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Flatbush Hounds

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RachelMolly Dec 30, 2002 08:55 PM

I have seen postings here and there about what's currently good in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Jim Leff last year posted that the babka in the Jewish bakery on Coney Island between J & K, next to the Orchard, is good. Surely he's talking about Chiffon Bake Shoppe?

We all know that right here in Flatbush resides the houndy-famous DiFara pizza on Avenue J (but we also all know that is not kosher).

So, I would like to start a thread:

What is the Best of Flatbush, according to the hounds? And I mean the Best. If you try to say the chicken at Meal Mart, please think again. This is for the best, not the typical.

My offerings:

Challah at Ostrovitsky's on J (and 13th?) This is the only good store-bought challah I have found in the neighborhood.

Pizza Time pizza, also on J. Thin crust.

Famous Pita on Coney Island and D. Good value for the buck, and they allow you to refill your salad plate. You can refill on soda, too.

Kosher Free Range chicken (imported from Canada) at Pick-n-Pay on Avenue M. They haven't had it for 2 weeks though!

Cinnamon Rolls and chocolate rugalach are so close to Jerusalem bakery Marzipan...to be found in Boro Park, on 13th Avenue. called something like ..."heimishe bakery"....towards the lower numbers of the strip.

Pita Corner/Pita "Pinah" at Avenue P and 2nd or 3rd street. Very good shwarma and excellent shnitzel.

Pita Sababa on King's Highway and 4th street for fresh pitas. Also sell mini pitas with za'atar.

Any other true Flatbush hounds out there?

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  1. j
    Jim Leff RE: RachelMolly Dec 31, 2002 10:37 AM

    "Jim Leff last year posted that the babka in the Jewish bakery on Coney Island between J & K, next to the Orchard, is good. Surely he's talking about Chiffon Bake Shoppe?"

    that's right. I especially like their rye bread, cheese danish, and potato nik (very hard to find...only made certain days...call ahead!). Good thing about this bakery is that the things that look good ARE good. That's refreshing, it's like playing poker with someone unable to lie. So be sure and scope everything out.

    Just down the block, Olympic Pita is the city's best Israeli-style shwarma/falafal place, usurping the position formerly held by Famous Pita. Don't miss it.

    I'd add to the list Borekas Plus (1528 Coney Island Ave, just north of Ave L, Brooklyn, NY; 718-677-7448) for really good borekas and, I suspect, other good stuff too (I haven't checked it out thoroughly enough because I'm always full by the time I get south of Ave J).

    Also, Bissaleh 1922 Coney Island Avenue just north of king's highway) (718) 998-8811 makes some very specific sorts of Israeli snack foods that are very hard to find elsewhere. I liked their Manhattan branch better than the Brooklyn one, but it, alas, closed a few years ago. Brooklyn one's worth a stop.

    Finally, not sure they're kosher but I suspect they are, Coney Island Bialies on coney isle ave just north of U on east side

    If you're not kosher, please, please, opt for Difara's (1424 Ave J @ E15th St ) rather than Pizza Time. It's the city's best slice pizza.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
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      Zev Sero RE: Jim Leff Dec 31, 2002 07:00 PM

      Kaosan (next door to the thankfully moribund Palace Grill). South-East Asian food, nice decor, and if
      there's a better kosher place for that kind of food
      I'd like to know about it. Not cheap, though.

      And when Palace Grill goes away, Renaissance Cafe (of
      Kings Hwy) is planning to open a fleishig place on
      that site. That should be good, but let's wait and see.

      1. re: Zev Sero
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        Jim Leff RE: Zev Sero Jan 1, 2003 01:21 AM

        Yeah, I've stuck my head in Kaosan. Sort of a jive-sounding menu, prices are so outrageous...Idunno. There are so many great foods that are Kosher. I realize for those with hard and fast dietary limitations take what they can get, but half-assed Italian, Chinese, and Thai food is...well, half-assed.

        If I ate only kosher, I'd be digging for the really good stuff, not settling for distant echoes of non-Kosher cuisines. Though there's certainly no reason why ANY cuisine can't be great as well as kosher, it's so seldom the case, alas. Hope does spring eternal, though, for a lot of frustrated kosher chowhounds, I know.

        ciao

        1. re: Jim Leff
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          Zev Sero RE: Jim Leff Jan 2, 2003 04:59 PM

          True, the menu is rather a mixture - Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian. I don't think there's anything Chinese. The original chef was French (I think actually from French West Africa), so it was South-East Asian food as imported to France in colonial days. And since opening last year, the prices have gone up twice; they started out as higher-than-average but not too expensive, now they're really expensive.

          But the food is delicious. I have no idea how it matches up against what is served in non-kosher restaurants of the various cuisines, and perhaps someone who is familiar with SE Asian restaurants can try this and say how it compares, but for kosher consumers this is the only place in Brooklyn that serves this kind of food, and it's very good. If I could afford it, I would eat there at least once a week.

        2. re: Zev Sero
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          jen kalb RE: Zev Sero Jan 1, 2003 08:01 AM

          What's this about Palace Grill going away? It had been recommended here as being better than Olympic Pita. I hadnt even tried it yet.

          And can you say some more about what will be succeeding it at that spot?

          Thanks.

          1. re: jen kalb
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            Zev Sero RE: jen kalb Jan 2, 2003 04:44 PM

            Everybody I know who tried Palace Grill when it opened, went back to Olympic Pita. I tried it twice, and in my opinion, it will not be missed.

            The lease is being taken over by Renaissance Cafe, which is a very nice milchig place on Kings Hwy; I understand that they want to open a fleishig place as well, and that will be where Palace Grill is now.

        3. re: Jim Leff
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          Rachel Molly RE: Jim Leff Jan 1, 2003 12:31 PM

          Regarding this, I mentioned earlier that Pita Corner at Avenue P and 2nd or 3rd makes a great carry-away shwarma. Not the same as Olympic in that you can sit down but I was very impressed with the freshness and bounty of meat in the pita.

          It's actually only a block away from King's Highway so you'd get off @ the Kings Highway stop on the Q (but still need to walk the 13 or so blocks from the subway).

          Funny about Olympic: when I first read about their amba in the New Yorker article I said for sure gotta get it. But I forgot the name of it, so when dining there I asked the waitresses to bring "that mango dip." They had no idea what I was talking about. So I went a 2nd time and remembered the name. Personally not a fan of amba, but their szchug is good.

          1. re: Rachel Molly
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            Chorus Girl RE: Rachel Molly Jan 2, 2003 08:42 AM

            You can also take the F train to the Avenue P stop. You'll be at Avenue P & McDonald Avenue, only a couple of blocks away.

            1. re: Rachel Molly
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              Zev Sero RE: Rachel Molly Jan 2, 2003 04:27 PM

              > Pita Corner at Avenue P and 2nd or 3rd makes a great
              > carry-away shwarma.

              And it's the only place I know of in Brooklyn that has shwarma in a baguette. Fresh-toasted, too.

              > Not the same as Olympic in that you can sit down

              Actually, you can sit down - they've got room for 4 or 5 people to sit, and I often see some people sitting, and watching Israeli TV while they eat. But it isn't a pleasant eating environment - it's really designed for take-away, not for eat-in.

              > It's actually only a block away from King's Highway
              > so you'd get off @ the Kings Highway stop on the Q
              > (but still need to walk the 13 or so blocks from the
              > subway).

              Take the F to Ave P, and it's only a block away. I first noticed this place when trying the Mexican place that was across the street (which only lasted a few months).

            2. re: Jim Leff
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              Deven Black RE: Jim Leff Jan 2, 2003 05:40 PM

              >>Just down the block, Olympic Pita is the city's best Israeli-style shwarma/falafal place, usurping the position formerly held by Famous Pita. Don't miss it.<<

              So maybe this place has a name?

              1. re: Deven Black
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                Zev Sero RE: Deven Black Jan 6, 2003 05:44 PM

                Yes, it has a name. Olympic Pita. Was that not clear?

              2. re: Jim Leff
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                Maxwell RE: Jim Leff Jun 20, 2008 09:58 AM

                I went looking for Bissaleh and Borekas Plus yesterday and could not find them. Bissaleh is verifiably out of business - there's a big sign out front. I could not identify the storefront where Borekas Plus was. I believe the building has been torn down?

                Note to self: before setting out hungry to hound down chow in Midwood, check the dates of the previous posts!

                1. re: Maxwell
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                  zsero RE: Maxwell Jun 20, 2008 10:11 AM

                  They've both been gone for years!

              3. f
                frumy RE: RachelMolly Jun 21, 2008 08:18 PM

                Definately chiffon's for ALL breads , rolls and challah. I love their Thursday Friday bialy's too

                1. p
                  Prozack RE: RachelMolly Jul 2, 2008 08:30 PM

                  Podrigals Bakery in BP on 13th and 56th makes the most heaven to DIE for melt in your mouth apple turnovers (and I don't normally like apple stuff)

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