Thursday, June 24, 2010

For food lovers

Sherri Eisenberg has traveled the world as a travel writer, and has found that nothing compares to Brooklyn’s culinary scene.

“Brooklyn has such an exciting food scene,” said Eisenberg. “It’s hard to think of other places that have as diverse the offerings as Brooklyn does.”

Eisenberg would know — she just published a handbook to the borough’s food scene, titled “Food Lovers’ Guide to Brooklyn,” which features, by neighborhood, Brooklyn’s best specialties, restaurants, and markets, as well as recipes from local chefs. Here, the Brooklyn Heights-based writer shares with us some of her favorite finds.


259 Sackett St. between Hoyt and Smith streets in Gowanus, (718) 222-2999

“I love that they make their dumpling wrappers by hand in front of you, and that all dumplings are filled and cooked to order. It takes a little longer, but it’s so worth it,” said Eisenberg (pictured with owner Eton Chan) of the tiny shop, which specializes in dumplings, noodles, bubble tea and Hawaiian shaved ice, a cool snack for the summer that “always reminds me of my time on the islands.”

Georgian Bread

265 Neptune Ave. between Brighton Fifth and Brighton Sixth streets in Brighton Beach, (718) 332-8082

“This is the closest I have to a favorite place in Brooklyn,” said Eisenberg of the Russian bakery. She recommends the khachapuri, a round focaccia-like bread filled with a mild white cheese called sulguni. “When the cheese oozes out, it’s the most delightful thing,” said Eisenberg. “There’s always a batch coming out of the oven. That’s when they’re the best, even though they burn your tongue.”

Kashkar Café

1141 Brighton Beach Ave. between Brighton 14th and Brighton 15th streets in Brighton Beach, (718) 743) 3832

“They do these lamb dumplings that are spectacular,” said the author. The BYOB restaurant specializes in Uyghur cuisine, the food of Muslims living in Uzbekistan and northwest China, with a focus on lamb.

Brooklyn Star

33 Havemeyer St. between N. Seventh and n. Eighth streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599-9899

When Eisenberg published her book, she of course couldn’t predict the February fire that would devastate this popular restaurant, which specializes in American comfort food. With a year that’s been big on reopenings, from Totonno’s in Coney Island to Pies ’n’ Thighs in Williamsburg, Eisenberg has her sights set on the reopening of the Havemayer Street spot.

Fort Greene Park Farmers’ Market

Washington Park between Dekalb and Myrtle avenues, no phone

Eisenberg does do her own cooking occasionally, and when she needs fresh vegetables, this is one of her favorite farmers’ markets in the borough. “I fell in love with tomatoes in the summertime at the Fort Greene market,” said Eisenberg. “They are spectacular. I can’t wait until tomato season really gets underway.”

“Food Lovers’ Guide to Brooklyn” by Sherri Eisenberg. Find it at BookCourt [163 Court St. between Dean and Pacific streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 875-3677]; Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200], the Park Slope Barnes & Noble [267 Seventh Ave. at Sixth Street, (718) 832-9066], and the Downtown Barnes & Noble [106 Court St. between Schermerhorn and State streets, (718) 246-4996]. For info, visit


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