Monday, December 12th, 2011
Where’s the best apple pie in the Big Apple? The Daily News runs down their top three choices, and one is right here in our neck of the woods. They like both the lattice- and crumble-top versions at Chiffon’s Kosher Cake Center on Avenue P, which they say “contains a succulent filling, but the secret is in the crust.”
Where have you had the best slice of pie in the area, either now or long ago (Ebingers, maybe?), that you can remember?
Monday, November 21st, 2011
If you follow the Di Fara’s Facebook page, you’re familiar with the occasional status update that says the popular pizza place will be closed for one reason or another. Last week, one such message went up, but an update added that it was because of “a glitch in some paperwork beaurocracy [sic] with the new grading system … I will need about 24 to 48 hrs to resolve.”
According to the Department of Health website, Di Fara’s was shut down last Wednesday, November 16, after an inspection racked up 67 violation points. Violations include evidence of mice, flies, and inadequate personal cleanliness.
You may recall the last time Di Fara’s was closed by the DOH in 2007, after having failed five of its previous six inspections.
So many customers are incredibly loyal, and this news won’t keep them away. What do you think–does closure by the DOH make you think twice about eating there?
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
This Friday, the East Midwood Jewish Center (EMJC) is hosting a unique Shabbat service. An authentic Cuban dinner will be prepared by Dr. Ricardo Barreras of Pilar Cuban Eatery in Clinton Hill, prepared in the EMJC kitchen:
You’ll enjoy a lively family friendly, interactive evening filled with friends, conversation, song, and an authentic Kosher Cuban Dinner, come taste the flavors of Cuban cuisine and imagine a delicious shana haba’a be Havana.
You won’t want to miss this special evening and unique opportunity to sample scrumptious delicacies prepared by a NY Times reviewed chef. We hope you can join us.
Cuban Kosher Dinner & Shabbat
East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Avenue
Friday, October 28, 6pm
Adults $25, 12 & under $7
RSVP today by calling 718-338-3800
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
The first Panera Bread in Brooklyn is slated to open Monday, October 31st in Kings Plaza.
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Collaro’s pops up on the 11229 group and chowhound:
Collaro’s??? I had to check the date on your post to see if it was a time warp. Collaro’s has been gone for 20 years, hasn’t it? My favorite local Italian place from the late ’60s through the mid 80′s, one owner died and the other migrated to Florida.
Of course we also had purveyors of egg creams. This except from The Brooklyn Cookbook describes a candy store that sold egg creams in Midwood over half a century ago, though there were others that died out more recently – I grew up on egg creams (with a pretzel) on Ave R around Nostrand Ave at least halfway through the 1990s.
What restaurants of Midwood Past do you miss? This can include restaurants have existed for decades but declined in quality.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Little Things, the old-fashioned Coney Island Ave candy store, is ringing in the Jewish New Year with “Sweet Treats for a Sweet New Year” during Rosh Hashanah. The special promotion for the holiday will include 10% discounts on all Kosher candy in the store. Hand wrapped, custom gift boxes will also be available as part of the promotion.
1322 Coney Island Ave
(718) 951 0901
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Despite the fact that some children woke up certain anonymous hyperlocal bloggers with premature yet enthusiastic shofar blowing, Rosh Hashanah is a day of celebration – the Jewish year 5772 begins at sundown tonight.
In addition to shofar sounding, Rosh Hashanah is traditionally celebrated with apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year, round challah bread to symbolize the circle of life, and sometimes pomegranates in hopes of having a productive year.
There’s lots of great challah in the area at Ostrovitsky’s and Isaac’s on Ave J, and Porges on Coney Island Ave. L’Shana Tova!
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The fifth annual NYC Food Film Festival runs October 13-16, and one of the films featured is a short documentary about DiFara’s.
Directed and produced by M. Emily MacKenzie, “The Best Thing I Ever Done” gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the famous pies, as well as how the name of the pizza shop came to be.
The Festival site is a little confusing, and I can’t find when the film is running, but you don’t need to go to the fest to see it–the quiet, meditative 16-minute film is available for viewing on Vimeo.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
There are two Pastosas in Brooklyn – one on New Utrecht in Bensonhurst, and the other on Ave N and East 53rd St. The New Utrecht location is the main one, and has aisles of fresh and frozen handmade and imported Italian foods. The latter is a tiny outpost near Kings Plaza that is crammed, from floor to ceiling, with a mind-boggling variety of food for such a small store.
I was unable to take photos inside, as the manager was not present. Their wares include: a variety of popular Italian cheeses, including Fontinas and blues in addition to parmesans and fresh mozzarellas, prosciuttos, pepperonis, and sorpressatas, a small rack of ready-to-make polentas and risottos, and a freezer filled with all sorts of raviolis, including gluten-free ravioli, vegan artichoke ravioli, and heart-shaped ravioli. They also sell antipastos, tomato, vodka, and pesto sauces, and make sandwiches to order.
Of course, it is a bit of a trip, depending on where you’re coming from. Ave N between Utica and Ralph Aves has many notable Italian restaurants and bakeries, including Moretti and Aliotta bakeries and Landi’s. It’s worth a trip if you’re already headed to Kings Plaza – certainly less crowded than Manhattan’s Little Italy!
5223 Avenue N (corner of East 53rd St)
Friday, September 16th, 2011
The economy has been tough on businesses everywhere, even major chain franchises. Some, though, have seen the recession as a challenge, and have found new ways to increase business.
Look at Applebee’s. The franchise location at the Junction is ideally located, convenient to thousands of hungry Brooklyn College students looking for an inexpensive meal. But one thing was missing: breakfast.
No Applebee’s restaurants in the country are open for breakfast, so it took some creative menu development for owner Zane Tankel. But it’s worked–he tells Crain’s that the idea has been very profitable.
Which makes me wonder–what other options are there for breakfast around the Junction? I’ve heard good things about International Paradise on the corner of E 29th and Glenwood (but I think the breakfast options are slim) and Anna’s on the corner of Nostrand and Avenue I. Anyone have suggestions?
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Line for the halal cart on Bedford and Campus Road after school:
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
It seems the M in Avenue M stands for “more.”
A new pizza place called Posh Tomato is set to open on the corner of Avenue M and East 17th Street in just under two weeks. They will reportedly serve upscale pies, and it will be Kosher.
But even with hordes of pizza-loving teenagers that might be pouring onto Avenue M from Edward R. Murrow, can the street sustain another pizzeria? There are at least three pizza places between Coney Island Ave and Ocean Ave that I can think of, and I’m sure I’m missing some. We’ll have to see if Posh can differentiate itself from the pack.
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
If you’ve been watching Lifetime’s new reality TV show, Russian dolls, you may see some businesses around Midwood! They go to Lotus Thai in Episode 2 around the 5:06 mark.
Russian doll Anna in Lotus Thai:
After storming out, on Coney Island Ave:
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
A neighbor recently told me that she grew up with a wheat allergy in Midwood during the 1970s. She said that the only place that sold wheat-free food was on Ave U, and the products were terrible – green spaghetti that fell apart. She explained that she ate so many potatoes then that she can’t look at them now.
Luckily, things have improved for people who can’t eat wheat. This is especially true if they live in Park Slope or Manhattan, with wheat-free bakeries, restaurants and specialty stores abound. The bakeries and restaurants haven’t made their way this far south yet, but Nature’s Emporium at 1601 Kings Highway fills in the gap a little – they have gluten-free oreos:
Their prices on everything are not the best, although competitive in some areas – a pound of Tinkyada rice pasta cost $4.19, which was $1 less than Target’s price for it.
They have a wall of natural supplements, too:
Yes, you will find some items cheaper if you buy them at Trader Joe’s or the Flatbush Food Co-op, but if you’re strapped for time and need some veggie burgers or tree nut-free sunflower butter in a hurry, it’s worth it. (Psst – the sunbutter brand they carry is the best I’ve tasted).
Monday, August 29th, 2011
If you overstocked on canned goods, and were at least slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a storm, give some of your surplus to Masbia – even if the food isn’t kosher enough to go into the day’s meals, they will distribute it in food packages or to other food banks.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Chock Full o’Nuts has pomegranate and orange fruit shakes that are really satisfying on a hot day:
Ovi’s on Campus Road by Nostrand Ave sells excellent juices, but I am kicking myself for not seeing this sooner:
What are your favorite cold drinks in Midwood? Favorite places to enjoy them?
Friday, August 19th, 2011
There are not a lot of open bar opportunities in Midwood, so this is particularly exciting!
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Jesse sends this update for tonight’s monthly Squirrelly event at Sycamore, on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park:
Calling all queers in Ditmas Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, and everywhere in between: come out to Squirrelly, the monthly party at Sycamore Flower Shop + Bar. Join your neighbors for drink specials and dancing to disco, freestyle, glam, funk, house, and more. Free, from 9pm to 1am. Hope to see you there!
1118 Cortelyou Road between Stratford and Westminster
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Some might think it’s up for debate, since we have a number of fantastic bakeries in the neighborhood, but others will tell you the choice for the best challah is simple: Ostrovitsky’s Bakery. Fluffy, chewy, and slightly sweet, this plain $3.50 loaf is one of many varieties they bake fresh daily. The bread is so good, people in Manhattan recommend it.
Expect a long line on Friday afternoons as people stop by for a loaf for shabbos–though it can be pretty busy any other time of day, as well. Also worth a taste are their buttery cookies, and the cakes seem popular, though I haven’t tried one yet.
1124 Avenue J at East 12th Street
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Paraiso Azteca opened in July 2011 at 1681 E 16 St, and has pretty much a monopoly on authentic Mexican food in the area, unless we’re counting Taco Bell.
Pros – their juice is fresh and not too sweet, they have a wide variety of Mexican sodas, decent seating, reasonable prices, excellent food, and they’re open to making accomodations, and will leave the cilantro off of your food if you ask.
Cons – they have to get it together. I first placed an order to them from less than 3 blocks away, which I received over an hour and a half later, after several phone calls back and forth. I placed my next order at the restaurant on the second occasion, where I received half of what I ordered, but was undercharged by so much that it made up for it.