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“Everything is homemade,” proclaims this new Sicilian spot, nestled in a thicket of Middle Eastern restaurants along Atlantic Avenue. Those looking for southern Italian specialties would do well to make this an essential stop. Everything on display behind the long counter looks fabulous—from the piles of pastries to the pastas—but go for the “Siciliana,” a particularly enticing fried calzone filled with anchovies, olives, green onions and mozzarella. Its piquant bite will leave you craving Catania’s enticing desserts.
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Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop
- $1.00 for small
If you’re looking for something quick and easy to eat while trying to catch the bus, try the meat burek (a.k.a. “meat cone”) at Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop in Cobble Hill. Curry-flavored ground lamb is wrapped in phyllo dough then deep-fried until golden. Most of the flavor comes from the ground lamb and spices. For $1, these make great snacks. Don’t worry, vegetarians – there are also cheese bureks.
Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop
195 Atlantic Ave. at Court St. (Map)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Nectar, a juice bar, also serves a great avocado and sweet potato sandwich. The combination of avocado, mashed sweet potato, sprouts, onion, jack cheese and slices of multigrain bread is enough to make any meat lover crave a vegetarian meal.
Shake Shack has appeared on many a cheap eats list throughout the years, and with good reason. Danny Meyer’s nod to fast food serves up, pound for pound, some of the best burgers in Manhattan. At Shake Shack, order a Shackburger and you’ll receive a freshly ground Pat LaFrieda blend cooked on a sizzling flattop grill. These crusty patties are paired with screamingly fresh lettuce, tomato and a “Shacksauce” that puts McDonald’s secret sauce to shame. There’s usually a line at any one of the Manhattan locations, but it’s always worth the wait.
Smoked and cured fish are the thing to get at Shelsky’s in Brooklyn, but be sure to try some of their spreads, which are available by the pound. The baked salmon salad works really well with a warm, toasty bagel; in one bite, the combination is cool, warm, crunchy and soft. The salad tastes fresh and will satisfy any salmon lover. It’s also very good hangover food.
Kim Ima of The Treats Truck may be famous for her baked goods, but at her newly opened shop in Carroll Gardens she is expanding her menu to include savory items. The one to try is the BLTA (Bacon+Lettuce+Tomato with slices of Avocado) with an egg added (for $1 more). What really makes this sandwich stand out is the optional side of house-made kimchi. That’s right, Kim Ima makes her own kimchi, and it is delicious. Put it into this sandwich and enjoy a BLTA with a spicy, tangy kick.