>> Cafe "At Your Mother-In-Law" | Eat the World NYC

16 August 2010

Cafe "At Your Mother-In-Law"


During daylight hours, it is a bit hard to see into this restaurant, and even identifying it is a bit difficult, as the Russian sign and "Elza Fancy Food, Corp." are not the best clues for non-Russian speakers. Don't be timid though, open the door and find the wonderful name of this place right on the top of the menus. [UPDATE: The new awning includes "At Your Mother-in-Law" on it.

The place is very nondescript, with plain peach walls, a very high-mounted HD television set playing Russian talk shows, and no decoration. Only Russian is heard within the confines, Korean women are in the kitchen, and Uzbek food is on the menu. Only in New York. Actually, it is not so hard to fathom with a little history lesson. Even today Koreans are immigrating to Uzbekistan since the country already has a sizable population since Koreans were forcibly deported here from Far East Russia back in the early 1900's.

Needless to say, the food has many influences, with Korean and Russian brushes adding to the palate. The kaksu ($5.50, above) is a cold (surprise!) soup of lamb and pickled cucumbers. It was refreshing and crisp for a hot day, and made our order of the cucumbers side ($3.99/lb, below) unnecessary, as the tastes are the same.

We were eager to dig into the delicious manti ($6.99, above), steamed lamb dumplings that are served with dill and a dollop of sour cream. We also could not resist the plov ($6.50, below), another staple of Uzbek cuisine. While the dish will never blow your mind, this version is very good with fatty meat chunks and lots of grease.

The samsa ($2.50, below) also proved irresistible, despite not really having room for it. The flaky pastry feel apart nicely and was filled with the same delicious ground lamb that was found inside the manti.

We were really all smiles after visiting your mother-in-law, and cannot wait to see her again on the next visit to Brighton Beach. The places exudes charm and friendliness, despite it's humble character, something you do not always get when in the vicinity of stone-faced Russians.

[UPDATE 09 AUGUST 2016: New photos from a recent dinner]

Cucumber cha, Eggplant hye, Chim cha ($3.50-4 per 1/2 lb)

Samsa ($6)

Manti ($7.99)

Hanum ($5.99)

Lamb + chicken kebab ($8.50)

The most interesting new dish we found was the yug-gyadya ($7.50, above), which comes in parts. The broth alone is a simple beef affair, but six plastic cups full of various ingredients, as well as a plate of onion and cilantro, are where the magic happens. We asked for four small bowls and each created our own masterpiece.

Tea service

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