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Kensington/Flatbush recommendations?

I moved to Kensington a few months ago from Carroll Gardens, where I was very spoiled by the abundance of restaurants, bars and food stores.
So far here I frequent both Picket Fence and the Farm on Adderley, which are awesome, and I like the Mexican place on Cortelyou near the fire house. I've also tried a couple of the Middle Eastern places along Coney Island Ave., unfortunately I don't remember their names -- one is on a corner across the street from KFC and stays open 24 hours. Vox Pop is good for coffee or beer and the atmosphere, though I wasn't too impressed with the food.
Does anyone have more recommendations for places to eat in this neighborhood? A good Chinese takeout place would be very helpful, as well as your favorite grocery stores (I shop either at the Flatbush Food Coop, the new natural food store, a little Polish grocery on Church ave. and the big 24-hour international market, also on Church), and a good Mexican place. And it looks like there are not many bars, save the little Irish place Shenanigans and the Old Brick Cafe on Church (haven't tried the latter). Are there any Polish restaurants?

Thank you in advance,

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  1. The area is a little underserved, but there are a couple of places worth noting:
    The Old Brick Cafe is actually an Albanian restaurant, and I've heard it's pretty good.
    You can get a nice soft taco -- along with any Mexican groceries -- at the place on E2 just above Church.
    There are several Thai places, all of which have gotten pretty favorable response. One (Basil something) is McDonald just above Albemarle, Thai Tony's which is on Ft Hamilton bet E2 & E3, and a brand new one on Beverly at E2.
    Another bar, Denny's Steak Pub. Very local scene, shows promise. Rhythm and Booze, despite the name, is a pretty good neighborhood bar with an excellend burger. Actually in Windsor Terrace at Prospect Ave and 10th Ave.
    There is no good Chinese. Period. Have to travel for that.
    If you have a car, the best part about the neighborhood is how close much of South and Central Broolyn is. Great Turkish, Kosher schnitzel, formerly great Afghan down Coney Isl Ave; Sunset Park's Latin and East Asian food close by; the new little resto row on 6th Ave and 20th/21st Street (Bar BQ, Kitchen Bar and their new pizza place opening soon).

    4 Replies
    1. re: HankyT

      This is very helpful, thanks so much. I didn't know about the Thai places, and I do have a car so it's good to know there are other options pretty close by.

      1. re: barbara.o

        Another good place is the Korner Pizza on the southwest corner of Church Ave at East 3 St. (I used to live at E 3 and Ave C from 1970-1984, and visited the area last year. Still there and still as good). And for good rice pudding, go to the deli on Beverly Road just off the corner of East 2 St.

        1. re: MoxieBoy

          Rice pudding? Church Ave. Cafe on Church at E. 5th! Yum!

          1. re: MoxieBoy

            You talking about John's Irish deli with the sodabread?...gone maybe two years and has become a neighborhood "barometer" - the "BANGLATOWN" grocery, which BTW had some outstanding mangoes during the season @ $10/box.

      2. We're in Windsor Terrace but close to the Kensington boarder, and the best delivery Thai is the new place 2B Thai--it's terrific. If Sushi Yama delivers to your place from PPW, it's the best sushi we have found. The slices at Little Totinos are mostly good and sometimes great. We'll pick up burgers to go from Rhythm and booze. Burritos from Clements on PPW aren't bad and are sometimes really good. Fez on PPW can be decent but sometimes greasy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ketchupgirl

          where is 2b Thai? If they deliver to Windsor Terrace I'd sure be interested!

          1. re: jinx

            They are on Beverley Road at 2nd Street, phone 718-435-0459. The pad see ew is really, really great. Also, they are making a definite effort to be an eat-in place, with candles on the tables in the evening and what not... a great addition to the neighborhood.

        2. Culinary routes are:

          Coney Island Ave. Starting from the park you get numerous Pakistani places (Paradise East Cuisine is the best). I also like Jewish pita places. Ave J has a number of places, Golan and The Orchard food stores. Difara is near by. The food continues to Brighton Beach.

          13th ave is a center of Kosher food. Cheskle's, I believe there is a good Polish place, and many others. Italian Bakery Scotto's is there. When you get to the 60th street you start getting to Bensonhurst. 18th ave and 65th is V& J pizza. There are many Italian places. Salvadorean El Moro on 14th and 45th street is also

          Flatbush has the Caribbean places. I like Image Roti Flatbush and Cortelyou. Sybil's on church is also worth looking into.

          Church ave has Jinuk (Bangladeshi), and Korner Pizza. Red Brick cafe has a decent veal Gulash.

          Near prospect park is Laura's Kitchen.

          Park slope and Sunset park Chinatown (and latino) are near by too

          I also liked Mama Lucia's Restaurant.

          Partial list:

          1. That would be MADINA across from KFC...so good! Had it tonight.

            1. I used to really like the Afghani place Bahar near Newkirk on CIA but I haven't been there in a long time nor have I seen any posts about it. They had great pumpkin fried dumplings, lamb shank and spinach stew, and a wonderful eggplant appetizer with yoghurt topping. They also had terrific chicken soup. Anyone been lately? Any updates?

              Sometime back I heard that a good breakfast place had opened near Tonio's (???) but I don't know if that's still around.

              Any opinions on the various Pakistani places around? I don't know if I can distinguish amongs them. People used to like some of the places on McDonald Avenue. There were earlier posts. More comments there would be helpful too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: KingsKetz

                For the record the places on McDonald are Bangladeshi. As to the Paki places on CIA I cannot say any are rip offs, you get what you pay for. Newly opened Paradise East is the best I have been to and is the only one I would call 'up scale', but is not really in Kensington.

                If you have a bike ride cautiously down CIA to see it all.

                1. re: KingsKetz

                  Bahar update: Maybe 2 years ago I had a deliciously transcendent meal there. Friendly and delicious. About 6 months ago I had a horrible meal there. Unfriendly service, poorly prepared dishes. Overall a really unpleasant experience. Too bad. I hope it was just an off night.

                  1. re: HankyT

                    My experience too. Good experience, followed by a couple bad ones. The place was empty, yet also kind of slow, bad service. Not so fun.

                2. I've not tried them out but there are reports of killer Nepalese (there is a small Nepalese enclave in your new nabe) dumplings called momos at the supermarket next to the Cortelyou Q station: http://ditmaspark.blogspot.com/

                  1. there's a new restaurant on cia called 'sultan grill'...almost across from the school near newkirk or foster. anyone tried it?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: redgirl

                      Someone recommended it here, and my husband got takeout from there a few weeks ago. From what he said, they hadn't yet cooked a lot of the food or weren't ready for some reason, but we did have some chicken tikka that was pretty great and the dal was good too. (They did not have vegetable curry, which someone had recommended.) I didn't see it and I'm not quite sure what the place is like (table service, steam table, etc.), but anyway, it is worth a try.

                    2. Mangosteens, if you're up for the stink. Sign on Newkirk with a phone number only.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: poindexterwife

                        I think you mean durian... durians are the spiky melons that smell like corpses + gasoline. unless you _do_ mean mangosteen, which would be amazing. I heard rumors that there were some around...

                        1. re: nadia

                          Sorry Nadia! Of course you're right - durian's are the stinky ones. But yes, the sign said MANGOSTEENS! And there's only a phone number. The sign is affixed to a lampost on Foster, near Newkirk plaza.

                      2. The BEST pizza is G&A on Ft. Hamilton Parkway between E 2nd and E 3rd.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Songbird

                          I think Little Tonino's makes a pretty decent slice. Just up in Lower Windsor Terrace -- E5th and Greenwood.

                        2. Had a wonderful roti the other night but not sure of the name of the restaurant (husband picked it up on the way home)--chicken with a gravy sauce and spicy potatoes and carrots in curry--the wrapper fell apart, but the mix of flavors was great. It's on Church on the east side of Coney Island Avenue--anyone know the name? Thanks!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ketchupgirl

                            Either it's "IN BETWEEN EATRY & PASTRY" or it's the corner spot which replaced the Haitian place.

                            Love the "In Between" - you must try their saltfish-bake.

                            1. re: Mike R.

                              Thank you--it was the In Between--will definitely go back and try the saltfish-bake. mmm.