We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway.
This week’s location is 53rd and Lex, the V’s last stop in Manhattan. It’s delis and hotels everywhere you look, and it doesn’t get much better as you head east on 53rd Street. But hang a right on Second Avenue, and pop into Sip Sak, Orhan Yegen’s one-of-a-kind take on Turkish fast food.
We were tipped off to the month-old Seven’s Mediterranean Grill by Orhan Yegen, the city’s ambassador for Turkish food. As at Yegen’s East Side restaurant, Sip Sak, an array of house-ground, delicately spiced kebabs are complemented by fresh yogurt sauce and freshly baked bread. There’s also a big selection of the Turkish-Armenian spiced pizzas called lahmajoun. Chef and co-owner Aziz Seven has a history in New York kebab circles: His work at Ali Baba on East 34th Street was much admired, and his most recent New York venue, Sunnyside’s Turkish Grill, was a favorite of connoisseurs. Neither place, though, featured Seven’s oven-baked halvah, a must-have dessert of hot sesame pudding topped with toasted walnuts.
Seven’s Turkish Grill, 158 W. 72nd St., nr. Columbus Ave.; 212-724-4700.
The cooking on Top Chef is, as most chefs will tell you, about as realistic as the medicine practiced on House. But that doesn't mean you can't see the real thing if you look hard enough. Consider RealMeals, a brand-new, just-launched website which specializes in videos of both professional and amateur chefs actually cooking. This kind of instructional/aspirational video has been coming into vogue in recent months (Chow has produced a number of really good ones.) But RealMeals is both more interesting and more New York-oriented.
Edible Brooklyn has a piece on a subject very dear to our hearts: Those mysterious wheels of meat called shawarma that you find in falafel and gyro joints around town. The article covers the best of Brooklyn; our picks for outside of Brooklyn follow.