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What's your favorite undiscovered gem?

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!

Thanks.

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  1. 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

      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

        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. in manhattan b&h dairy
      in brooklyn soul spot

      1. 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

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

          1. re: ropa vieja

            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

            I've been disappointed at DiFara...

            1. re: JulesNYC

              And it's also not "undiscovered"

              1. re: jdf

                First Taste--a chinese bakery in Elmhurst.