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May 23, 2007 11:56 AM

Iraqi Jewish in Kings Highway/Ocean Ave area?

My grandfather, a Jewish immigrant from Baghdad, used to be a great cook, but pretty thoroughly Americanized--he used to talk about the food from his childhood, but not make it. He recently passed away, and I'd like to take my mother to a place where we can try some of those foods--sambusak, meats with dried fruit, etc.

Following an article in the Times from last fall about Syrian, aka generally middle-eastern, Jews, there is apparently a large community in the Kings Highway/Ocean Ave area. A number of restaurants are listed in the article, but I'm not sure what to go with, and which might have the Iraqi influence I'd ideally like. Mabat is listed but seems to be more of an Israeli steakhouse.

A place called David's Restaurant is also listed, anyone know anything about it? Other than that it's all bakeries and groceries. Maybe we'd do better to just wander around the area sampling from the various bakeries? Any opinions?


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  1. I'm not sure about the restaurants in particular, but I think the genreal area is kings highway and ocean parkway--not ocean avenue
    good luck

    2 Replies
      1. re: mjiji

        There is a slew of places on Kings Highway between Ocean Parkway and McDonald, as well as on Avenue U, between the same streets. I've never been to any of them, but I lived in that area for a few years - it's the best area in that part of Brooklyn by a mile. You can take the F train to either KH or Ave. U, and you are right there. Just don't go on a Friday night, or Saturday (for obvious reasons).

    1. There are a number of Sephardic Middle Eastern places in that area. Although I think almost all of them are heavily Israeli-influenced, since most of the immigrants actually came from there after Jewish communities elsewhere in the Middle East effectively ceased to exist about 40 years ago.

      1. Hapisgah on Union Turnpike in Kew Garden Hills (Main street area), are Iraqi Israeli style kosher glatt steakhouse..with excellent GREEN falafel...and good fried eggplant salad..among other stuff..

        1. Restaurants around Kings Highway & Ocean Pkwy (not Ave) will be mostly Syrian-Jewish. This neighborhood is home to the largest Syrian-Jewish community in the world. The immigrants mostly called Aleppo home.

          You will get a much more comprehensive answer to this question if you post on the Kosher board but please don't do it until Thursday night. It's Shavuot now and you won't be getting an answer until then anyhow.

          1. Olympic Pita on Coney Island Ave is Iraqi Jewish, they have great kebabs, schawarma, salads, but not sure if they have the dishes you are looking for.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Barry Strugatz

              Davids is better than Olympic pita --by far!