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Aug 21, 2008 01:41 PM

Seeking various ethnic food in NYC

I love going to NYC for the unsurpassed variety of ethnic food. I am planning a trip soon and am seeking recommendations for the following specific types: Sub-Saharan African (other than Ethiopian), Albanian and Uighur. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. For African, you have a few choices. You've got Le Conakry on B'way in Brooklyn for food from Guinea. The place pretty much revolves around rice and sauce. It's VERY cheap. A step up (and a few countries over) you can get OK Nigerian at Deback Malick on Fulton St or AMAZING Nigerian at Festac Grill in East New York (just off Atlantic Avenue.) The latter is by far superior to either of the aforementioned places and I would recommend you read Sietsema's review.

    BTW, I'm assuming you're not going to have a car while you're here so be careful about going for a late dinner at any of the above spots.

    For Albanian you have a couple of choices. If you absolutely have to have a place that is actually Albanian then you can go to the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx and skip the Italian stuff or you can eat at a place on New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn which I can't remember the name of (also reviewed by Sietsema though.) If you're not so picky about it (especially since the Albanian places serve virtually the same grilled items as a Bosnian place) then go to Bosna Express in Ridgewood. Use the trip to check out the Ridgewood Pork Store while you're at it for life changing dried Romanian meat products. Make sure to get there early as the pork store has early closing times.

    While not honest to God Uighur, all of the reviewers seem to mistakenly call both Cheburechnaya and Arzu Uighur. Kashkar Cafe used to be called Uighur as well. In reality these places are all Uzbek or Khazak with primarily Russian or Russian Uzbek customers. Cafe Kashkar in Brighton recently changed owners and possibly menus (it was never very good anyway) but both Arzu and Cheb are still exceptional. They have damn near everything you'd find in Uighuristan itself (minus the massively increased Chinese military presence due to the Olympics) with the added benefit of hot Russian waitresses (Cheb) or stone cold Soviet guardsmen who just happen to take your order (Arzu.) Cheb's increased variety gives you a higher chance of getting something legitly Uighur while Arzu is pretty much Cheb with a small menu and a couple of better items (Cheb is better for most stuff though, but I prefer ei. the lagman at Arzu.)