Slideshow: A Tour of Bay Ridge with Allison Robicelli

Hazar Turkish Kabab
Hazar Turkish Kabab
Showcase
Showcase
As is typical of Turkish ocakbasi (kebab houses), the glass display case shows off the restaurant's kebab options.
The spit
The spit
Hazar's chicken shawarma is generously marinated and well-crisped on the spit.
Shawarma
Shawarma
Chicken baked in its own fat with cumin, black pepper, and chili. That'll do.
Falafel
Falafel
Crisp and loaded with herbs, these falafel are most interesting for their lentil-like shape, which means even more browned crust per fritter.
Gigantes beans
Gigantes beans
These fat, creamy beans cooked with tomato and olive oil had us going back for another helping.
Showcase
Showcase
Another showcase—this one sweet, full of pastries from all over the Middle East way beyond baklava. We preferred the semolina- and cheese-based pastries to the others.
Knafeh
Knafeh
A thin layer of semolina cake rides over a base of salty cheese. Ask for this warmed up so the cheese reverts to its gooey, stringy state.
Dondurma
Dondurma
Cedars is one of just two places I know of in New York to get dondurma, a Turkish ice cream with a uniquely chewy, stretchy texture. It comes in flavors traditional—bitter mastic gum—as well as new, like blueberry.
Olives
Olives
Balady boasts a substantial selection of olives.
Olive oil ziggurat
Olive oil ziggurat
You know you're in a serious Middle Eastern market when the olive oil comes in tower form—and the individual bricks are five-liter jugs.
Down the aisle
Down the aisle
Hookahnuts
Hookahnuts

"Wait, what?"

"What don't you get, Max? They sell hookah and nuts."

The Owl's Head
The Owl's Head
This new-ish wine bar looks more Park Slope than Bay Ridge, but co-owner John Avelluto has lived in the neighborhood almost as long as Allison has.
The menu
The menu
The menu focuses on offbeat, unusual wines several dollars a glass cheaper than what you'll find in Manhattan, and just as good.
Gran Cerdo
Gran Cerdo
...this aggressive but balanced Gran Cerdo red, perhaps our favorite of the lot.
Leske's Bakery
Leske's Bakery
Leske's has been making bread, Scandinavian pastries, and doughnuts for over 50 years in Bay Ridge. They recently opened a second branch in Park Slope.
Jelly doughnut
Jelly doughnut
With a peanut butter glaze! This is best when fresh, and our favorite of Leske's doughnut offerings.
Plain slice
Plain slice
A very solid slice that hasn't changed a bit over the years.
Sicilian
Sicilian
A nice Sicilian too, with a crisp crust and sauce that seeps well into the top layer of dough.
Menu
Menu
The prices haven't changed much either. Check that 80 cent small soda!
Last stop
Last stop
The pho is exceptionally clean-tasting but rich, and the rice noodles and grilled meats are all prepared well.
Allison and Matt
Allison and Matt
Maybe the Robicellis will escape Brooklyn some day. But I suspect they'll be kicking and screaming the whole way out.