Suggestions for ethnic food crawl
Hi! I am putting together an ethnic food crawl for a group of people in Brooklyn and any suggestions you have for places to be included will be greatly appreciated. We will be splitting it into two days (One for North Brooklyn and the other for South Brooklyn). Thanks again for your help.
Actually, I think that Brooklyn's lower end of 18th avenue should be either the beginning or end, in such a crawl, veering to the west of this 18th Ave, and actually, going further towards the water, zigzagging to the south east.
If one manages correctly, one will come into intimate contact with Russian enclaves, sitting amongst russian, and speaking russian, if you know russian...Russian that is.
The advantage of this area is the beer. Russian, Eastern Europe, found easily. Absent from trendy exteriors and trendy interiors, and trendy niche arenas of tapas, kraft..craft.
The ethnic communities here are a buffer from all that. So, Park Slope remains in Park Slope.
Due to the ethnicities in the area, extending up to where Hamilton Parkway meet New Utrecht, one can get a diversity that is not found elsewhere. Yet vestiges of Italians remain. My suggested crawl, takes modernity into account, and also the absence of it.
It is Italian before all else in chunk time frames, with more recent heavy heavy overlays of varying groups from China's Mainland. There are also Colombian, Ecuadorian and Central American, and the Fuzhou-nese.
One of the most Polish places in all of the NYC area, exists here in this section I denote. That means, they rear if ever get others taking a dine and a nights festive outing. It might be the place kidnaps you for one night. You may forget English, well what it sounds like spoken by another. That can happen in varying ethnic places throughout this area, not just polish.
And in the north section of this is the Hasidic venues. Some are explanatory from exterior, others need a delving into, the ones that cater to a more Russian folk, who imbibe (13th and 60 str..62 str about.....)
This area is a crawl, over an extended period. I am still crawling.
Hot pots are acquired in cozy Chinese owned smallish shops, of varying regional representation. This is between about 70 or 75th (on 18) towards south......towards this community center that is Italian, and has the same sign as it did, 5 decades ago. They watch much soccer. Very friend people. But hot pots end for this area there. Scoot west and hit some Mexican clubs (dive venues with DJs, buckets of beer....
And I need to ask my Albanian friends...the Burek Place. that is the name. It is in this area. Bureck is this non-sweet pastry with meats and cheeses. I had my first in Slovenia, at 7 am after nights festivities. That is a Ljubljana practice forced upon me, and I submitted with little resistance.
The only problem with Bureck here, is that the place in this area does not open until late afternoon.
Add Albanian to the ethnic mix here.
I used to do non-ethnic crawls, in undergrad, but these were after the bar crawls, confined to tile floors.
I would certain recommend 8th avenue Brooklyn.
I would also recommend, beginning at Lefferts and Jamaica, and heading south. Hitting one spot for beer, the next for eating. Dishes could be family style, that way, it is a real piece meal thing. When arriving to Liberty hang a right, and edge down slowly, plenty of places, for ethnic food.
The problem arises with food. We are not swine. But it can be done.
I prefer ethnic stationary. Being stationary in ethnic dives, or venues, or cafes etc.
I dont know exactly what you mean by N and S Brooklyn.
If you mean Williamsburgh/Greenpoint/Bushwick for North, youve got Polish, hispanic (could find some puerto rican as well as Mexican probably though I dont have suggestions on that) and Italian (napoli bakery on Metropolitan Ave and the sweet shop around the corner for example, Metropolitan Ave)
to me :south brooklyn has a specific meaning of the area around Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. In that area, you could certainly do Italian, middle eastern up by Atlantic and hispanic (go to the ball fields if they are still open)
in larger brooklyn, you could pick sunset park (chinese, vietnamese, hispanic etc and even head on down into the middle eastern strip on 5th S of 65th St for kebabs, felafel
you could explore the Flatbush area for West Indian fare
But to me the single most interesting area is Brighton Beach and the nearby areas with food from the former soviet republics,
You could hit up Polish spots in Greenpoint, as everything is pretty walkable along Manhattan Ave. And do Mexican spots in Sunset Park along 5th Ave. I think those are both the top areas in the city for those particular ethnic eats. But as CC alludes to, if you want a variety in the same session, better to hit up Queens.