A new addition to the shipping container market at 867 Broadway is serving up vegan variations on a rich Middle Eastern culinary tradition. The business is the first of its kind in North Brooklyn, and the food is versatile and satisfying enough to appeal to anyone, from the discerning veteran foodie to the passerby in search of a quick bite for a couple of bucks.
The newest addition to the alleyway that houses the used book store Better Read Than Dead and Rebel Rouser records, the business, which held its soft opening this past weekend, is tucked just inside the entrance to the alleyway in space formerly occupied by Rollgate Skates skate shop.
The name of the new space is not yet finalized, though past patrons of the business may remember it as Star City Foods from local pop ups such as the Vegan Shop Up. Possible names include Cafe Zarathustra and an homage to the California hardcore band Vegan Reich.
The menu, which is adapted from the family recipes of the businesses’ Iranian-American proprietor, will regularly feature several slow-cooked “khoresh,” or curry-like stews, in addition to daily specials: the current menu includes Bhagali Ghatoush, a dill and lima bean khoresh traditionally made with eggs, and Fesenjoon, a hearty, tangy khoresh made with pomegranate and walnut that’s often served with chicken or duck (replaced here with house made seitan). Most items currently go for $7 or less, and drink options will include coffee, tea, and club mate.
The specials will include both Persian dishes and vegan versions of food from other cuisines: on Saturday, sweet-savory Liege waffles served with strawberry compote filled the alley with a delicious breakfast aroma, and in the future, traditionally meat and butter-heavy Georgian food will make an appearance.
“Persian food is all about delicious extremes,” explained the gentleman at the window on Sunday evening, describing khoresh made with quince and sour plum, flavors which many Americans are unused to tasting in a savory context.
The business owners would like to eventually expand to be open 24 hours a day and to offer delivery, but are currently planning to be open 5pm-12am Monday thru Friday and from noon until late night on Saturday and Sunday (check the businesses’ Facebook page before heading over).
Check it out—and bon appetit!