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Nov 22, 2013 09:03 AM

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

we went for the 1st time last night to wheated - on church avenue right off of coney island avenue. i was worried about the location - we live in midwood - so not the neighborhood - but that it's in the space that used to be ny icey and it's in front of a major bus stop. but the interior is really really lovely - all warm wood tables well spaced and the dining room is in the back section with a nice sized bar with seating in a few areas in the front. you disappear off of church avenue into the restaurant. met the owner immediately (can't remember his name, sorry). he seated us and was also behind the counter helping with the pizzas and finishing off the salads. our waitress couldn't have been nicer and the owner happy to talk to us about his bar specialty - 'brown liquors!" - and boy does he know his stuff. i had a wheated bourbon manhattan (they really specialize in cocktails but also have a nice beer and wine list - i really indulged and went for an omegang after my cocktail). my husband first had a wheated bourbon on the rocks (i think he named the place after his favorite bourbon) and then had his bacon-infused wheated bourbon on the rocks. if i had to critique, i'd say the only one i could find was that the shot was just enough - but he said he really loved it and simply wanted more!
the caesar salad was really big - plenty to generously share between 2 - and the croutons are clearly homemade. the only thing they forgot was to offer a grind of pepper which it needed.
we got 2 pizzas: they've named them after brooklyn neighborhoods - 1st up was the bensonhurst - perhaps the most traditional (which we felt would be the mark of how good they were) - and with mushrooms and faico (?) sausage. exactly what you want. it's pizza like motorinos or keste - easily as good as either place. a drop bigger than a plate - i think they said 12" - a personal pizza if you are a big eater and shareable if you are a light eater.
our 2nd was the red hook - working from memory here but i think it was mozz, very very thinly sliced potatoes, thyme, tiny bits of pistachio and really thinly sliced mortadella. i was worried - but, as the owner said to us - the description doesn't do it justice. this was really really really good. it all worked so well together. we said we'd go back just for that pizza.
even better, he has local kids (and not all guys) behind the counter actively making the pizzas and salads - and it's great. it was clear that everyone had great pride in this place and it showed. top-notch ingredients and great drinks. i'd go back in a minute. it also anchors a bit of church avenue that now includes wheated, am thai and lark - and the odd indian restaurant that we ate in but didn't love (and so i cannot remember the name).

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  1. Do you know if the great little Trini place Shayna's on the corner is still open?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Barry Strugatz

      i believe it is still open. that has been there for so many years. someone last night told me there's another new restaurant right on that strip...maybe called dogwood?? she thought it was southern themed.

      1. re: Barry Strugatz

        I think so- if its a tiny place with a couple of ladies in there, I just had half a chicken roti from there the other night...quite good.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Shayna's rotis are very good and she is v nice. I still miss the other place (forgot the name) with the woman that made doubles.

          1. re: missmasala

            She makes everything from scratch. And makes doubles, though they have always been sold out when I arrived. I forgot the owner/cook's name, I believe Shayna is her granddaughter. Previously there was a Haitian place in the spot.
            BTW Am Thai is a branch of the little place on McDonald near Church. Very good.

            1. re: Barry Strugatz

              Yes, she claims to make doubles but she has always been out when I have tried to get them, so I have never had them. And didn't realize she wasn't Shayna. She is very nice, however.

              The lady at the other place--wish I could remember the name, it was in from the corner where Shayna's is-- reliably had doubles on the weekends, which is when I usually went.

              And will check out Am Thai when I am in the area. What dishes do you recommend?

              1. re: missmasala

                Yes, I liked that other Trini place. But whenever I went there she was sold out of doubles, too!
                AM Thai is one of the few places in Brooklyn that has Khao Soi the crispy noodle curry soup.

                1. re: missmasala

                  The defunct Trini place was called something like "In Between Eatry and Pastry"...and IIRC, the lady's name (owner) was Fran.

                  She made a terrific, sizeable aloo pie with channa...and other great stuff.

                  1. re: Mike R.

                    Yes, that's the place. Never knew the lady's name but she was really nice. I wonder what happened to her. If she had another place, I would seek it out.

        2. I agree with your assessment of Wheated - owner David is very serious about the quality of his pies. On my first visit there he re-made one for us 'cause the crust was just a tad overdone. Next time in I'll explore those "brown" goods.

          That Indian place, Anarkali, is an enigma. Why any restaurant wants to hide behind a veil of half-blacked out windows is a mystery, especially when this style food is colorful, complex and should be on display to the outside world.

          1. Count me in as a Wheated fan too! We have lived in the area for over a decade and have gotten our hopes up a few times re; local eateries (The Hamilton, in particular, has been a huge disappointment) At any rate, we finally got around to trying Wheated, keeping our expectations to a minimum, and we loved it! It is truly the first restaurant in the area we would choose over similar spots in other neighborhoods--and that, for us, is saying something!

            At any rate, we were especially impressed with the crust of these pizzas--as for the toppings, we got one with potatoes as well, like the original poster, but ours had a drizzle of some sort of sweet sauce on it (don't recall what) and was essentially a white pizza covered with very thinly sliced potatoes--and that was the problem for us. The potatoes were so thinly sliced, we could not detect them--either re: flavor or texture. I am not sure I would order it again. We had another with spicy soppressata that we really enjoyed. We also got the Caesar and loved that it was classically made--with raw egg and anchovies--but agree that it needed more "zest.." -- perhaps some freshly ground black pepper as the original poster said...or more lemon...more garlic.

            Each pie is about 12 inches and cut into 6 slices--We were able to share 2 pies between 2 grown-ups and a kid, plus the salad and we were full... I am not sure I could eat a whole pie myself...A neighboring table was enjoying a calzone special that looked fantastic...Oh yeah, my husband ,a total beer snob, declared that his IPA on tap was served "exactly as it should be..." and I enjoyed my spicy tequila-mescal cocktail.

            Service was warm and welcoming, as was the ambience. It did take a while for us to get our pies--but they were worth it.