There has been much discussion upon these boards about what food one would miss the most upon leaving New York. Well,I ended up having an entire day that reminded me of how much I love this city and how much i would miss it, if I were ever to leave.
The day started out jumping on the BQE and heading out to EAST HARBOR DIM SUM (714 65th St. in Brooklyn). This is the third time that I have gone to East Harbor and honestly I love it. First off, even on a day like I had where you get #115 and the numbers being called are in the 80s, and a freezing wind is tunneling through the door and the P.A. is so loud that you can't hear the person waiting next to you and there is nowhere to sit and a Chinese grandmother is stepping on your foot, an atmosphere of jocularity and good will seem to inhabit East Harbor. Where the staff of a place like Golden Unicorn, treat one like horrifying cattle who deserved to be electro prodded to their eventual slop, East Harbor's staff seem to genuinely be grateful that you are there and by the time your number is called, they verily rush you to your table and to get everything moving. Tea comes quick, drinks that are ordered come quick and the carts move out like Rommel's Panzer Division. Things are hot and fresh here...the basics (shu mai, har gow, Chao Xiu Bao, Rice Noodles with shrimp, Fish Ball, Spring Roll) are just great and all sorts of interesting items show up like shrimp encased in flash fried green pepper and a BIG, juicy slice of eggplant with Shrimp inside and some sort of glutenous rice dumpling with pork and cabbage. Quickly prepared (table side wok!) Cockles in black bean were a delight with a nice briney flavor and a black bean sauce that was light and not overly gloopinated with corn starch. There is better dim sum in the world -- Vancouver has some incredible spots and Hong Kong, of course, has some real power and even Dim Sum Go Go when it first opened was better than EAST HARBOR. But for right now, I think it is serving great food and I am always happy when leaving....
Which I did!!! And forsook the BQE and decided to take 8th Ave all the way back...As we passed 55th street my 4 year old son screeched -- STOP!!!!!!! There's the Chicken Man!!!!!! And yes, stop we did -- causing traffic issues and my wife leaped out to wait on line as we circled around for three sticks of grilled chicken....Oh yess....it is sooo good this chicken. Small cart with a charcoal fire and a bunch of sticks of grilling meats and seafood. I like the chicken -- SUPRA tender (I think the tenderize with a marinade that had some baking soda in it) ,perfectly grilled and then sprinkled with a dusting of cumin and hot pepper. With it combination of smokiness, cuminy sensuality, peppery notes and slight sweetness, it remains one of my favorite chicken dishes (sticks?) in the city.
We then meandered back to Carrol Gardens where we live...but we had to stop at JUBILAT PROVISIONS (608 5th Ave)! Jubilat is a small, Polish butcher shop that outshines any other Polish butcher spot in the city...actually not just New York, but Chicago as well! They have everything here...even sometimes (if you are lucky) smoked trouts and mackerals! They have many varieties of homemade and home smoked Kilbasie (double smoked, garlic, etc), fresh Black Forest hams, Blood sausage, head cheese, stuffed veal breast, bone-in fresh bacon, three varieties of dried sausages (Take That Slim JIM!!!!!!), barrels of pickles and sauerkraut -- a veritable wonderland of meats!!!!!
We then headed home where we ended the day with my wife's incredible Oden with Daikon Radish and Japanese mustard. Ahhh Life! Not so bad, when you live in Brooklyn!
714 65th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220