>> Chobana Grill Café | Eat the World NYC

01 December 2019

Chobana Grill Café


It was not so long ago that this big flashy corner spot on 86th and 3rd was veteran Bay Ridge Italian favorite Leo's Casa de Calamari, which shuttered a couple years ago. Fans of the spot were thankful it was just a downsizing, for they moved a block north to 85th Street into a much smaller space. What quickly replaced them and opened over the summer was Chobana Grill Café, with two sheep flanking its name but otherwise adhering to the red theme that has lived on the corner for a long time.

As you can see from the picture above, the "Now Open" sign still hangs from the awning, but Chobana seems to be in full stride and making fans in the neighborhood. On a recent visit as the first customer just after noon on a Thursday, the proprietor was busy baking bread for the day and mentioned some baked items like pide would not be available until a bit later.

The chicken shawarma spit had been prepared for a while and was looking rather handsome, with just the right amount of charred bits. It seemed a good time to order the $9.99 lunch special which offers that meat with a patty of lamb kofte, rice and salad, and a fresh disc of bread. The amount of quality food that arrives with two sauces is actually quite astonishing, it is quite a good deal.

The first cut from the shawarma spit was indeed luxurious, the meat underneath that outside layer juicy and delicious. A plate of this with the lightly spiced Turkish-style rice and white sauce would be enough to please most anyone, but start using that great bread and life keeps getting better.

To get even more mileage from the bread, order a side like the sauteed eggplant ($6.75, above) for dipping. This is smoky and garlicky and is great alone or paired with bites of the kofte.

The only worry for this obviously talented chef is that this large corner space might be too big. Assuming the rent is as high as it seems, can enough people come here to fill the seats over on 3rd Avenue? Hopefully the lofty aspirations take hold, for Chobana is a great addition to the avenue.

BAY RIDGE Brooklyn
Chobana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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