Food Tour Spring 2011 – A Taste of Brooklyn

Thanks once again to my good friend Seth, the brain child of these food tours, we went out one crisp March day deep into the heart of Brooklyn. We bypassed hipster Williamsburg and opted for a more authentic/less touristy gastronomic adventure. Our adventure started out on the Q train out into Midwood for our first stop: Di Fara’s Pizza. The place opens at 1pm and we got there around 12:45. There was already a line to get in. I think we were about 6 people deep by the time we got on line and it just grew and grew.

Starting at Avenue J

Di Fara sign

Our lovely tour guide Seth

Seth

The place is really really really tiny, so we basically ran in and were able to score a table that would fit us, granted we had to share some seats.

The rush to the table

Di Fara in Village Voice

The look of joy when we heard Seth’s name, signaling that our pizza was indeed ready!

the waiting

Putting the finishing touches on the pizza by adding some freshly cut basil.

Fresh pies

And the finished, most delicious product ever!

Di Fara's Pizza 1

It’s all in the sauce. It didn’t matter how piping hot this pizza was, the sauce and the crispy crust is the key (Dr. Awesome and I were inspired to make our own pizza on a stone we have. That’ll be another post). I can see why this place has a line forming even before the gates are up. This guy has just been making these pizzas for years. I think it’s safe to say he’s got it down to an exact science.

With the roofs of our mouths burned and taste buds satisfied, we made our way down to Avenue P for our next stop: Güllüoglu Cafe. I had no idea that there were tons of different types of Baklava. I can’t tell you exactly which ones we ordered, but one of them had spinach, another was walnut-based, and then the others were just sweet delights.

Fuller plate of baklava at Gulluoglu Cafe

I sort of forgot (again) to take pictures before we devoured half the plate. I’m telling you, it’s hard documenting all this when you’re hungry and everything’s so delicious.

Baklava at Gulluoglu Cafe

It was time to hop back on the Q train and make our way down to Brighton Beach where we ended up at Cafe Kashkar. This was interesting because it serves Uighar food, which I’ve never had before. I found out it’s basically meat-based. We ordered some lamb Samsas and a lamb meat pie with a nice pitcher of Compote to drink. This originally confused me when I saw it on the beverage menu, because the only compote I’ve had/seen is baked fruit. Needless t say I took a double-take when I saw it on the beverage list. It was great! It tasted exactly like Compote!

two meat pockets

inside a meat pocket at Kashkar

Eating with a compote drink

I always find that if there are certain condiments on the table, they’re there for a specific use and should be utilized. Like this guy:

vinegar

This was some sort of pickle/vinegar type deal and it tasted really good with the meat pies.

Pies at Kashkar

counter at Kashkar

Mmmm. Meat pie. Which I think was fried whole. Not kidding.

Meat pie at Cafe Kashkar

Meat pie

Around this point, we were becoming a bit saturated, but still had a few more places to go. The next stop: Varenichnaya. Luckily, we had someone with us who was able to speak Russian. We didn’t want to order too much, but the waitress was annoyed and said we had to order at least $5 per person, so we ended up getting a couple of different dumplings. I’m glad they were very delicious and it canceled out the rudeness of our server.

Varenichnaya

Cabbage

cabbage dumplings

Beef

beef dumplings

Potato

potato dumplings

Sour Cherry

sour cherry dumplings

Unfortunately, Dr. Awesome and I had to head out after this place, but the others went on to M&I International Foods across the street. Dr. Awesome and I had been there before and obtained a ton of cured meats and this amazing hot mustard that’s very addicting. A trip back there this summer with a cured-meat picnic along the water will definitely need to take place.

Seth and Co., after M&I, went to this place called Vodka Gallery. This place has over 200 types of vodka from around the world. I’m very very jealous. They sent me these pictures just to taunt me (ok, not really, I asked them to take photos of the places I was going to miss).

Vodka Gallery 2

Vodka Gallery 1

And just like that, A Taste of Brooklyn was over. I’m glad we did this because there are a lot of places in Brooklyn that people wouldn’t normally go to unless they grew up there. Not sure when the next food tour is going to happen, but probably in the next couple of months or so.

Dr. Awesome and I also joined the Flying Pigs Farm CSA. We also just sent in our application for the East Sixth Street Community Center CSA as well. It’ll force us to really cook more, use up and not waste what we get and also help support farms.

Today’s also Passover. Don’t hate on gefilte fish. I grew up with it freshly made and recently had it for the first time in a long time in Israel last summer. It tasted exactly like my grandma’s and brought back so many childhood food memories from her. Amazing how that happens. Stay away from the jarred stuff. It’s scary.

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~ by Rori on April 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Food Tour Spring 2011 – A Taste of Brooklyn”

  1. This is so awesome. My wife and I plan whole vacations around food and wine. Great pictures. That pizza really is to die for.

    • Thanks! Glad you stumbled upon my blog. You should really venture out there one day. The pizza is definitely worth it!

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