Anyone been out to Kensington lately? I took the F train to Church Avenue for a food exploration mission and was pleasantly rewarded. The neighborhood is a great resource for those who live nearer to the city on the F line and have to deal with bad, expensive food.
Having eaten a bad, expensive sandwich at Boerum Hill Food Company for lunch (sorry, they serve Peet's coffee and I can't resist) I wasn't very hungry (or happy). But I read menus and peeked into a bunch of ethnic markets.
This neighborhood has got to be the Jackson Heights of Brooklyn. No ethnic group was dominant- except, perhaps, old Jews, whose departure is paving the way for new immigrants (like Jackson Heights). I spotted Mexican, Bangladeshi, Asian, Mexican, Eastern European (and not just Russian), and good old fashioned Jewish restaurants and markets.
The most interesting find, though, was that the Asian grocery on Church Avenue just east of the station had a huge selection of Thai products. THAI! Maybe Thai people are moving to Brooklyn; could a restaurant be far behind? They also had hard-to-find Vietnamese and Chinese items.
Also of note was a Mexican grocery just off Church on a side street (not too far from station- say, between E. 2nd and E. 5th, north side of the street). This place had many more Productos Mexicanos than we're accustomed to. I'm fairly familiar with Pueblan groceries, but this one was different. Maybe Mexicans from other areas are settling here, and will soon bless us with their cooking. I tried to ask the guy working there where he was from; but I didn't know enough Spanish.
Anyone have anything to report on the restaurants around there? Additionally, I'd love to know which sub-Prospect Park Mexican restaurant to eat at (besides Los Mariachis), as there seems to be one at every D and F station south of the park.
Cinco de Mayo, 1212 Cortelyou Road at Westminster Road, (718) 693-1022, is far superior to (and cheaper than) Los Mariachis. I'd suggest starting with the Chicken Mole Poblano, but everything is very good and the portions are large. In Kensington (behind Pergament and just off Church Avenue), and also better and cheaper than Los Mariachis, is Mi Barrio, 3514 14th Avenue, (718) 972-9969. Also in Kensington is a much-better-than-average neighborhood Chinese restaurant, more or less Szechuan/Hunan: Yen Yen, 404 Church Avenue at East 4th Street, (718) 633-8711. The take-out sushi joint on Church Avenue between East 3rd and East 4th Streets is also worth your while. And I'm looking forward to trying Taqueria Los Poblanos, as well as various other new places in the neighborhood I haven't tried. I'll be back to learn more from others who eat in Kensington and vicinity.
There's a new Mexican place on Church near Coney Island Ave. (across from the car wash). Called Tacqueria Los Poblanos. I ran in and got a chicken taco, which was good but not enough to judge the place on.
Worth going back to, though - and it's open until 2am on weekends, for those late-night taco cravings.
Paul--when I suggested people add "no spam" to their email addresses, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, I didn't mean everyone should use the chowhound.com part! Use your REAL email address, please (e.g. email@example.com) and add "no spam" to that (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to avoid junk mail people who gather addresses from the net.