>> Eat the World NYC

23 March 2020

COVID-19 Takeout and Delivery Ideas

SITE UPDATE/COVID-19
I obviously do not need to tell you what is happening in the world. I just wanted to mention that if you read this website but are not following us on social media, the @EattheWorldNYC Twitter feed has been going through each and every restaurant ever written on these pages and figuring out if they are offering takeout and/or delivery options right now.

Please follow us on Twitter for more:
https://twitter.com/EattheWorldNYC

If you are having reservations about ordering food right now, that is understandable. I found this article recently published on Serious Eats to be very informative concerning the safety of prepared foods right now and what you can do to keep yourself safe:
https://www.seriouseats.com/2020/03/food-safety-and-coronavirus-a-comprehensive-guide.html

I hope you all are very well, and thank you for reading these pages over the years. I can't wait to get back to it.

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!

12 March 2020

Gorkhali Nepalese Restaurant & Bar

NEPAL 🇳🇵

It must have been eight months or more since Gorkhali had put up its bold sign on Roosevelt Avenue, signaling another expansion of the area's Himalayan cuisine. But then as happens with a lot of restaurants trying to open, realities of bureaucracy and the unknown set in and the windows remained papered. There must have been two dozen occasions on other trips to the neighborhood that the (lack of) progress was checked in on.

And then finally, poof! In mid-February the restaurant opened up and hit the ground running. The first floor seems to be constantly busy with small groups of family and friends as well as solo diners coming in for lunch. There is a steam table, possibly a sign of the previous tenant or maybe offerings still to come, but currently unused.


If you come for a one of those weekday lunches, you will be seated downstairs where the walls have been given a coat of bright orange paint. Upstairs is where you will find the "bar" portion of the name, along with quite a bit more seating amongst an open dining room. This seems to be where the action will take place during busy times, albeit without spirits as for now there is no alcohol.

One of the first things you notice when looking at the menu here at Gorkhali is that unless your familiarity with Nepalese foods is very high, there are many dishes that are unfamiliar and not in every restaurant around town. This was true on this occasion with the bhatmas sadeko (above), a "salad" snack made of dried soybeans and some excellent chili and herb enhancements. This made the lack of a bar more sad, as the spicy crunch would go perfectly with a cold beer.


Because chicken and vegetables made their way to the table in other forms, an order of the beef jhol momo (above) was preferred, eight perfectly formed dumplings in a slightly spicy soup. This dish was slap in the face good, rising to near the level of the jhol momo from Bajeko Sekuwa in Sunnyside. It is one of those times in life where drinking all the leftover juice is required, embarrassment or not.

Halfway through the meal a family of three sat down and ordered thalis, a different one for each person. While waiting, they told the story of the chef, a woman who had faced tragedy and loss but was in their view most deserving of a restaurant like this. They were very excited to be able to eat her food on a more regular basis now.


Furthering the theme of appetizers, the chicken choila (above) is one with dense grilled hunks of meat cooked with red chili oil. These are a bit tough and dry but absolutely delicious. Order this in Nepal and you are likely to have sweat running down your forehead, but here they tone it down quite a bit.

Another dish that was initially unrecognized was khasiko taas (below), boneless pan-fried goat. The finished product takes on the texture of being deep-fried, but the crispy exterior is done through low heat and oil at the bottom of a tawa. The spices and herbs just taste like Nepal, but feel free to squeeze a bit of the lime to cut the grease.


Gorkhali 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!

05 March 2020

El Buen Chapin Deli

GUATEMALA 🇬🇹

The Guatemalan offerings at this address have went through quite a transformation over the past year. After the old flower shop went out of business in early 2018, the shop eventually became somewhat of a corner store for Central Americans despite its mid-block location. It had some trinkets and a few groceries, but seemed to be mostly used for people to send remittances and otherwise back home.

Eventually a sign showed up outside with the simple offer of chuchitos, the wrapped-and-steamed masa delights very similar to Mexican-style tamales. With a crisp new Guatemalan flag in the window and no other outward facing signage, it was hard to resist coming in to check it out.


El Buen Chapin Deli is continuing the story of the Central Americanization of Sunset Park, and surpasses Karen Deli in the southern reaches of the neighborhood as the strongest presence for the country.

Even back before the new steam table opened, the shop was selling some packaged baked goods, national team jerseys, colorful tradition dresses and pants and a hodgepodge of other pantry products.


Before this year, the woman running the shop would have to leave her envios booth and open up the big Coleman cooler that had the foil-wrapped chuchitos (above, one unwrapped) sold individually. On the first attempt it was noticed that they would be gone not much after noon.

Chuchitos are still made almost daily, but now a rotating steam table is on offer and has taken command of the interior. Two tables offer four seats each and depending on when you arrive finding a seat could be difficult. Plan to make some friends at any rate, as you will probably share a table once you do sit down.


Most dishes besides soups will come with a hearty portion of rice and beans and two fluffy homemade Guatemalan-style corn tortillas for $10. On the first time coming to the steam table, the woman smiled and asked "Conoces la comida guatemalteca?" very confidently. It was nice to hear a specificity of cuisine, a sort of pride that references back to the name of the place.

On some days you might find chiles rellenos (above and below), very thin peppers stuffed with ground beef and vegetables. Each one is dipped in a flour and egg batter before frying. The dish is quite mild but they have a good green salsa available if you need it.


As mentioned, like most dishes this comes served over their very good rice and black beans. It is an enjoyable and filling dish, exactly the type of meal many other customers are looking for before or after their day of work.

The restaurant is everything you might expect and want from a workaday place. A dry erase board is out front daily with the selections available inside, but you will see everyone take a look at the offerings before deciding. The kitchen staff are happy to remove lids and offer views of each dish.


On one recent visit, a simple sopa de pollo ($10, above) was enjoyed. Filled with potatoes and chayote, the extremely large chunks of on-the-bone chicken are actually difficult to handle with the plastic silverware. By the end the tortillas came in handy to hold meats and keep juices from splashing.

A bit of a surprise in execution was the pepián de gallina ($10, below), a hen stew that is served with a really rich sauce that almost has the thickness and likeness of a mole. One of the most famous Mayan dishes still loved today is done really well here, although the bony bits of hen are almost an afterthought. Bites of the rice and pepián were the real winners.


Tablecloth.

The store still seems to do the tasks it used to, and some come in for medicines or other reasons, but now someone will have to leave the kitchen to attend to these needs in the front. The back of the shop and its daily prepared foods are clearly the focus nowadays.

The shelves seem to get more stocked with each visit, including many universal products and some Guatemalan things like Pollo Campero-branded ketchup, something every fridge needs. You will also find packaged bakery items from a famous place in Philadelphia as well as fresh baked goods in a case from a local baker. A true one stop shop.


🇬🇹🇬🇹🇬🇹
SUNSET PARK Brooklyn
El Buen Chapin Deli 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!

25 February 2020

Café con Pan Bakery II

MÉXICO 🇲🇽

In the world of chain operations, Café con Pan is the type the city needs. This location is the second of three, a company that originated in Sunset Park, Brooklyn about ten years ago but has spread to two spots in Staten Island since. Currently in its sixth year of business, this panaderia and pasteleria makes a lot more than baked goods and sweets.

Café con Pan exists at a really exciting time on Port Richmond Avenue in Elm Park, a stretch that gets more and more interesting with every visit. Its many tables might not seem busy at most times, but in just a few minutes you realize it is a very active place. People are in and out quickly, grabbing sweet breads or tamales and tortas mostly for takeout.


In the dining area, those chairs and tables are all so colorful, each painted differently with scenes from rural life mixed in with cathedrals, horses, and men playing music around a fire. The barstools each have a scene from a movie. The bar is loaded up with alcohol, but early in the day at least it does not see much action.

While deciding what to get, the large family that had come in just before went straight for the tongs to grab pan dulce. To make a lunch decision easier, a danish and coffee was ordered to follow suit and give a bit more time. The shop has a logo that looks a lot like this order, so it confirmed it was a proper first move.

Café con pan.

If you grab a menu, you get a sense of the massive amount of cooking the place does in addition to their many racks of breads, cakes, and cookies. A full range of antojitos as well as soups and weekend special exist alongside the torta section, which is 30 deep!

Two tamales ($2 each, below) started this meal, of which the rajas con queso was the winner. Plenty of cheese worked well to smooth the masa and keep it moist, something the verde was lacking.

Tamal verde de pollo/tamal de rajas con queso

Conchas

A few of many cookies

As other families had come in to request custom cakes for future parties, the next course of this meal was decided to be the pozole con 2 tostadas ($12, below). This pork and hominy soup was deeper and richer than usual with ample amounts of oregano and rosemary. The tender meat was delicious. The only thing missing was some ground red pepper, which does not appear to be available to spice up the soup.

The two tostadas come completely plain except for a squirt of crema on top. This is a bit different than most restaurants around town, which serve a more "complete" tostada with beans, lettuce, and cheese as well alongside the soup. This allows you to combine bites easier and eat them with the pozole rather than simply as a side.


When it was finally time to attack that list of tortas, the torta mixta ($11, below) won the lottery, a sandwich packed with three meats (chicken tinga, bacon, and ham) as well as two types of cheese, beans, lettuce, avocado, and jalapeño. All of these ingredients were excellent.

What held it back, somewhat surprisingly for the setting, was the bread. It appeared as if the bread was once good, but was it old now and reheated, possibly in a microwave? While this was disappointing, surely a next time would have fresh bread?



The torta should not be written off just by one attempt. If you have had an experience good or bad, please let everyone know in the comments, and of course the article will be updated when another torta is eaten soon.

Or will it be that chipotle torta burger full of quesillo they advertise?

🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽
ELM PARK Staten Island
Café Con Pan 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!

21 February 2020

Bikanervala

INDIA 🇮🇳

You would not know it when you see the bright colors and modern logo, but Bikanervala has over 100 years of history all going back to a simple shop that sold sweets and namkeen. That shop was just east of the present-day border with Pakistan in the small city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The company now has almost 100 stores around the world and ships everywhere.

After expanding to Delhi in the 1950's and blowing up through the next few decades, the shop has stuck to its principles for the most part, still excelling with a good selection of sweets and namkeen. The menu has expanded somewhat, with more filling meal options, and the next time you are in Hyderabad, you can even stay at the boutique hotel that the company opened in Banjara Hills.

Pea samosa plate ($2.99, hard pass)

Despite its gloss, Bikanervala still sticks to an informal format. Small portions are served on disposable paper plates. Plastic cutlery is provided nearby. Place your order at the counter and wait for the robotic voice to call your number and say "Please take the meal."

While waiting, browse through their packaged goods section, just a taste of what you can have shipped just about anywhere in case you ever find yourself long distances from a branch.



At a normal dinner time, the bird's nest-like wonder tokri chaat was unavailable but the cashier recommended raj kachori ($7.99, above) as a stand-in. This worked pretty well, with all the flavors and crunchy textures you need from chaat. While in other parts of India, kachori is a spicy snack on its own, in Delhi it is usually served as a chaat dish, the namesake on top as a sweetened wet bread to add another layer than usual.

Having noticed the nightly special of a paneer kati roll, and many other dishes including cheese, this dairy product seemed to be a theme of the offerings. In this spirit and as a reason to get some naan ($2.99, below back), a bowl of paneer butter masala ($9.99, below) was added.



The butter masala had a nice and proper amount of heat to it and hit the spot, although the thin naan was unfortunately a bad companion. It will probably be a more wise move to stick to namkeen dishes on future visits and supplement these with orders from the large sweets case.

After all, this is the bread and butter of Bikanervala.

🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳
JERSEY CITY New Jersey
Bikanervala 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!

20 February 2020

Hawa Restaurant

SÉNÉGAL 🇸🇳

The intention on this chilly afternoon in late January was to dine at African American Best Food, which had firmly been living on the to do map for a few years. One attempt came during a renovation, another had been made on an unannounced closed day. As of a month ago, it was completely gone.

Since a new place with a similar menu had quickly taken over the space, Senegalese lunch was still possible. The staff here said that the new team had nothing to do with the old, a completely new endeavor. Onward marches New York City, as always.

A few almonds at each table.

As with most West African restaurants around town, it is best to ask what is available before looking over the menu, especially at lunch. On this day there were just three options at around 13:00, and the atmosphere made it seem like no customers came before this time. Maybe do not show up too early.

Thankfully one of the options was exactly what was desired on this day, thiebu djen ($12.99, below). Meaning "rice and fish" literally, this fish and rice dish is one of the staples of Sénégal, enjoyed throughout the country. Their very light djolof rice is excellent here and sets the baseline for the plate.


There may not be a more filling and satisfying meal then thiebu djen, with fish stewed in tomato sauce and placed over the rice with carrot, cassava, and white cabbage. Do take care with that scotch bonnet pepper, as even just dragging it through the rice leaves a nice trail of heat.

The rest of the West African menu, when available, is basic for a Senegalese restaurant in town. What might be a bit of a surprise, but not when considering a desire to expand the customer base, is the items of Caribbean descent like oxtail and curry goat.

🇸🇳🇸🇳🇸🇳
HARLEM Manhattan
410 Lenox Avenue
Hawa Restaurant 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!

18 February 2020

Q.S. Palace

GEORGIA 🇬🇪

Depending on which side of Q.S. Palace you enter, you might end up with one of two first impressions that differ very greatly. On the right side, a simple food store makes half of the business, selling salads and breads and the full takeout menu from a counter.

Georgian crêpes and cheeses and sparkling waters can all be purchased quickly to take home. On this right side of the store, the window allows you to see inside and light escapes to the street. It is likely that this will seem like the entrance to the restaurant.

Georgian salad ($7.99)

But that is actually located behind the tinted windows of the left portion of the property. During daylight hours, opening this door will seem like entering a completely dark room at least until your eyes adjust. At night you can get some sense of the interior, but only coming inside lets you enjoy it fully.

The design and decor is that of a palace for sure, only condensed into a small New York City space. A pleasant blue is the preferred color of walls and ceiling, but it is the gold trim that pops out from crown moldings and other elements.


In Brooklyn, a meal at any former Soviet country's restaurant should usually begin with some cold appetizers like satsivi with chicken ($15, above) and eggplant with nuts ($10, below). These are easy to enjoy a few bites of amongst a group and get your taste buds ready for the main events.

The nuts in question, as usual when talking about Georgian food, are walnuts. On this dish called nigvziani badrijani, the delicious paste is spread over the rolled eggplant, and could only be made better by a more liberal application of pomegranate seeds.



Possibly the two most famous Georgian foods known to non-Georgians are both done very well here, starting with the Acharuli khachapuri ($12.99, above). Take your photos quick and mix up the egg and butter into the scalding hot cheese so everything cooks together.

While important to non-Georgians, khachapuri of course is indeed so Georgian that the tradition of making khachapuri now landed on the list of 48 items of intangible cultural heritage made by UNESCO. This type is sometimes called Adjarski, named for the Black Sea and Turkey-adjacent Autonomous Republic of Adjara in Georgia's southwestern corner where it comes from.



The second item that everyone knows is fresh khinkali ($12, above), Georgia's contribution to the world of dumplings. Khinkali appear like a hot water bag, but are thick-skinned soupy delights to be approached with caution.

Allow them to sit and cool for a bit, then turn sideways and bite a hole into the side. Suck out the fragrant herbal juices carefully and continue to the meat.

Dolma in vine leaf ($12)

Potato with mushrooms ($10)

Lamb chakapuli ($16)

If you have ever traveled in Georgia in the summer, one of the most memorable parts of the capital city of Tbilisi is the smells and sights of grilled meats. Vendors outside fill the air with a wonderful aroma of lamb, pork, and chicken on skewers, known locally as shashlik.

In Tbilisi you may find your meats served with Kakhetian bread, named after the far east region that features some of the best grilled meats as well. Here at Q. S. Palace they serve the lamb lula kebab ($11.99, below) inside of a flatbread that seems more Armenian style. This is packed with onions and pomegranate seeds, and can be dipped in their bright red sauce.


Ojakhuri ($12)

🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪
BENSONHURST Brooklyn
Q.S. Palace 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!