In our “Grow” issue, we profile Barbara Turk, Mayor de Blasio’s director of food policy, in her kitchen. Here, she opens up on her go-to food spots in the city.
I started eating here in 2002 or 2003, when I worked at the YWCA. Now I meet friends for dinner there all the time. It passes muster with my friend Louise, who is from Los Angeles and has views about what is good Mexican food and what is not.
Formerly Moustache. I think it may have had another name when it opened in 1989. It is family-owned. It was the first restaurant or takeout place to open in my neighborhood that was open after 7:00 p.m. No matter what they call it, when we say “let’s go to The Boys,” that means BT. Always fresh, and the homemade pita is delicious.
My friends Kim and Esther introduced me to Chuko when they lived in Prospect Heights and it first opened. Susan, who works there, asked me if it was my first time and I said yes. She brought out a beautiful, steaming bowl of ramen noodles in vegetable broth. She said it was made with love, and she meant it. Even though it is now really hard to get in, I leave feeling nourished in every way.
Very important. It is where I meet people for breakfast meetings.
Also a relatively new addition to the neighborhood. It has a neighborhood pub feel. I watch World Cup games there. I talk to Carrie, who is kind and witty and has worked there for a long time now. For a while, there was a Carrie Burger on the menu, made with lentils, with pesto and blue cheese. What could be bad? You can still get it if you ask.
Charlie Sahadi just announced his retirement after 52 years, and he’s passing on the business to his son, just like Charlie’s father passed the business on to him. Thank God. This would also be a good time to mention that Jesse’s around the corner on Atlantic has been my dependable daily go-to for this and that for the last 30 years. Support local businesses.