Both Avocaderia locations go through about 200 pounds of avocados each day, with the fruit a main ingredient in salads, smoothies, sandwiches and even cheesecake. Photo: Michael DeSantis
Avocado lovers in Chelsea, rejoice.
Avocaderia, a small establishment on 11th Avenue, has put the fruit front and center.
Co-owners Francesco Brachetti, Alberto Gramini and Alessandro Biggi have sought to spread the idea that avocados can not only be tasty, but also healthy.
“When you think about healthy food, there is a common idea or myth that it has to taste bad,” Brachetti, 30, said. “You prefer to eat bacon over a salad, like 95 percent of the people. With avocados it’s different. The thing that you get by eating avocado is that you feel full, you’re eating something good, it’s creamy, but at the same time, it’s good for you.”
Avocados may be high in calories — a half an avocado has about 125 — but the fat they contain is healthy, says Cher Pastore, a city-based dietician and nutritionist. They are also high in fiber, which helps with weight loss, since eating them makes one feel more full, she said. And avocado consumption lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
“I recommend avocado regularly to my patients,” Pastore said. “I think it’s extremely nutritious.”
Brachetti and his partners also appreciate the avocado’s versatility. “We were 100 percent sure that we had to do this with avocados,” he said.
On the menu are toasts (of course), salads, smoothies, sandwiches and even a cheesecake.
The Chelsea store, just north of 27th Street, is Avocaderia’s second location. Its first, near the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, opened last year.
“Chelsea’s one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Manhattan,” Brachetti said.
Elisa Singh, who manages both Avocaderia locations, said Chelsea residents have taken a particular liking to salads and grain bowls.
Brachetti estimates that each store goes through about 200 pounds of avocado each day.
Avocados have become immensely popular in the United States in the last few years, with per-capita consumption nearly doubling, from less than four in 2008 to more than seven in 2014, according to data on Statista, an statistical and research database.
Singh, 31, thinks their popularity is permanent. “I think avocados are here to stay,” she said. “There are so much you can do with them. So much you can create with them and make pretty. It’s kind of like coffee. Everyone loves coffee and everyone wants coffee. It’s never going away. I think that’s avocados.”
And just like there are coffee lovers, there are avocado lovers, the Lower East Side’s Rachel Buigas-Lopez among them.
“If I could eat them for every meal, I would,” Buigas-Lopez, 19, said.
She said she was thrilled to hear that Avocaderia was opening in Chelsea.
“I live near a place that’s a similar concept,” she said. “Avocado Appetit. I had been there and I had really loved it. I was excited there would be more options for avocado restaurants and I knew I’d definitely be going.”
Brachetti said Avocaderia is hoping to open a third location by the end of the year. Midtown, Washington Square Park and the Financial District are potential options.