I think of Kebeer as one of my favorite restaurants in Brighton Beach, despite the fact that I’ve only been there once. So last week, hungover and in a bad mood, I decided to head back out there to stuff myself with calorie-laden Russian food to see if the food held up to my memories of it. I knew I wanted to soak up the remaining alcohol in my system, so I ordered something called khachapuri. Khachapuri is what happens when you use butter to cook cheese inside of a phyllo crust. At Kebeer it’s flat like a stuffed pizza, but I’ve also seen it served as a kind of bread boat filled with butter and cheese. In any case it was a salty, rich, and buttery gut bomb that was just perfect for my mood. To cut the richness I also got a plate of assorted pickles, which I had gotten the last time I was at Kebeer. The plate includes a hunk of sharp pickled cabbage, both sweet and sour cucumber pickles, mushy pickled red tomatoes, and (my favorite) crisp and acidic pickled green tomatoes. All of them go well with some of the dense black bread you can order for a few extra dollars. By the end of my meal, complete with a half-liter of dark beer, I was full and feeling better. That’s part of the magic of Eastern European food — for me, at least, it hits me right in the comfort-food-zone.
Kebeer — 1003 Brighton Beach Ave