Editor's note: We write about restaurants all over the city. But sometimes, you don't want to travel for food; you want the best eats right in your neighborhood. So we're having the Serious Eats staff share where they eat around their own 'hoods. Today? A Hamburger Today editor Robyn Lee!
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In my roughly seven years of living in New York City, I've had a tendency to never eat that often in the neighborhood I lived in, partially because I didn't live in the most food-centric neighborhoods, but also because during the last four years I've been getting 500 percent more calories than I need per day just by working in the Serious Eats office. Add to that that I've only been living in the Greenwood Heights/Sunset Park/South Slope/Windsor Terrace/whatever-this-area-is-called neighborhood for three months, and it's more likely you'll giving me recommendations than vice versa. (This isn't a guide as much as me talking about what I've eaten, whether or not I highly recommend it.)
Here's what I've tried so far; feel free to give me suggestions!
Mexican: El Tenampa
I've eaten here more often than any other place in my neighborhood. Actually, because of El Tenampa I've stopped trying much else since it's hard to believe any other nearby place could give me as much satisfaction-per-dollar as their tacos ($2.50) and cemitas ($7.50) can. Their lengua tacos and cemitas are my favorite, but I also like their tacos with tripa, buche, or cabeza (complete with a DIY toppings bar of guacamole, radishes, lime wedges, salsas, and more). I haven't tried all the meats yet, but that's the road I'm going down.
Many thanks to Seth Brau for recommending this place to me. (At the same time, I must also apologize to Seth for publicizing one of his favorite taco joints.)
706 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232; 718-369-7508
Mexican: Guerrero Food Center
Before I found out about El Tenampa, I went to Guerrero Food Shop for tacos and tortas mostly because it was the first taco/torta shop I had come across. Also, I couldn't not try a place with a window that screamed "SUPER TORTA." The tacos and tortas are huge and not bad, but they're not quite as memorable as El Tenampa's. Also, there's no DIY toppings bar.
722 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215; 718-499-8653
Pupusas: El Continental
I don't know what makes a great pupusa; I just know that every one I've eaten makes me pretty damn happy. It doesn't seem like the combination of corn flour, meat, and cheese (with salsa and crunchy curtido on the side) can ever go wrong.
672 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215; 718-832-1327
Burgers: Lot 2
687 6th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215; 718-499-5623
667 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215; 718-285-9425
Manhattan location: 178 E 7th Street, New York NY 10009; 212-780-0180
Pizza: Luigi's Pizza
If I'm craving pizza and am too lazy to hop on a subway, my first pick would be Luigi's. Admittedly, it's the only slice joint in the neighborhood I've tried so far. And I've only been once. But it was a very satisfying once. I'll let James Boo describe the fresh mozzarella pizza since he's better at it than I am:
The crust of Luigi's number one is taut, its crunchy, uneven bottom yielding to a porous, chewy upper layer. Tiny bubbles pepper its air-pocketed edge, which shatters with the perfect crunch before giving way to a savory chew.
Unwilling to skimp, Luigi's drapes a full blanket of tender, fresh mozz across a generous coating of tangy sauce. Each thick dollop of cheese melts into the next, and all are sprinkled with a homemade basil-based pesto, lending the final product an extra note of flavor and a beautiful splash of color.
686 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215, 718-499-3857
Pizza: Toby's Public House
Toby's Public House (Slice review) was the first place my roommate and I ate at after we moved in. But while I like the pizza enough, along with the friendly, laid-back vibe, I'd rather spend the extra time to go to Motorino or Paulie Gee's for a similar pizza style.
686 6th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215; 718-788-1186
Ice Cream: Baskin-Robbins
I walk past this 24 hour Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin Donuts every day to get to the subway station, and I never thought I'd feel compelled to go in considering how many great ice cream/gelato shops there are in the city. But one night while walking home from the subway station I just really wanted ice cream—not too much, a little cup—and their October-only Trick Oreo Treat ice cream with Oreos and chocolate candy bar bits was there to fulfill that craving mere blocks from my apartment. It's nothing you'd go out of your way for, but when you're lazy and want ice cream, it hits the spot.
737 4th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11232; 718-832-0732
Where Do You Eat in This Neighborhood?
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