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Mar 27, 2014 02:43 AM

Brooklyn Eatineray - need input!

We are taking my food-loving teenage nephew to Smorgasburg and DiFara (two of his choices) this Saturday for his birthday. We have not spent much time in Brooklyn. I would love to hear of any recommendations for other places we shouldn't miss while in Brooklyn - Delis,bakery's, markets, etc! We love to take goodies home with us.

Thanks 'hounds!

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  1. They are delicious and pretty far apart. Maybe go to Smorgasburg before DiFara as the wait at DiFara can be considerable. Can you be more specific as to what else you are looking for? Brooklyn has a wealth to offer and the finds can be a bit spread out.

    1. Not much near DiFara's will be open, because it will be shabbat.

      Two vendors at smorgasburg that sell take-home goods/provisions that i like a lot are the Queen Majesty scotch bonnet and ginger hot sauce and the Right Tasty Vinaigrette folks.

      How much time are you allotting for your two existing stops and what else is your nephew into food-wise? this might help guide further suggestions - neither neighborhood is exactly brimming with provisions, but if you are driving (as it would seem) and not averse to some sticker shock, consider a stop at Brooklyn Larder, who curate a pretty excellent selection of schmancy foods of all sorts (their house brand gelato is terrific, we love the plain fior d'latte flavor).

      4 Replies
      1. re: tex.s.toast

        Thanks for the replies! I know DiFara and Smorgasburg aren't really close, but they are two places he wants to try. We will be driving in and planning to arrive at Smorgasburg around 11. We will hit up DiFara for dinner and are looking for some destinations in between. We all like a wide variety of food and since we live upstate (in a place with a fairly bland food culture) we appreciate opportunities to experience any kind of authentic ethnic cuisine, good bread and pizza, unique baked goods, specialty shops, etc. We also don't mind taking public transportation around Brooklyn if that is easier than driving. Any recs on a place to get a good rice ball/arancini? That would excite everyone in our party! A place to get good banh mi? We are open to any delicious ideas! Are there places between the two neighborhoods that shouldn't be missed? Thanks again!

        1. re: arp29

          I could be wrong, but as busy as DiFara gets, I always felt it's busier in the evening. If it's with people you like, waiting is enjoyable, and not that frustrating. I also recommend the square pie over the traditional round, if you have to make a choice. You'll probably stop by MD Kitchen while you are waiting and you can check out the italian sub selection there. I think around the other corner there is a Russian or Polish deli type place.

          Ba Xuyen for your bahn mi, is the obvious choice.

          1. re: villainx

            seconding ba xuyen for banh mi though its been a while (too long) since ive had one.

            you might want to get a taco or three at the el bronco truck if youre going to be in sunset park. it might be an interesting counterpoint to difara - its fast and cheap, but even if that makes it the opposite of dom's pizza, theyre both great in their own ways.

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              For rice balls and panelle, Ferdinando's in Red Hook is very good.

              Several blocks further into Red Hook, Da Fonte's is great for hero sandwiches (get the seeded breed) - we have a particularl fondness for the hot roast beef with mozzarella and juice, but the they have a roast pork-eggplant- broccololi rabe-provolone and many others that are also very very good.

              Ba Xuyen is as fantastic as ever - we like the No. 1 special and the No 8 - pork with lemon grass especially.

              All of the above are best fresh but reheatable in an oven (the rice ball in the microwave) - I recently reheated a slice of the DeFonte's roast beef in the oven and it was surprisingly terrific

              I agree with villainx on the superiority of Di Fara's square pizza over the round Saturday is not a bad day to drive into that neighborhood because most of the businesses are closed, and parking is much eased.

              Hope you report back on your experiences!

      2. Wait, did you go yesterday? Di Fara are currently having some oven and staff issues to personal emergency.

        Always check their Facebook Page before you go....

        1. The update: Smorgasburg was a hit. Bruffins (a favorite), red velvet yodel, brisket, glazed bacon on a stick, a cemita, spanikopita, a Greek stuffed pepper, passion fruit donut, Mac and cheese were all consumed and enjoyed. We also purchased a jar of salted caramel peanut butter and coconut cashew butter. I have been eating this with a spoon!
          Next, we spent the rainy afternoon poking around Carroll Gardens - Margaret Palca Bakes (rugelach), Ferdinando's Focacceria (panelle and panelle sandwich with ricotta - so very carbalicious and satisfying!), Mazzola (rainbow cookies, lard bread, macaroons, seeded italian bread, coffee), Espositos Pork store (two kinds of rice balls, house made sopressatta, smoked mozzarella), Monteleone bakery (cannoli, lemon roll cake). Then we went to Atlantic ave to go to Sahadis, which may be my own personal heaven. We picked up a lot of stuff to take home - baba ganoush (to die for), hummus, labneh, fresh pita, a number of phyllo savory and sweet items, etc. We loved all of the savory items but were a bit disappointed by the sweets.
          Afterward, we set out for DiFara where we had a really bizarre experience. When we arrived we were thrilled to see that there wasn't a line out the door. As I approached, I could see people sitting inside but was taken aback as I pulled on the door and discovered it was locked. The people inside looked at us but did not acknowledge us in any way. As we were discussing an alternate plan, a man came to the door and handed a piece of pizza to my 6 year old nephew and then closed and locked the door. The pizza was delicious but it was certainly an unusual experience. We chose Totonno's as a "plan b" and my nephews were not disappointed!

          Thanks for the feedback everyone! We will definitely take another food tour of Brooklyn in the near future!

          2 Replies
          1. re: arp29

            You probably got there during the Di Fara mid-afternoon break.

            Lunch from Noon - 4:30 pm
            Dinner from 6:30 - 9:00 pm

            You need to place all orders 30 minutes before the official closing (4:30 and 9pm). If you are already there by 4pm, they serve you but lock the door.


            1. re: arp29

              Wow! Great experience. Way to go, you!