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Jan 30, 2013 05:30 PM

Kofte Piyaz - Turkish food in Sunset Park

I spotted this place, on 5th Ave at 38th St, while sitting in traffic on the B63 bus. They've been open for over a year, but I'd managed to overlook them . . . too busy checking out the Mexican options, I guess.

I remedied that tonight. It's a one-person operation, run by a very charming and friendly guy. I went there for takeout, but looking at the interior - and especially, the little Turkish tea glasses in their metal holders - made me really, really want to come back and dine in.

My order:
Red lentil soup, of which the owner is justly proud. "Best lentil soup in Brooklyn," he told me, and in my admittedly limited experience, it was. Beautifully seasoned with mint and who knows what else.

Beef kofte with cheese. Tasty, the way grilled meat is generally tasty.

Coban (pronounced "cho-ban") salad. This is a chopped vegetable salad with feta dusted with oregano and red chili peppper. Delicious.

White bean salad. Wow: this was the standout. White beans in a creamy, lemony tahini sauce with tomotos and chopped hard boiled eggs. I could eat a gallon of this. (As it is, I've closed the blinds to enjoy privacy while licking out the plastic takeout container.)

The Turkish flat bread sprinkled with black cumin seeds was great, too. (So good that I ate both slices before my husband got home from work. You work late, you lose.)

Can't comment on the desserts yet, as I'm waiting to share them with my sweetie when he finally gets home. The selections were almond pudding, liberally dusted with cinnamon, and baklava. Unfortunately, the butternut squash baked in syrup with walnuts wasn't ready when I was there. Tomorrow, I was told. (And am telling you now, in case someone else wants to pick up the baton and report back.)

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  1. thank you for the very good report. Seems like a defiinite must visit. Look forward to hearing more about this one!

    1. Finally made it here, after having it on my list for quite some time. Went twice and tried a lot of things off the very small menu.

      red lentil soup: one time was watery and thin, the next thicker, but both times very good. would definitely order this again.

      coban salad: this was the winner in the salads for me—a nice mix of chopped vegetables and feta.

      white bean salad: this was my least favorite of the salads—way too salty, which masked the flavor of everything else.

      warm potato salad: on the salty side, but better than the bean salad. slightly spicy and mustardy.

      meat ball platter and mixed grill platter: the meatballs were excellent, merguez decent, chicken a little dry.

      almond pudding and baklava were both good desserts. The butternut squash was also not available when I was there.

      did not try the spinach pie but saw one go by and it looked excellent.

      On the whole, I really liked the place. The owner is very affable and clearly loves his cuisine, making everything himself. The space is nice and welcoming. I will go back for sure, but just wish that things were a tad bit less salty. (And this from someone who loves salt.)

      It's nice to have a place like this in Sunset Park, for when I'm tired of eating Mexican or Asian.

      It's also extremely cheap and byob. The one dinner I had there, we brought a bottle of wine and two of us ate like royalty for about $25. More food than we could finish. And in the evenings the place takes on a very cozy vibe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: missmasala

        not defending over-salting generally (or kofte piyaz in particular) but if i had one knock on turkish food on our recent trip to istanbul (and thats a pretty big IF since i found 99.9% of everythign we ate to be awesome) it was a general tendancy towards the salty end of things. and like you, i like my salt. not a turkish food authority, and definitely not interested in starting a debate on authenticity, but noting that this was something we recently experienced in turkey regarding salt.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          Well then i guess this place is "authentic."

          It wasn't so salty that I wouldn't go back. I will go back. A lot, because I really enjoyed the place, though i could see becoming tired of the small menu at some point.