Somewhere in the world there may be a train line that covers more gastronomic territory than the B and V subway lines, which start in southernmost Brooklyn and end deep in Queens, but if there is, we don’t know about it. For the next twenty-odd weeks, we’ll be riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway.
This week: The Sheepshead Bay B Stop
Once you descend the dark, rusty steps from the B train onto Sheepshead Bay Road, hang a right and walk two blocks, past a tanning salon and Anatolian Gyro, one of the city’s better döner-kebab spots. Press on and you’ll hit 17th, finding yourself one left turn and a few hundred feet from Avenue Z’s greatest prize, Tamada.
A small but merry Georgian restaurant specializing in the taste of the Caucasus mountains, we’ve been on to Tamada since it opened some months ago (The Voice’s tireless Robert Sietsema covered the place just last week.) The door is heavy, so it’s surprising to see how casual it is inside; tinkly music plays, and there are kids everywhere. The food, though, is adult strength, from the khinkali, unctuous mixed pork-and-veal dumplings, two of which could paralyze an ordinary man, to the “lamb pastrami,” its gamey flavor tamed, barely, by the pepper and hot spices coating it. Any Georgian place has to be judged by its kebabs. Here they benefit from high-heat charcoal, which leaves them gorgeously blackened but moist within. Once you stumble out, you’ll need that seat on the train.
Tamada, 1724 Ave. Z, at 17th St., Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; 718-769-2909 (map).
Photo: Melissa Hom
Chicken Tabaka: Crispy!Photo: Melissa Hom