Regular readers of my blog know that I love to discover new and interesting places to eat–especially if they are serving something hot, spicy, and delicious that you can’t get anywhere else. As my YouTube channel attests, I have documented my culinary travels “Off the Eaten Path” for years. Currently I am in the process of turning these adventures into a regular series–hopefully coming soon to a cable channel near you. The concept is the reverse of what Bourdain and Zimmern are doing. Instead of traveling abroad to find good food, I am looking around the ethnic enclaves right here in America, starting with a town that has always been near and dear– Brooklyn, NYC.
New York is obviously a great place to find amazing food from all over the world, and I received many positive responses when I teamed up with director John Carluccio to make a video about the Sri Lankan community in Staten Island. (You can view Staten Island Sri Lankan here.) Since that proved to be such a successful outing, John and I are teaming up, once again, to document the various ethnic enclaves of Brooklyn, where some truly amazing and authentic eats are waiting to be discovered. Of course, people in the community know about them, but why shouldn’t you and I as well?
Why Brooklyn? Well, as Manhattan rapidly transforms into a gigantic shopping mall with chain store franchises claiming much of the real estate, and Queens and the Bronx have already been well-documented as places for great ethnic cuisine, Brooklyn–besides its hipster hangouts and artisanal industry–has been somewhat overlooked. Remember that Brooklyn, once the 6th largest city in the U.S., is a huge borough, and while gentrification has squeezed out much of its thriving cultural life, there are still many neighborhoods where you can get a completely affordable, bona fide, and delicious meal from a country you might never have the pleasure of visiting.
For our first adventure, we chose the well-established Little Pakistan in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Coney Island Ave. between Avenues C & H forms the commercial hub of this sizeable community of Pakistanis, who have been emigrating here since the early 90s. It’s a place to get all kinds of spices, Halal meat, and other Pakistani products, as well as some serious food. In fact, many of Little Pakistan’s eateries are open 24 hours to cater to the Pakistani cabbies working the graveyard shift in Manhattan. So join me as I go “Off The Eaten Path.”
Please enjoy the show, and as always, your comments and feedback are much appreciated. Feel free to pass along this video or post, and definitely, if you are in the area, stop by Little Pakistan and take advantage of everything they have to offer.
video & stills by John Carluccio