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Nostrand Avenue

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Salute the Gulag Gourmet Movement

If there’s a vein of New York food writing that has gone unmined, it’s Gulag Gourmet — that strata of consumption below even the Cheap Eats genre, where the mere acquisition of food, and the resulting dodging of starvation, counts as a victory. A burger at Resto or a falafel is pheasant under glass compared to the stuff Joshua M. Bernstein ate in his trip down Nostrand Avenue. Canned cuttlefish in ink, hot pea-flour fritters: This is stuff we would pay $1 not to eat. Hence the piece's genius. But when we find ourselves as broke as the Ten Commandments toward the end of the pay period, we have our own Gulag Gourmet treats. Here are a few.