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What's your favorite undiscovered gem?

rawcuzima Feb 6, 2008 06:21 AM

Hosting some foodie friends from another big city this weekend, and want to take them to an off-the-beaten path Brooklyn jewel. Could be Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, almost anything except Korean, Chinese or Japanese. Definitely want to avoid the usuals: Al di La, Applewood, Peter Luger's, etc. Searching for something special i.e. the best Oaxacan in the city, etc. Can be a dingy little hole in the wall or a grand Russian banquet.

Would love to hear about your favorites!


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  1. g
    Geo8rge RE: rawcuzima Feb 7, 2008 07:24 AM

    1) Search ChowHound for ideas.
    One place I like that does not get much play is Manna (various locations inc Flatbush)

    Bangladeshi Church ave and McDonald, both restaurants are good.

    Coney Island ave, start at prospect park and walk (or cautiously bike) to Brighton Beach. Many places on the way.

    Damascus Gate 7224 5th ave (if it is still there)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Geo8rge
      ropa vieja RE: Geo8rge Feb 7, 2008 09:23 AM

      Sadly, Damascus Gate just closed last week. The signs in the window say a Turkish restaurant is on its way. Al Salam, a few doors down, is also good.

      1. re: ropa vieja
        NancyC RE: ropa vieja Jul 1, 2008 10:01 PM

        MONTHS too late in reading this, but I'm kicking myself! I always meant to go there but it is really damn far for someone without a car and a 20-minute walk from the closest R train!

        Was it unpopular? The one review I read (Village Voice, perhaps?) was so mouthwatering...I'm really so angry at myself right now!

        Is Al Salam by any chance Syrian? I am really jonesing for real Syrian food, I've heard that Waterfalls is run by Syrians but while the food is tasty, it's pretty general Middle Eastern food. I want a place with various forms of fatteh, babaghanouj made with with chopped eggplant and no tahini, sour cherry kebabs and sfiha. ANYWHERE remaining in the 5 boroughs??

    2. c
      ceasar11 RE: rawcuzima Feb 7, 2008 07:35 AM

      in manhattan b&h dairy
      in brooklyn soul spot

      1. j
        JFores RE: rawcuzima Feb 7, 2008 09:21 AM

        DEFINITELY Chengdu Heaven if in Queens. For Brooklyn, just take them to Di Fara. It never dissapoints. Debakh Malick on Fulton and Bedford is suuuuper hole in the wall. I love taking tourists through Bed Stuy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: JFores
          ropa vieja RE: JFores Feb 7, 2008 09:24 AM

          Yemen Cafe, on Atlantic between court and clinton, is the best middle eastern roast lamb you'll ever have.

          1. re: ropa vieja
            ropa vieja RE: ropa vieja Feb 7, 2008 09:42 AM

            Also, fabulous Greek place in sheepshead bay on emmons avenue called yasiou. (or maybe yasou.) big, grand, bright place. excellent food. great scene.

          2. re: JFores
            JulesNYC RE: JFores Feb 7, 2008 09:43 AM

            I've been disappointed at DiFara...

            1. re: JulesNYC
              jdf RE: JulesNYC Feb 7, 2008 01:16 PM

              And it's also not "undiscovered"

              1. re: jdf
                foodforthought2 RE: jdf Feb 7, 2008 01:33 PM

                First Taste--a chinese bakery in Elmhurst.

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