At the risk of overwhelming the proprietor (who seemed a very nice man), La Maison du Couscous opens today at 484 77th Street, Bay Ridge. In celebration, theyre staging a free buffet from 4:30 onwards. I had a look at the menu theyll be using. Very reasonable prices, with several types of tagines at $7.95, and a couscous royal, the most expensive item, at $9.00. Bastillas, briwats, and almond juice are also on offer.
The Russian grocery on 3rd Avenue next to the excellent Eurasia restaurant has several beers, including a quite fair Bulgarian lager and a Lithuanian wheat beer, unavailable elsewhere. No Aldaris, sadly. Anyway, Im too freighted with bottles when leaving that Ive been unable to stop at Bay Ridge Acapulco (7218 3rd Avenue), directly across the road. A great shame, that. I made it in yesterday and had some fine tacos, topped with minced onion and cilantro and a large slice of avocado. They cost $1.00. The huaraches were $3.75, and looked damn good, though I didnt have one. I took a chorizo torta to go. When I got around to eating it some 45 minutes later, I was happy to see that it had been wrapped first in a napkin and then in foil, which had the effect of keeping the bread nicely crunchy (I fully expect an Alton Brown-type food nerd to challenge me here, saying that the napkin would in fact make it soggier; I stand by my story).
Several people whined loudly about their difficulties in finding good cheese steaks in New York. Much against my will, I was once in Philadelphia. I was force-fed a cheese steak purchased at one of the more noted vendors, and found it nothing at all to get exercised over. Complete crap, actually. Anyway, a friend from the more civilized environs of Camden, New Jersey, who was often called across the river on business counsels that Philadelphia Grille, 4th Avenue and 100th Street, is much like the slop served Schuylkill-side.
Finally, let me note that the supreme slice served at the pizzeria on the corner of Bay Ridge Avenue and 4th Avenues is brilliant. At $2.00, it's sort of like a working mans Margeherita. They used to have a Dixie cup of chiffonaded basil leaves that one was free to apply with a generous hand, though they seem to have retired it.