>> Eat the World NYC

14 January 2020

Yemen Unity Restaurant

YEMEN 🇾🇪

Sometime shortly after a 2016 article, the owners of what used to be Yemen Cuisine in Cobble Hill decided to pack up the business and start fresh in Bay Ridge. As Atlantic Avenue seemed to be less and less conducive to operating a restaurant, 5th Avenue in their new neighborhood apparently has no limits for more and more Yemeni and other Middle Eastern-owned businesses.

This address has went through a few changes since the move, first keeping the name Yemen Cuisine in English, then changing to a sign only in Arabic that said Yemen Wahdah. Wahdah means "unity" in English, and it is this name that they seemed to have stuck with, offering both languages now on their sharp new sign.


Despite being old and frayed, the old laminated menus from Cobble Hill, still with the address from Court Street, have survived and prove the kitchen is still making everything the same way. Stickers have been placed over prices to offer new (higher) ones, but otherwise the feelings of their friendly hospitality are just as they always were.

You can still expect a warming bowl of maraq (not shown) to arrive before all the orders, along with a salad. While the greens are just greens, the soup is delicious; a cloudy broth full of lamb stock. Squeeze just a bit of lemon in to cut it, and your taste buds will jump into action.


As before, some orders offer the chance of attaching what they call "cultural platters" to an entree. The salta (above) is $10 on its own and comes with their freshly baked bread, but was added to our broiled fish (below) for a total of $18 for the pairing.

Possibly the most iconic dish in Yemeni cooking, salta is a mixture of vegetables and spices heavy with fenugreek. It comes in a clay bowl still boiling, so be careful while scooping it up with the bread.



Listed as a breakfast but available anytime of day or night, lahm baltamat (above) is a sauteed dish of lamb with tomatoes and onions. For $2 extra (and a total of $14), it can be served over a bed of hummus, which seems like a no-brainer.

The lamb saleg platter ($21, below, served with a cultural platter) is a meaty hunk of lamb that has been spiced and boiled. The bones slide right out of the tender non-fatty meat. On this occasion the table paired it with the fatta (below), bread which has been soaked in a lamb gravy. As it did four years ago, the dish brought up Thanksgiving reminiscing.



The last order of the evening was a chance to sample something completely new, chicken gelaph ($12, below). This was cooked not dissimilar to the lahm baltamat, with a reliance on tomatoes and spices for sauce.

It is tasty but does not quite have the impact as most of the rest of the meal, especially since the meat used is just tasteless white cuts. For your chicken needs, stick to the lovely roasts and kebabs they offer and prepare very well.


🇾🇪🇾🇪🇾🇪
BAY RIDGE Brooklyn
6726 5th Avenue
Yemen Unity Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

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12 January 2020

El Encebollado de Rossy

ECUADOR 🇪🇨

There are stretches of Wyckoff Avenue, of course, that you should steer clear of these days. A combination of dangers and threats from fixed-gear bikes chained to every surface; large, apparently unshowered and unshaven men in plaid roaming everywhere, and the ever-present risk of drowning in craft beer get worse the closer you come to Flushing Avenue.

Luckily as you near Myrtle Avenue, and especially when you cross to the other side, the ubiquity of women dressed like they live in the 1980's goes down, and the chances to find excellent food goes significantly up. One such restaurant to eat well and avoid the dangers of all these other things is a small Ecuadorian nook named for the dish it features most prominently: Encebellado.


It does not take a ton of people to make this thin space feel crowded, but on each visit here the restaurant is at or above capacity. The customers and staff give it a good spirit though, and smiles pervade. When you are eating well, a New York City-style cramming is that much easier to handle.

On a second visit, with an unexpectedly buzzing late afternoon crowd, this bowl of encebollado regular ($12, above) was tucked into and savored. The regular version of this popular soup is filled with meaty whitefish, cooked of course with onions as the name suggests. With maritime themes painted on the walls, it is easy to close your eyes and smell the Pacific Coast as if you were sitting in a seafood shack near Guayaquil.

Encebollado comes with a heaping plate of tasty white rice, but order a side of chifles ($2, not shown) for the full experience. These are thinly sliced and fried plantains that add a salty crunch to the meal.


Despite having the national dish in the name and hand-painted fish on its walls, the menu here at Rossy goes much further, offering just about everything you could want. Ecuadorian-style Chinese favorite chaulafan ($17, above) is a supremely savory fried rice made with shrimp and beef, topped with avocado and a nice long fried sweet plantain.

For those wanting a good bit of leftovers, this is probably the best bet, as the plate is gigantic and would be a feat to finish. You will not find light and airy fried rice like you might in Chinese cuisine. Ecuadorians prefer the dark and heavy soy sauces and plenty of meat.


It is hard to go wrong with the goat stew known as seco de chivo ($16, above), another Ecuadorian favorite that is done well at Rossy. Each bite is proof of slow cooking, the gravy perfect with spoons of meat and rice together. Another one of those delicious plantains curls around and offers a sweet respite when necessary.

On weekday visits during lunch, check out the daily menu, an economical way to eat a ton of food. On one visit, this plate of carne asada (below), served with plantain, rice and beans was all possible with a ten dollar bill. Tasty soups can be procured for even less.


The menu goes in many other directions, future visits will require an order of their bolones, mashed green plantains formed into balls and combined with your choice of meats, cheeses, and eggs. Judging by other tables these seem to be a hit.

Or maybe esperame en la cama, a type of encebollado that translates as "wait for me in bed." The addition of black clams and the insinuation of aphrodisiac might be all that is necessary to spice up your night. Let us know in the comments. (Please don't)

🇪🇨🇪🇨🇪🇨
BUSHWICK Brooklyn
El Encebollado de Rossy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

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08 January 2020

Dubrovnik Restaurant

CROATIA 🇭🇷

While Bosnian cafes populate most of the city's boroughs and fancy Serbian dining is well known in the East Village and more rustic in New Jersey, folks searching for Croatian fare have been limited to the restaurants that grew from sports clubs in Astoria. Even there, the focus was on classic Istrian fare, which shares much in common with their coastal neighbors to the north in Slovenia and Italy.

It takes a visit to New Rochelle in Westchester County to find Dubrovnik Restaurant, a place focused quite a lot on the seafood-heavy diets along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. The "About Us" section of the restaurant's website aptly starts with "We miss Croatia," going on to talk about mothers grilling freshly caught fish and the smells from the sea.


The full prices are listed here, but do be aware that a weekday happy hour from 15:00 to 18:00 offers each and every appetizer at half price, a steal for the quality of food arriving. Before diving into the seafood realms, the Dalmatian platter ($14, above) offers a plate of prosciutto and smoked beef with a couple cheeses, olives, and Croatian pickles.

This is far from a normal plate of dried meats though, the smoked beef is especially satisfying, a thick cut perfect for placing on a slice of bread from the basket that will arrive with any order.


The plate above combined two separate orders, in the back were five large grilled jumbo shrimp ($16), with the grilled octopus ($19) in front. Both came with a nice char and the smoky flavors that you want from the grill, especially when combined with such high-grade seafood.

The shrimp are placed on a bed of savory cream sauce and accompanied by a few grilled vegetables to make sure you get a well-balanced meal. The octopus is thick and fatty and almost melts away in your mouth, barely seasoned with a bit of Croatian olive oil and herbs because it needs so little.


Another dish using the country's olive oil and fresh octopus, and a wonderful surprise was none's style octopus salad ($15, above) which was reminiscent of so many German-style potato salads eaten over the years. The soft potatoes are tart with lemon juice and wine vinegar, the mix also includes capers and onions. Grandma would be proud.

All of these appetizers were filling and deeply satisfying, and probably should have signaled the end of the meal for the two people eating it, but by this time the restaurant had filled up almost completely with hungry Croatians who somehow seemed to be enjoying dinner even more. The meal obviously had to continue.


After a bit of a rest, the pasta section of the menu was flipped to (on their iPad), and an order of teletina na lovaćki ($25, above), a type of veal ragu served with house-made gnocchi. At first it did not appear as much, but the bowl seemed bottomless and made already stuffed stomachs approach their critical points.

Tender pieces of veal in the savory ragu were just right as a counterpoint to all the light and fresh seafood, while the soft and porous gnocchi was the perfect combination to pull all these flavors inside.


It was with great luck that this meal had already taken place at the bar, as it would have required superhuman strength to pull these bloated bodies up to the high chairs from the dining room. The full bar here of course has a nice selection of Croatian wines and Karlovačko beer ($9, above), but also some spirits that can make your crawl home a little easier.

Desserts like palacinke, Croatian-style crêpes filled with ricotta and covered in the sweetness of your choice, can be ordered, but the end of this meal required a glass of Maraska pelinkovac ($9, below). This bitter liqueur is made with wormwood and many other herbs, has a sweet and bitter finish, and did the heroic work of digestion that was necessary.

As the restaurant owners desire, the evening from start to finish was a superb "portal to Croatia."


🇭🇷🇭🇷🇭🇷
NEW ROCHELLE New York
Dubrovnik Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

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06 January 2020

EL SALVADORin

EL SALVADOR 🇸🇻

For the past two weeks, the new Central American residents of Sunset Park have all been convening at it's newest restaurant, the oddly named EL SALVADORin, which adds a small "in" to hopefully make light of the fact that most people incorrectly say the demonym another way. But regardless of their intentions with naming, the restaurant stands as a symbol for the third wave of what makes the neighborhood.

Since the 1960's and 70's, Sunset Park saw its predominantly European immigrants replaced by Puerto Ricans, who populated the western portion of the neighborhood. A more recent wave starting in the 1980's but accelerating in the 90's saw this part become much more Mexican in nature, with families from the state of Puebla making up a big portion of new residents and business owners. Most people from other parts of the city still describe the neighborhood by these terms today.


Quietly over the past decade or so, in addition to a few restaurants here and there, Central American-owned businesses have popped up offering money transfers and other services, and almost every Mexican grocery made sure to stock the goods that Guatemalans and Salvadorans were looking for to fill their homes.

As Industry City attempts to mine the neighborhood for profit and give nothing in return except to those already privileged, Sunset Park's thriving communities continue to say no and show there is another way. EL SALVADORin is not only a bustling restaurant with an expansive menu, it stocks products from the country and coffees from the region.


Since the restaurant is very new and getting its feet underneath it still, many folks have been checking it out and bringing their families. The kitchen runs in linear order of when checks come in, so do give them some patience if you arrive just after a big group. This happened on the first two visits, but without any rush was no big deal.

Both of these meals of course required pupusas ($2.50-$3, above and below), available in almost any variety imaginable and in both corn and rice flour version. As always, these are patted out freshly to order, and arrive piping hot straight from the griddle.

Pupusa de arina de arroz.

No matter which you order, a small side of curtido, a pickled cabbage topping, and light tomato salsa will arrive along with your pupusas, a hint of how to eat them. Most Salvadorans will use each sparingly, letting the disc and its ingredients play the marquee roles, but no one is going to scold you for dumping everything on top before digging in.

As noted, the rest of the menu is ambitious and tries to offer as much from the country's cuisine as possible. Small plate appetizers, soups, large plates, and desserts all have their own section. Come in the morning to summon your true Salvi self for a cup of hot coffee and a slice of quesadilla salvadoreña, a sweet and dense cake (or is it bread?) made with cheese.


Weekend lunch time is perfect for soup options like sopa de gallina india ($13, above), a warming savory bowl full of root vegetables. You can ask for the hen to come on the side, a recommended decision that gets you a perfectly seasoned and baked leg to eat or add as desired.

Most plates will come with Salvadoran-style tortillas (seen in background of photo below), thicker than their Mexican sisters and almost like a small pupusa without fillings. These will line your stomach quickly but are a thoroughly enjoyable way to get beans and meats into your face. They come hot and fresh, but lose their character fast as they cool so start with them when attacking your meal.


Plates like salpicon de res ($14, above) are served with rice and beans or your choice of a few other sides. This "salad" of shredded beef, chopped onions, and tomatoes is served cold but perfect to wrap in those warm tortillas or simply alone with spoonfuls of rice.

Eating large pieces of meat is almost expected here based on the tables of others, whether in the form of a sandwich with thick slices of steak or chicken breast stuffed inside, or as a platter with rice and beans. Grilled shish kebab-like pinchos are a favorite, and grilled or fried whole fish can also be arranged.


In the mood for a simple plato típico on the second visit, carne asada ($14, above) worked perfectly and provided for plenty of leftovers as well. The seasoning and tenderness make sure you do not need any condiments, bites are best with or without a little rice and beans.

Many antojitos that share names with Mexican foods are found throughout the Central American isthmus, sometimes similar and sometimes very different. Flautas de pollo ($6, below) turn out to be quite similar to Mexican flautas with a thin tortilla wrapped around meat and fried very crispy.


🇸🇻🇸🇻🇸🇻
SUNSET PARK Brooklyn
EL SALVADORin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

You can Venmo me @JAREDCOHEE or click here to send PayPal donation, no account is necessary. Thank you!

29 December 2019

Max's of Manila

PHILIPPINES 🇵🇭

In the Philippines, everyone has an opinion of Max's of Manila. The restaurant has been around in some form or another since 1945, touting the history of Maximo Gimenez and his relationship with US occupying forces during the second world war, a group of which convinced him to open up his first shop. Now that a second and third generation have taken over the operation, second and third generations of families are coming to enjoy the fried chicken and everything else.

The Jersey City branch opened almost ten years ago in the epicenter of the Filipino community. There is little fanfare for the place outside of this group, but walk in on any day or evening and you will see it is a hugely popular spot for groups of friends and family. As it is in Metro Manila, Cebu, or any one of its over 100 locations in the Philippines, Max's is a destination for happy times.


While the signature dish of Max's is indisputably their fried chicken, the success is ultimately based on the combination of this with a full menu of traditional Filipino foods like lechon kawali ($14.95, above), fried pork belly. This beloved dish is handled with real precision here with an almost unbelievably thick and crispy exterior layer. While the meat inside is juicy and delicious, be careful biting down as that crust can mangle the more tender parts of the mouth.

The sauce typically served with lechon kawali is called liver sauce, but this ends up being one of the last tastes that you find in it, especially when paired with the crispy pork. It is mostly sweet and slightly sour, from brown sugar and calamansi juice, respectively. The combination is great, although you can easily eat the succulent pieces of meat all alone if desired.

"Sarap to the bones."

Even if you are dining here alone without your Filipino family and friends, Max's makes it easy to try a few things with their chicken combo meals which are available from Monday to Friday. Max's fiesta plate ($11.95, above) includes a leg quarter of fried chicken, rice (or fries), and a fresh or fried lumpiang ubod. It also comes with the essential garlic vinegar sauce, which beats out the banana ketchup or worcestershire sauce that they recommend for the chicken, and a side of small dessert.

The chicken once again is extra crisp on the exterior with incredible crunch, while still juicy inside. The lumpiang ubod is a flaky egg roll made with hearts of palm, pork, shrimp, and crabmeat. That dipping vinegar was actually meant for this, but no one is looking. To further the garlic experience and make sure no vampires (or humans) approach you for the rest of the night, upgrade the plain white rice to the garlic version.


Since you obviously have not had enough fried and gluttonous food already during this meal, grab the turon a la mode ($5.95, above) to finish things off. Turon are lumpia made with bananas, joined on this plate by mais keso ice cream. Anyone reading Spanish can sound this out to corn and cheese, which sounds a bit odd for ice cream but is marvelous. The combination is undeniably right.

Wash everything down from the start with a tall glass of calamansi juice ($3.95, below), much sweeter than the fruit juice would be alone, but so good as a beverage. There is a reason this Filipino citrus is so ubiquitous in the country.


🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭
JERSEY CITY New Jersey
Max's of Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

You can Venmo me @JAREDCOHEE or click here to send PayPal donation, no account is necessary. Thank you!

24 December 2019

Golden Rich 好想吃

TAIWAN 🇹🇼

Lovers of Taiwanese-style stinky tofu will know right when they open the door that they are in for a treat. The smell of fermentation hits you right at the front, enough so that a stinky tofu rookie was actually observed stopping in her tracks and retreating back out to the street when it reached her nose. Open up the restaurant's menu and five large photos of stinky tofu dishes take two out of the four pages.

The other two pages and the back focus on a surprisingly wide breadth of Taiwanese favorites from the bento boxes made famous on railways to three cup and popcorn chickens. The Taiwanese couple that runs the tiny corner shop is dedicated to bringing as much of their cuisine to Sunset Park as possible, a neighborhood that has a few choices for Taiwanese but usually from a mainland perspective and very focused.


Of course on any Taiwanese menu these days is beef noodle soup ($9, above and below), a dish whose "moment" does not want to fade. The version here is certainly near the best in the city, with super tender high quality meat and unique house made noodles. Lift them up with your chopsticks and notice the wavy edges. Bite into them for the wonderful chew and mouthfeel.

Recommended is to resist the urge of the spicy version they offer and do it yourself by adding the chili oil that is on each table. This lets you focus on their delicate savory broth and put just the right personal touch into it.


Don't be shy about the tofu, unless you already know it's not your bag. The fried blocks here are definitely stinkier and funkier than most locations that offer it but dumb it down quite a bit. With Golden Rich's version, you can vividly remember your first experience with the dish in a Taipei night market whether that be positive or negative.

In addition to a plate of ungarnished stinky tofu, they specialize in what they call "stinky hot pot." Four offerings are available with beef, seafood, pigs feet, intestines, or a combination of everything that is the signature dish. The beef stinky tofu hot pot ($13, below) uses those same beautiful cuts that were found in the noodle soup, but surrounds and submerges them with the tofu.


Also really enjoyable amongst the dish and rich soup of the hot pot is a really nice pig blood cake, dense with glutinous rice, as well as the tiny bowl of braised pork over rice that is served with every hot pot.

Amongst the Taiwanese favorites hinted before is their really simple bowl of pork chop over rice (below), a meal that usually never lives up to the one at Hua Ji in Chinatown. Here it is successful though, and uses a perfectly fried chop, bits of fried pork belly, pickled mustard greens, and a nice yet sparingly used sauce over the rice.


Come back many times and enjoy quintessential dishes like noodles with soybean paste ($7.50, below). This tofu is of the unfermented kind and is combined with ground pork and put over the same noodles found in the beef soup. Any dish that uses these should be considered, as they really are a star.

A nice array of flavors is in the dish, make sure to mix it up thoroughly to make sure the greens and sauce gets to every last noodle.


A couple burritos populate the menu as well, but thankfully this is not some sort of unfortunate fusion food and just an interesting way to translate. The beef burrito ($7, below) is actually niu rou juan bing (牛肉捲餅), rolled up goodness surrounded by a crispy fried wrapper. The essential pairing with the beef inside of these is scallions, some of which stick out one end with other crunchy greens. A lovely layer of sweet hoisin sauce permeates the whole thing, making every bite almost a dream.

The second time the roll was a bit soggy, but hopefully this is the exception to the rule. For such low prices, it is fascinating that everything can maintain such a high quality here across the menu, using good ingredients. Golden Rich is a real gem.



🇹🇼🇹🇼🇹🇼
SUNSET PARK Brooklyn
Golden Rich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

You can Venmo me @JAREDCOHEE or click here to send a PayPal donation, no account is necessary. Thank you!