30-Day Stay in Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn, NYC) - Request for Tips

Id be up for a group dinner if we are around!

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My kids (the ones in Carroll Gardens) love it. Too spicy for me, too. N.B. They no longer take reservations.

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I dont see any central asian or georgian on your list, are you well supplied with those cusines in DC?
for example, if you take the A train to the Rockaways, folks I know like Uma (Uzbek) there and it has the advantage of the beach - or if you prefer a walk at stunning Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve (a short walk or bus ride from Broad Channel). https://umasrockaway.com/
Persian, if you can book in well ahead at Sofreh in Prospect Heights (preferred) or the related Eyval in Williamsburgh.
Indian Table in Carroll Gardens has been well enjoyed by HO eaters - convenient from A via F.

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ps when I go birding at Jamaica Bay Wildlife REFUGE https://www.google.com/maps/place/Jamaica+Bay+Wildlife+Refuge/@40.6167119,-73.8352333,15z/am=t/data=!4m10!1m2!2m1!1sJamaica+Bay+National+Wildlife+Refuge,+175-10+Cross+Bay+Blvd,+Queens,+NY,+11693!3m6!1s0x89c267e24da14e21:0xcb370ba6c54fe!8m2!3d40.6167119!4d-73.8249336!15sCk5KYW1haWNhIEJheSBOYXRpb25hbCBXaWxkbGlmZSBSZWZ1Z2UsIDE3NS0xMCBDcm9zcyBCYXkgQmx2ZCwgUXVlZW5zLCBOWSwgMTE2OTNaTCJKamFtYWljYSBiYXkgbmF0aW9uYWwgd2lsZGxpZmUgcmVmdWdlIDE3NSAxMCBjcm9zcyBiYXkgYmx2ZCBxdWVlbnMgbnkgMTE2OTOSAQ93aWxkbGlmZV9yZWZ1Z2WaASNDaFpEU1VoTk1HOW5TMFZKUTBGblNVUkJNalZMV2xWQkVBReABAA!16s%2Fm%2F0g561ry?entry=ttu
I often stop at New Park Pizza on Cross Bay Blvd which makes classic pies. http://newparkpizza.com/
Transportation there is not great without a car, however.

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There may be some worthwhile reccs in here, for what its worth, certainly @DaveCook was thumbs-up on the Hainan Chicken Place.

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Jennifer -

Thank you.

We have a lot of Uyghur and Afghan restaurants in DC , but otherwise central Asia is not well represented. But my daughter and I love to tease my wife about one of her worst restaurant choices. Way back in 2002, we spent a long weekend in Brooklyn (using Bay Ridge as our base, which logistically wasn’t the best choice). My daughter and I were super-excited about a Georgian crawfish place in Brighton Beach where the waiters and some customers danced on the tables.

But my wife was intrigued by this Uzbek place that Robert Sietsema had just reviewed for the Village Voice, saying something like, “for those of you who have become jaded by Tashkent Uzbek food and Samarkand Uzbek food, you will be thrilled to know that this is Bukhara Uzbek food.” We were too unsophisticated about New York food to realize that he was kidding. So my wife insisted and off we went to the Uzbek place for one of the worst meals of our lives. The mutton soup had huge globs of fat floating in it and the pickled fresh water herring were so fishy as to be inedible.

To this day, my daughter and I tease my wife about making us miss those Georgian crawfish.

We love Georgian cuisine (we vacationed there in 2018) and there are a couple of decent Georgian places in DC. But I don’t think we’ve ever had Georgian food in NYC and Little Georgia in Brighton Beach sounds great (as do some Georgian restaurants in other neighborhoods).

Are there any Georgian or central Asian places that you particularly like?

We like Persian a lot and have been cooking Persian dishes at home this summer because we had a bountiful crop of sour cherries and there are a lot of great polows that feature sour cherries as an ingredient. So I’ll definitely put Sofreh (which I’ve heard of) on the short list of possibilities. Ditto for Indian Table, which was not on my radar at all.

Thanks again.

Thanks, I love this kind of list and will pore over it for additions to my NYC planning list. I’ve found the Infatuation to be reasonably reliable in NYC, but here in DC it’s an absolute joke, basically worthless.

About a month ago, my wife and I went with Jen, her husband and a couple of other HO posters to https://www.facebook.com/ChveniCafe/ a place in Bensonhurst that Jen had recommended. I definitely thought it to be the best of a # of Georgian meals I’ve had in Brooklyn. Here’s the HO thread on the meal: HO Dinner at Chveni Cafe in Brooklyn, June 2 at 6:15 pm - Are you interested? - #12 by JenKalb

I’d go back in a minute for another group dinner there, especially since several of the usual NYC group dinner folks weren’t there for that one. Not far from a train or two, but we have a car and can drive others as needed.

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Chevni Cafe looks tremendous. If you wanted to do a group dinner there, we’d definitely be interested. We also have been interested in getting to Bensonhurst, so that’s another plus for us.

In fairness, I do need to warn that it can be a little bit of a pain in the neck to have me along for group meals. I’m lactose intolerant, which complicates things.

Of course, I don’t have a problem with ordering dishes with dairy (I don’t think my wife has ever been to a Georgian restaurant without ordering khachapuri), but there will need to be at least some dishes with little or no dairy (fortunately butter and hard cheeses don’t seem to bother me). But I will have to ask the server annoying questions about ingredients.

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Chevni is tremendous indeed. If you go to Brighton you may want to pop into Tone Cafe, the first Georgian to feature the Georgian oven (“Tone”). If not for the restaurant (I prefer Chveni overall), but the bread, and various Khachapuri. Maybe after/before lunch at Kashkar Cafe, one of the oldest Uyghur in the country.

If Ugly Baby is too spicy for you, Somtum Der in Red Hook is a good compromise.

I wouldnt miss the fried chicken at Pecking House

Spend a day visiting Sunset Park, our largest Chinatown, Latin 5th ave, and Green-Wood cemetery, arguably the most underrated “attraction” in NYC
My faves there are Chuan Tian Xia, Hot Space, Dun Huang Beef Noodles, Bamboo Garden for dim sum, and do not leave the state without trying the Portuguese tarts at Xin Fa Bakery

Other faves: Werkstatt (a lot more than Austrian), Popina, Rana Fifteen, FOB (last two same owners), Birds of a Feather

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I love Werkstatt. The savory food is great, but (at least before the pandemic) they also did seasonal fruit desserts which I loved.


Thanks very much for these suggestions. I particularly appreciate the specific restaurant suggestions, all of which I will carefully check out. A few questions and comments.

  • I’m not familiar with “Latin 5th Avenue” and a little googling didn’t turn up anything. Would you mind telling me more about that?

  • You mention the Chinatown in Sunset Park. I see that there is also a new Chinatown in Bensonhurst. Do you know how those two compare to one another? We did spend an afternoon in Sunset Park last year (we ate El Tenampa, the Mexican place in the back of a grocery), but we didn’t see a Chinatown.

  • Werkstatt looks fascinating, definitely one for the short list. Geographically, it’s kind of in an annoying area for us. As the crow flies, it’s very close to Stuyvesant Heights (we could walk it in 85 minutes), but it takes almost an hour to get there by bus/train. Still, it looks worth the effort.

  • We spent an afternoon in Green-Wood Cemetery last year, which was just the tip of the iceberg of course. But one outgrowth of the visit was that we noticed that my wife’s last name (which is a little uncommon) is well represented in Green-Wood. So I did some genealogical research. It turns out that my wife is not descended from the people buried at Green-Wood, but in the course of doing this research, I found a study from the New York Department of Design that showed that my wife’s great-great grandfather had lived in the notorious Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan circa 1832-1832. I got a photo of my wife and her cousin at the exact site where their GGGF had lived (which is at the back of the new Patrick Moynihan federal courthouse).

  • Chuan Tian Xia has opened a branch in Rockville, a DC suburb that has a large immigrant Chinese community, and a group of us from Chowhound/Hungry Onion had a fabulous meal there in May.

  • Tough choices have to be made, and I probably won’t prioritize Kashkar Cafe. We have a lot of Uyghur restaurants here in the DC area and I’ve probably eaten in them a dozen times or more. So just on novelty alone, we’ll probably put other restaurants ahead of that one.

  • Spicy is not a problem (for example, the only dish we had at Dhamaka that was even at the margin of being too hot for us was the gurda kapoora [goat testicles and kidneys]). But I will say that as I’ve gotten older, I’m less appreciate of heat just for the sake of heat. But Somtum Der is definitely on the list of possibilities

Thanks again.

If you’re going to be around Red Hook, try and go while the pupusa lady’s truck is open (and preferably earlier in the day). Fun to watch, even better to eat. (El Olomega I think is the official name). You can also pack up a stack and take them back to your Airbnb (don’t forget the curtido!)

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Sunset Park’s Chinatown is the largest in all five boroughs by a wide margin.

Green-wood is my favorite place in all of Brooklyn - the tours and programming there are excellent, but it’s also excellent to visit on one’s own (as you already know!)

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If you are in that area (Green-Wood, Sunset Park) , Ba Xuyen still has (IMO) unmatched bahn mi - 8th Ave in the 40s, also other nice snacks. I ate at a local bahn mi place hoping for a good alternative recently and I mean, the sourdough bread just isnt right 0 it needs that nice crispy baguette - and the pate and sufficiency of vegetables and cilantro just werent there.

As far as Hispanic 5th Avenue it is a long and vivid Mexican/Central American strip starting in the 30s and south to say the 50s, centered on Sunset Park, with lots of stores, food trucks and stands, taquerias and other restaurants. havent spent enough time recently sampling to give current recomendations.

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All y’all get around much much more than I do and seek stuff out. I guess I just don’t have the time or energy or interest in such far flung cuisines. The next French bistro or moderate sushi place that’s within a 20 minute or so train or cab ride I’m all in. Central Asian food, not so much. Maybe the result of growing up in a not metropolitan area where there were cows across the street from my school and neighbors kept chickens long before it was thing to have a coop. I have very little to add unless the OP wants hints for a steak frites or saba handroll.

The one exception may be my pursuit of tacos. If in Bed-Stuy maybe checkout Taqueria al Pastor.

Thanks, I’d love a recommendation for good steak frites or a handroll. We do come from similar backgrounds. My hometown has about 800 people, no cows in town, but plenty of chickens (at least when I was growing up). Far south Mississippi.

Sushi and Central Asian are as fur flung as each other :joy: , so I think it has less to do with childhood and more to do with current inclination / interest. (I think most of us are pretty far from where we grew up and what food we were exposed to then.)

Re handrolls, KazuNori from the SugarFish folks was the first handroll place in NYC and is still a delicious bite (as is SugarFish for a quick, no fuss, inexpensive-for-what-you-get option). There are many more options since then (like Nami Nori) – a few are listed here.

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I discovered Daigo when I was getting my car serviced on 4th Ave in the Gowanus area. Some nice combinations for the handrolls and reasonably priced. In Brooklyn, two places I like for cheaper French are Bar Tabac and Bacchus. Bar Tabac is a bit more on the kitschy bistro decor but its a fun place. Bacchus has a great garden area. If you head into Manhattan I like Frenchette and Raoul.

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Thank you very much. Bar Tabac and Bacchus are particularly convenient for us as they’re right on the A line.