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« Reviewed: Zavo | Main | Houston: Where to eat and drink »
Friday
Dec212018

The Best Menu Items At: Lagman House

Restaurant: Lagman House

  • Cuisine: Dungan
  • Location: 2612 E. 14th St. - Brooklyn 11235  
  • Pricing: $
  • Reservations? Yes, click here
  • Why go? Off-the-beaten path/transporting culinary experience
  • Good to know: BYOB - Halal-friendly  

...

One of the top five reasons I love living in NYC is that, within minutes, I can literally be transported to another part of the world via the cuisine of a respective neighborhood.  Case in point, Lagman House, a cozy Central Asian gem located in Sheepshead Bay (Brooklyn), which specializes in the food of the Dungans, Chinese Muslims who fled China in the late 19th century and settled in what is today Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (and, most recently, Brooklyn).  Located merely steps from the Q train stop, Lagman House is a sizable establishment featuring a casual atmosphere and knowledgeable table/waiter service. 

Because of Central Asia's unique juxtaposition of cultures and geography, the Lagman House's tri-folded paper menu reads in both English and Russian, with the following FYI for its Muslim/practicing patrons, "We only use Halal meat."  It took me a while to decide what I wanted to sample, for the menu is generous, very well proportioned by course, and filled with an abundance of intrigue-provoking options.  I decided that, since it took me a little over an hour to get from my apartment to the restaurant, I would take my time and enjoy the entire experience (which also included making my holiday cards list for my annual distribution via Paperless Post), begining with a glass of kompot (Slavic fruit punch).  

While everything that I tasted at Lagman House was flavorful and visibly handmade with love and care, I had two undeniable favorites:

Dungan Style Samsa

Most of us have had our fair share of empanadas and samosas, but I'm willing to bet that almost none of you have ever had a samsa (unless you're in/traveled extensively thgough China, where Dungan cuisine is quite popular)! 

Sauteed white onions and strips of beef - plus the savory gravy in which they bathe - are enveloped by the most buttery of pastry doughs and deep fried.  A single order comes with two samsas and is accompanied by a very secondary (read unnecessary) tomato sauce for dipping. 

I have never tasted a more flaky, mulit-layered dough that wasn't made with lard (Muslims do not eat pork products).  Unlike its distant cousins (empanadas, samosas), the samsa is almost a meal in itself!

.

Thon Lamian

Nothing suits this blustery time of year in NYC better than a warm bowl of soup.  With a perfectly seasoned and mildly-spicy homemade beef + vegetable broth.  And a mound of thick, hand-pulled noodles, strips of beef, and a melange of vegetables. 

What I particularly enjoyed and found unique about this famous Dungan soup, aside from those homemade noodles, was the fact that the vegetables included bell peppers, onions, garlic bulbs, and green beans; not the typical assortment you see in a ramen or a stew.

.

I know what you're thinking: Is Lagman House destination-worthy from the outer boroughs?  Yes, absolutely.  If not for the samsa, alone, this is the only restaurant in the entire country that serves Dungan cuisine.  The chef is the owner's wife and mother of five (four of whom work in the restaurant, as needed) who, by the way, does not look a day over twenty-five. 

Come out and support this beautiful and delicious success story of the quintessential American dream!  

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

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