A neighborhood guide to NYC’s best specialty food

A neighborhood guide to NYC’s best specialty food

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Want to know where to find the tastiest soup dumplings in Chinatown or the best borscht in Brighton Beach?

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    The garbanzo-bean base hummus and the ful, which is made from fava beans,fresh tomato, onion, lemon, olive oil and “Egyptian hocus pocus,” have a little texture, as opposed to the overly processed grocery-market versions.
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    The masala dosa, with its spiced-potato filling, reigns here, but any of the 22 varieties are worth trying, including the Pondicherry, which is filled with mixed vegetables, and the onion and chilies-embedded Rava dosa.
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    Baker Anthony Ilardi makes the flaky layered pastry by hand every morning in a complicated two-hour process that involves rolling and chilling a special croissant-like dough and filling it with a shaved-orange-rind-and-ricotta mixture.
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    The savory-sweet, flavorful borscht here comes from a secret family recipe that goes back to father-son owners Vadim and Paul Tesler’s grandmother/ great-grandmother, who also hailed from Odessa.
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    Brothers Herman and Aaron Sander inherited both their babka recipe and the bakery from their father, a Holocaust survivor who bought the corner stalwart in 1959.
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    His extra-large cheese-andpotato pirogi (“probably the most important dish for Polish people”) are as traditional as they get. And they face a discerning crowd in Greenpoint’s largely working-class “Little Poland” of Brooklyn.
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    At night, the glowing signage lining the buildings along the heart of Koreatown, evoke the nightscape of Seoul. In the middle of all the bright lights, chef Chang-Il Kim serves up traditional samgyetang, or ginseng chicken soup, unlike any other.
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    George Sanchez first started selling his tacos from a small cart on 135th Street and Broadway before moving his business to East Harlem in the early ’90s, when the neighborhood was largely Puerto Rican, Black and Italian.
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    Chef Zhou Li models his dumplings after the ones sold at the famed Din Tai Fung, a popular Taiwanese chain found mostly in Asia and California. They are half the size of your typical soup dumpling and can easily be eaten in one bite.
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    For the baked curry dish, the sauce is poured over a bed of rice and topped with an organic egg and cheddar cheese, merging multiple comfort food stars for a profoundly satisfying meal.
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