Archive for the tag 'turkish food'

Signs went up over the weekend advertising Aladdin, a new restaurant at 1788 Sheepshead Bay Road that replaces Garden Bay Cafe.

Garden Bay closed down in September, shortly after an electrical fire ravaged the building.

Thanks to our friends at Arbuz for the tip.

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

For a foodie, living in our neck of the woods can be a bit frustrating. Don’t get me wrong. I know of no other neighborhood that offers so many different types of cuisine, but our neighborhood is slow to adopt to the trends that shape the culinary culture in other parts of the city.

One food trend that I watched closely was the emergence of the food truck. Quick, well prepared, filling and cheap food, all out of the back of a truck – who could ask for more? I was really hoping that some smart entrepreneur would look out over the bay and say, “Hey, we need a food truck in Sheepshead!” But alas, it has not come to pass.

Instead, over the last couple of years, a very old standard of Manhattan dining started to appear; the food cart. In these recessionary times, I welcome them with open arms.

Located at the intersection of Avenue Z and Sheepshead Bay Road, the Bishmallah Halal Food cart offers up a tasty lamb gyro sandwich. For $3.50 you are served grilled pita stuffed with chunks of flat-top-grilled lamb gyro meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers.

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Notice anything weird about this photo of Marmaris, at 3081 Emmons Avenue, taken on Wednesday afternoon? No? Let’s look at one of the other doors.

Hmm. Another tree in front a door. Very strange. What’s going on here? Perhaps we should take a peek behind one of the trees. Maybe there’s a hot wood nymph or something…

Believe me, you want to know what’s going on here. Click to continue…

Source: Anne Szustek of "Brooklyn Based"

Who knew that Midwood had such a dazzling array of eateries exclusively specializing in Turkish cuisine? Apparently Brooklyn Based’s Anne Szustek knew, because she wrote the ultimate compendium on where to go and what to order if one has the inclination to fress on some Agean or Black Sea delicacies beyond the borders of our favorite neighborhood:

Brooklyn’s Turkish community is located in the southern reaches of the borough. There are Turkish restaurants and shops in Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay but you’re most likely to hear Turkish spoken on the street in Midwood. Home to Brooklyn College and painted Victorian houses, the neighborhood is easily accessible via the B, Q and F trains. Kings Highway and Coney Island Avenue are among its main thoroughfares; the Kings Highway B/Q stop is a good starting point to explore the Turkish community.

The Turks, for their part, use yogurt as liberally as mustard or ketchup—atop pasta, roast meats and vegetables alike. Casual fans of Turkish cuisine may be well acquainted with savory, spicy shish kebabs—another Turkish word. But these skewered treats hardly scratch the surface of the country’s cuisine. Turkey, straddling two continents and 81 provinces, is a hodgepodge of flavors.

Among the places she checks out are Taci’s Beyti (1955 Coney Island Avenue), Güllüoğlu Bakery (1985 Coney Island Avenue) and Turkish Café (1618 East 16th Street).

But beware, Anne points out: “Just don’t go to a Turkish restaurant and eat falafel, which is not a Turkish dish at all—it’s actually nigh impossible to find in the country outside of snooty Istanbul restaurants catering to expats and moneyed Turks who often developed a taste for it while studying abroad in the U.S. or U.K.”

Ah, the more you know, eh? What are some of your favorite Turkish spots?

Manti. (Source: Camera on autopilot/Flickr)

Ever sit in Anatolian Gyro on Sheepshead Bay Road (and who among us hasn’t?), happily munching on a refreshing cornucopia of humus, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanoush, tabule, or one of their succulent lamb or chicken kebabs, and think to yourself, “Gee, I wish I could cook food as awesome as this?”

Well, good news: Now you actually can make food as awesome as that, because those mind-readers at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn knew you wanted to learn how to cook Turkish food, and they are not ones to disappoint.

Turkish Cooking Classes will be held once a month at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn (245 Avenue U between West 4th Street and Van Sicklen Street), beginning April 23 at 3 p.m.

This month’s featured recipes will be Manti and Burma Baklava.

RSVP to the center by calling (646) 241-6600 or e-mailing

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

It’s a Friday in lent. What’s a good Catholic going to eat? Pizza? Greens Kutabs? Fried Clams? A Bob Salad? Pancakes? Potato Vareniki? All good choices, but not right for this Friday night. I simply can’t make up my mind.

But why should I have to choose? Yes, it’s lent and self-denial is one of the tenets of the faith, but I’m always a bit naughty. No outright sin mind you, but I’m going to push the envelope a little. Tonight, it’s the “mixed appetizers” plate from Anatolian Gyro.

So, is this plate like dancing on the edge of hell? Keep reading to find out.

It appears Halikarnas, the Turkish seafood restaurant at 3075 Emmons Avenue, has gone out of business.

The property owner told reader Arthur Borko that it shut down about a month ago, saying not enough people were coming by. Which sounds about right, since it took us a month to find out.

About that property owner: it’s next door neighbor Jeff Brown, who also owns Maria’s Ristorante Italiano and the building that it sits in. Brown put the Halikarnas building up for sale back in September, and it’s currently listed at $995,000.

Village Voice readers couldn't figure out what this was or where it came from. It's Turkish octopus casserole from Marmaris. - Photo courtesy of Village Voice

We live here, so we know all about Sheepshead Bay’s hidden culinary gems. There are the little bodegas with back-room burritos, the strangely decorated bars on quiet side streets with staggeringly cheap lunches, and the waterfront eateries that manage to go below radar. There are food carts that survive despite rhyme or reason (a hot dog cart by Doody’s? Really?), and dim sum dining where we don’t know what we’re ordering. There’s fried chicken where a sweatshop used to be, and a bagel place that’s been there so long no one knows what came before.

These are our treasures, and they’re known only to us locals.

That was, at least, until Village Voice’s Robert Sietsema began plundering our neighborhood a few weeks ago. Several of the venerable food critic’s recent pieces have eyed the nabe’s gastronomical glories. And all of them sing our praises.

Keep reading to see what Sietsema wrote about Sheepshead Bay recently, and our take on his reviews.

Site of the new Masal Cafe

Masal Cafe is one of two establishments in Lundy’s to survive the building’s rebirth, and business appears to be good. It first expanded from a tiny cafe to a spacious restaurant several years ago (after the Lundy’s “mini-mall” idea flopped), and now they’re snatching up a second Emmons Avenue location.

Signs unfurled on the old Dunkin’ Donuts lot just a few short weeks ago, with Masal’s name all over it. The new “Masal Cafe Seaside” is not a move; a manager at Masal’s Lundy’s branch told me that they were staying put and this would be a secondary waterfront location. She said the plan was to open in two months, which is possible but not probable, given the amount of work that needs to be done on the site.

What do you think? Is a new Masal location going to be a watery haven, or dead-on-the-water?

Photo by Arthur Borko

Lara Turkish Cuisine is now open at 2255 Emmons Avenue. The location was previously Bay Shish Kebab, which we reported closed back in early March. At the time, the neighbors at Emmons Bagels told us they were just renovating, but obviously they didn’t know what they were talking about. Thankfully, they make good bagels, so we’ll let it slide this time.

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