>> Cafe Max (KeBeer) | Eat the World NYC

20 July 2011

Cafe Max (KeBeer)


Who knew that Uzbek cuisine made such great bar food? Well apparently the Russians who opened this German-style beer hall did. Catch all that?

While the food won't wow you like some Uzbek in town, and even in the same neighborhood, it does the trick while drinking well-priced beer close to the beach. The place is a bit on the gruff side, taking on the attitude of the Russians who run it rather than the more German decorations and beer. I've been here twice now, and both times I felt a bit uncomfortable, but I think this could pass.

[UPDATE 2017: The German beer hall theme has been scaled back, but the bar and food still thrive]

One of my favorite Uzbek dishes to order is manty ($6.50 for 4, below) ground lamb dumplings that are very buttery and served with sour cream. Despite not being finger foods, manty and beer is a great combination. The greasiness of it all is key, the pepper and dill giving life to it all.

We were not expecting what arrived at the table when the fried pelmeni ($6, below) came, but then again, I have never order pelmeni fried before. The small beef-filled dumplings are overly crispy, but perfect for popping in your mouth after a couple rounds of beer. You get much more of the fried, crispy dough taste than any meat, but that somehow is not a deterrent.

The bottom line here is that the place, despite its oddities and downfalls, is a much-welcomed addition to Brighton Beach, which until now did not have much of a beer scene. Now you can enjoy a beer or two before or after your trip to the beach, or in addition to a great meal somewhere in the area. The food is a bit of an afterthought, but is satisfying enough in its own right because of the atmosphere.

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1003 Brighton Beach Avenue
KeBeer Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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