Lately I’ve been reflecting on my favorite places to eat in NYC, and very few of them are fancy restaurants. One of my absolute favorites is Brighton Bazaar, a Russian supermarket smack dab in the middle of Brighton Beach. It’s not the groceries I go for, though, it’s the huge hot & cold buffet in the center of the store. The pickles are amazing, as are the marinated mushrooms. On the hot side you have some of the best potato pancakes in the city. But my absolute favorite thing to get are the blintzes (note: sometimes they’re labeled as blinis), thin crepes wrapped around a variety of sweet & savory fillings. And my favorite kind of blintzes to get are the ones filled with an unlikely but magical mix of poppy seeds and nuts. The poppy seeds are mixed with a sugary syrup, and each individual seed seems to be coated with the stuff. Sure, the sweet “pot cheese” (a fresh farmer’s cheese) variety, with raisins, are great too, but the poppy seed ones are something special. If you’re in the neighborhood do yourself a favor and load up with a dozen or so. Sure, you pay by weight, but the rates are reasonable. And anyway, how much is it worth to you to find something new to love?
Brighton Bazaar — 1007 Brighton Beach Ave