Have you ever been asked the question, “If you could have a super power, what would it be?”. Sure, most people would say they’d like to be able to fly or be invisible, but I think a really handy super power would be the ability to spot a good place to eat just by glancing at the restaurant’s façade.
Ok, it’s not nearly as cool as flying, but finding diamonds in the restaurant rough can be a great talent to have. Maybe it’s less of a super power and more of a heightened sense you gain when you have food on the brain ALL the time. That might be the reason I can spot a winner across the street and down the block, faster than a speeding bullet.
I spotted Kofte Piyaz after leaving our favorite torta joint (Puebla MiniMarket). How anyone could think about food after eating one of their gargantuan tortas is almost beyond belief, but leave it to me to utter the phrase, “We should eat there sometime” while still picking tinga out of my teeth and waddling down the street with a sandwich the size and weight of a brick in my stomach.
A few days later we returned to that strip of 5th Ave in Sunset Park to see if my hunch was right. I’m happy to report it was.
Their sign says Turkish Grill Meatballs & Bean Salad and I immediately thought to myself, simply, “yes please”. We walked into the small but charming restaurant and were immediately greeted by a sky high stack of my favorite Turkish bread. This, I thought, was a good sign.
We sat down at one of the 4 or 5 small tables and perused the small but yummy menu. The owner/chef informed us that the soup was the best in Brooklyn (actually he said it multiple times), but we chose to go with the two things that drew us into the joint in the first place, grilled meatballs and bean salad.
Kofte is basically just spiced, ground meat. Sometimes it’s on a kebab, but in this case it was grilled and stuffed into some lovely bread with lettuce and tomato. You can get beef, beef with cheese, lamb sausage or chicken. You can’t go wrong with any of them. They’re delicious, substantial and $5 a pop. The meat is perfectly seasoned and moist. The bread is tender inside with a nice chew and a crispy crust. The play between the hot meat and cold veggies makes the sandwich rich and fresh all at the same time.
The white bean salad was awesome. I know you’re thinking, “why is she raving about a bean salad”, but once you taste it you’ll understand. It’s rich and creamy, balanced with acid and spice. Nick looked at me as my eyes glazed over and said, “you would bathe in a tub of that if you could, huh?”. Yes. Yes I would.
The folks next to us ordered the soup and raved about it. They also split a gigantic salad which cost less than the already inexpensive sandwiches. They were making yummy noises the whole time so although I didn’t ask for a detailed description I can safely translate those yummy noises to mean mmm, mmm, good.
Next time we go I think we’ll try the soup, perhaps one of the salads (maybe the chopped Turkish or the cracked wheat pilaf…which is bulgur…which I love). We also might split one of the meat main courses which are all under $10 and look to be the same meats as on the sandwiches but served as a platter with veggies and probably with that amazing Turkish flatbread. Oh, and we might grab some almond pudding to go.
It’s finding great restaurants like this that makes me thankful for my not so super power. I might not be able to fly, or disappear but as long as I keep spotting gems like Kofte Piyaz I’ll be happy.
In a nutshell….The food was amazing and amazingly cheap. The menu is small but pretty darn close to perfect. There are about 4 or 5 small tables and a small bar with seating. Vegetarians rejoice. For such a small menu there were a lot of vegetarian options. They deliver and you can pick up. The gentleman who served us/cooked for us was very nice but not particularly in a hurry. He did, however, rush an order for folks grabbing some take out.