Where can I find, in NYC or Brooklyn...
I've been visiting friends in Boro Park for most of the summer and have experienced some really great food. However, as the product of a Hungarian grandma who made the most anazing carrot kugel, I find myself in search of ANY carrot kugel, but have not seen it offered anywhere. Also, I'd be delighted to find some vegetarian stuffed cabbage. I'm willing to trek to the city or elsewhere to find the best. So if you have suggestions, please don't hold back! Thanks!
As I am sure others will tell you, Brooklyn is a part (one of the five boroughs) of NYC, so I assume you mean the larger NYC area, including nearby Westchester County or the western parts of Long Island.
I think the first thing to think about is that kugel is basically a Jewish food, not a Hungarian food. So start by looking in Jewish delis and restaurants. Second, kugel is usually not a summer or even a fall food. It is most commonly found around Passover (except, of course, for noodle or "luchschen" kugel, which is not kosher for Passover).
Third, I have lived in an around NYC most of my life and have been to countless delis and Jewish restaurants and don't remember ever seeing it on a menu.
That being said, haul yourself over to NJ and this place in Teaneck sells it:
Also, believe it or not, Whole Foods sells it at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (well....). Or at least they did last year. But call first. Each Whole Foods has a different set of prepared foods.
re: Just Visiting
Kosher-keeping people serve kugels all the time :) They're a popular Sabbath food. In Europe, they were mostly limited to lukshen (noodle) and potato, but it sometimes seems that the modern kosher cook will kugel-ify almost anything; squash, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, onion, etc. Kosher takeout places sell it year-round, too, because people who are pressed for time often want to buy food for the Sabbath. Non-kosher venues tend to sell 'Jewish' food around Passover and the fall holidays, which is probably why you identify it with Passover.
Whole Foods' prepared food isn't kosher-certified.
Have you tried Landau's?
Also, you should venture to Crown Heights and visit the late Dovid Malka's take-away (now being run by his family). He made the best salads, and his cholent and kugels were also very good. Surprisingly so, if you start out thinking "what can a Moroccan know from kugel?"
I love great carrot kugel, and make it myself. The problem you are having is that you are looking for it in the summer.
Carrot kugel is a winter dish, made when carrots and other root vegetables stored away in the root cellar were the only vegetables available in the harsh European winter.
Tradition is hard to break, so you probably won't find it fresh in the kosher stores/bakeries. You may find it packaged frozen and labelled carrot souffle in a place like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.