Biggi said. "But this was really amazing."