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Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

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  • Hounded Oct 26, 2004 12:42 PM
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Fellow hounders! Good friends are taking the plunge and moving to Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. I would love to pull together a list of local dining options for them - any recommendations from the board?

Thanks!

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  1. Two restaurants in Ditmas Park that have gotten attention on this board are Cinco de Mayo and Picket Fence, both on Cortelyou Road. The former serves Mexican fare, while the latter offers comfort food. I, for one, am always plugging 773 Lounge, a fun, down-to-earth bar on Ocean Avenue, just down from Cortelyou. If your friends enjoy a cold, cold bottle of Bud and friendly service, 773 is for them. From reading this board regularly, I know that there are Ditmas Park chowhounds out there, and I hope that they offer their suggestions.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Brooklyn Boy

      I second 773 but let's not confuse anyone; it's on Coney Island Ave.

      1. re: jkl

        Ah, yes, you are correct. Looks like I've had one too many of those cold, cold Buds.

        1. re: Brooklyn Boy

          I'd recommend Bahar, an Afghan place on Coney Island Ave a few blocks south of Cortelyou. Famous Pita on CIA and Ditmas has gotten good press here, though I've not checked it out myself. Chili Basil on McDonald and Caton is a Thai take out place. Also, I've been eyeing the guys who are working to open Vox Pop (on Cortelyou 1 block E of CIA) - their sign says they will offer 'Books, Coffee, Democracy'. Dare I hope for a hip cafe on Cortelyou?

          Oh- and Kiku on 7th and 15th in the slope will deliver to Kensington- you should check if they'll go to Ditmas Park as well.

          Welcome to the 'hood!

          A related question- can anyone tell me which of the Chinese places in the area is best?

          1. re: jillkg

            I think the best Chinese place is Yen Yen on Church Ave. (in Kensington). It's not amazing or particularly authentic, but it is pretty good. They deliver to Ditmas Park.

            1. re: Denise R.

              Duh, I used to live near Church Ave. All the places on Cortelyou/Ditmas look rather sketchy. I had forgotten about the places on Church. Thanks!

              1. re: jillkg

                I would second Yen Yen. Have been consistently surprised by quality of delivered meals- we're pretty far away and they're always fast and friendly. Really the only option I can think of.

                1. re: pk
                  a
                  alsjdflaskjdf

                  I agree Yen Yen is the best I've eaten in the delivery radius. And we have tried a few: Jacky Chan, Yong Sheng, China Dragon, Bo Bo, Great Wall, New China.

                  The first meal suprises you if you've been through the list above first. So once trying Yen Yen you'll definitely try it again. Then the "consistently surprised by quality" part comes into play.

                  I've eaten there. The tea is endless and the service polite, the decor is crap but I'm not eating the wallpaper. And don't sit under the huge TV, that thing looks scary up there. Eating in does improve the food, but most Chimericanese around here doesn't warrant trying to improve it.

                  I have 10 or so Chimericanese takeout menus in the folder. Yen Yen is the only one we use anymore. Good stuff. A couple of the ones listed above are edible, just not that good. Yen Yen is really the only option I can think of, too.

                  1. re: alsjdflaskjdf

                    Yen Yen's the best of the Chinese places. Another good bet for take out is Don Burrito, in the Newkirk Plaza. Really fresh and decently priced with some interesting menu items.

                    Famous Pita is very good but can be a madhouse to eat in. They have a line format to pick up whatever sandwich you order and a buffet/salad bar thing to fill your platter. People can get really rude and piggish in the buffet line since they think they can take all the falafel and salad they want. Don't know if they do takeout.

                    I've really liked eating in Cinco De Mayo(the food is very fresh and simple-breakfast there is great), but didn't have the best take out experience as the food arrived cold.

                    1. re: diana k
                      w
                      Westminstress

                      I finally tried Famous Pita this week and it was hands-down the best falaffel I've ever had-- so crispy and light! The salad bar where you put all the fixins on your pita was very fresh and yummy as well.

                      I went during the day, so it was nearly empty, but yes the man in front of me was quite piggish about taking more than his fair share of falaffel.

                      I asked if they deliver and the answer was, sadly, no.

                      Remember that they're closed Friday and Saturday.

            2. re: jillkg

              I just moved to the neighborhood with my boyfriend, and on our second night in our new apt--largely because we saw all the good reviews on this site!--we ordered take-out from Yen Yen.

              After the food was delivered and the delivery guy had left, I unpacked the bags and realized that they had forgotten to include plastic utensils or chopsticks. I called Yen Yen, and they told me that they couldn't send the delivery guy back with some utensils, and that when ordering from them you had to specially request chopsticks or utensils if you wanted them! I explained that we had just moved into our apt and that no silverware was unpacked yet, but the guy had no sympathy whatsoever. This was especially upsetting to me because we had given the delivery guy a 30% tip! It was too late to get silverware from any nearby shops, so we decided we would have to eat with measuring spoons.

              Then, after opening the containers, we realized that not only had they forgotten to include silverware or chopsticks, but they had forgotten to pack the main chicken dish that we had ordered even though we had paid for it! I called back and explained this to the same guy, and he told me that actually, I must have forgotten to order the dish. When I asked him about why he had charged me for the chicken, then, he said that actually my side order of bok choy cost $15!

              I have never had such an awful experience with any delivery food before--and the bok choy and rice that we were left with were terrible to boot. Yen Yen = Bad Bad!

      2. j
        Joyce Goldstein

        While not in the neighborhood, Sahara (on Coney Island & P) will deliver. And tho they don't have prepared food except what's in the frozen food department, the Food Coop on Cortelyou is a good resource for spices, cereals, vitamins, fruits, veggies etc.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Joyce Goldstein

          Correction, Joyce, the Food Coop on Cortelyou does have prepared food, but except for the rotisserie chicken, it's weird and unappetizing (to me) -- if gastronomically correct. Some of the soups are ok but nothing that I would go out of my way for and that's too bad b/c we don't have many takeout options.

          1. re: efdee

            I think Joyce was correct. In 2004, when she posted, the coop didn't have prepared foods. (I agree w/you about the prepared food they have now.)

            1. re: gnosh

              Thanks, gnosh, that also explains why noone mentioned The Farm, Pomme de Terre, Cafe Tibet, etc. Didn't realize how old the thread was when I posted. Things have improved dramatically since 2004 but there's still no decent local chinese.

        2. Okay, in addition to the always tasty Bahar mentioned in another reply, there's Buhkarra on Coney Island Ave and the other Buhkarra further down Coney Island Ave, all of which serve Afghan/northern Pakistani food. For pizza, Little Tononno's pizza (not to be confused with Toninno's in Coney Island) in Kensington and San Remo's Pizza on Cortelyou both deliver very passable pies but for the real deal, we always go to the fabled DiFara's in Midwood (a scant 3/4 mile away). There's two quite decent Haitian places, one on Church and one at Newkirk train station, neither of which have names I can ever remember (search the board for Haitian, they've been mentioned in previous posts). Lastly, over on Flatbush Avenue, there are loads of really great jerk/roti/veg places that are begging to be explored. Please ask your mates to do so and report back!

          Also, your pals should go to victorianflatbush.org and sign up for the FREND newsletter. It's a great source of local information that's emailed bi-weekly.

          1. Places I liked:

            Get pupusas at http://www.elmorrorestaurant.com/

            Ave H and CIA - Tzar Boris (food store) and Havaily (Indopak buffett), also cheap movie theater and bar(for a cheap date
            )
            Food Coop (Grocery) - 1318 Cortelyou

            Jhinuk (Bangladeshi) @ Church and McDonald

            Church and E3 - Korner Pizza

            1. Buhkarra and Sahara, both on Coney Island Ave are tasty. Closer to home, on Courtelyou, Picket Fence has gotten its act together after a shaky start and their sublime pecan-crusted pork chop is back.
              Cinco de Mayo is a reliable winner. And please support the Cornerstone bar--open mic night on Tuesday's is lots of fun.

              1. w
                Westminstress

                I mostly know Cortelyou Rd, so here's my $0.02:

                Picket Fence gets better every time I go there. The monkfish w/ Israeli couscous, baby brussels sprouts, and almond vinaigrette, which is a regular item on this season's menu, is to die for, their specials are always winners, and even though I don't eat meat, the hanger steak looks and smells divine. Plus, the couple who owns the place are just down-to-earth, cool people who happen to really know their shit when it comes to food. My only complaint is that the wine by the glass could be a little better or they could lower the price a tad on it.

                Cornerstone on Cortelyou and Marlborough is a nice, chill bar. I watched the presidential debates there along with my roommate, neighbors, and had a blast. Actually, there's going to be a neighborhood event there with free food tastings this Sunday at 5:00.

                I also noticed that Vox Pop: Coffee, Books, & Democracy has finally opened. They have a sign up that there will be a party there this evening at 8pm, preceded by a story-hour for kids at 6pm.

                Most of the Chinese joints on Cortelyou are disappointing but decent in a pinch.

                Cinco de Mayo is ok depending on what you order. People swear by the tortas. Don't get the veggie burrito unless you like random vegetables such as cauliflower, lima beans, canned string beans, and mushy broccoli in your Mexican food.

                San Remo's pizza is mediocre with the exception of their terrifically tasty fresh mozzarella - fresh tomato & garlic pie. Just don't plan on kissing anyone for 24 hours afterwards.

                John's Bakery has giant cinnamon rolls for only 50 cents and their challah bread is fantastic.

                I haven't tried Kittitian Cafe yet, but it smells pretty good, and I'm curious what maccaroni pie is like.

                1. The two excellent Haitian places referred to in a previous messare are Chez Macoule, 1115 Rogers Ave, great griot and tassot cabrit (fried goat)
                  and Citadelle, 28, Newkirk Ave. very good griot too, plus wonderful "riz ak pwa" or rice with green pea pureed sauce, tastes much better than it sounds in English.

                  1. For Chinese food, Yen Yen on Church is really delicious and very fast delivery. Don Burrito in Newkirk Plaza is a really good, authentic mexican restaurant. About Picket Fences, i really want to like it, i've been there twice (granted, not in the the past month or so) and both times the food has been way too salty and the owner/manager has been fairly rude. However, the desserts are yummy -- totally agree on that!

                    1. I love Top Tibet Cafe, it's TINY and hard to miss, right next to the cortelyou subway station. Tasty, fresh, everything I have had has been at least very nice and usually delicious. Nice staff too.