This week, the Brighton Beach / Brighton 6 Street B stop
It’s a long ride on the B to Brighton Beach, but not as long as the Airbus to Odessa. Once you descend the El steps, you’re in what amounts to another country; hardly anyone is speaking English. The subway roars above your head as you walk down the avenue past Brighton 4th, Brighton 3rd, and Brighton 2nd, but no matter: You’re on your way to Taste of Russia.
The long, narrow appetizing store isn't very tourist-friendly. The signs are in Russian, and most of the prepared foods are not easy to recognize. But they are almost always fantastic. A thick piece of roast salmon, as clean and delicate as sashimi and stuffed with light, dill-fragrant cheese, sits in one corner; another one displays a flattened panko-covered quarter-chicken, its tender meat barely held together by the brittle crust. Just as you're eyeing the garlic-and-dill slab bacon, freshly made pickles, an assortment of pirozhki, and enormous fried dumplings packed with pork or eggs or cabbage come into view. Everything's so cheap that you can buy whatever you want. Once you do, consume the bounty the Brighton way: on the boardwalk.
Taste of Russia, 219 Brighton Beach Ave., at Brighton 1st St., Brighton Beach, Brooklyn; 718-648-2583