This cinnamon strudel ($6 per pound) was very moist despite being dairy-free, my dining buddy observed. Also available in poppy, chocolate, and one variety that appeared to be almost 50 percent raisins.
The map of Moldova, hanging in the cafe-like front of the restaurant, was almost comical in its lack of context. Only through diligent inspection (and some head-twisting, to read text set down at several different angles) did I confirm that the country is bordered by Ukraine to the north, east, and south, and by Romania to the west.
Rib-sticking fare, confectionary department: Mansoura's take on Turkish delight has an unusually high payload of chopped pistachios. The rosewater-scented gel that binds their loukoum, as it's also called, is firmer than most, too. This 200-plus-year-old family business — which quietly marked its 50th anniversary in Brooklyn earlier this year — makes many other specialties from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. How to choose? On this occasion, I had what many other customers were having: My quarter-pound order ($4.80, at $20 per pound) cleaned out the tray.
Mansoura Pastries 515 Kings Highway (East 2nd-East 3rd Sts.), Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn 718-645-7977 www.Mansoura.com Closed Saturday, and on Sunday in July and August
As at many Georgian shops there's a glassed-in display of assorted salads, but the focus is on the bread; the single word in Georgian script, at the center of the awning, means "bakery." And though it employs a traditional stone oven to prepare several varieties of khachapuri, the elongated bread called shoti seems to be the best-seller. A brace of shoti are pictured on the awning, and inside, behind the counter, they were racked like cordwood.
Taste of Georgia 1637 East 18th St. (Kings Highway-Quentin Rd.), Homecrest, Brooklyn 718-336-5556
If your sights were set on a DiFara slice last Saturday evening and you arrived much after 5:00 (allowing for the usual waiting time), you were plumb out of luck. (Click on the photo, or any other, for a better view.) The sum of Dom DeMarco's efforts — a score of cheese, sausage, mushroom, and pepperoni pizzas, with basil all around — were destined for a single festive Midwood residence, where they arrived shortly after the exchange of vows. (Congratulations and best wishes, Gil and Gaby!) If you'd like that sort of service yourself, I gathered from the father of the groom, it helps to be a customer of long standing; knowing the pizzaiolo for 40-some years earns you a certain amount of goodwill.
DiFara Pizza 1424 Ave. J. (at East 15th St.), Midwood, Brooklyn 718-258-1367
On my return visit to try the sahlep at Güllüoglu, on Coney Island Ave., one of the regular customers volunteered as my food stylist (a luxury; perhaps you've noticed how many of these photos feature my left hand). I saw by his outfit that he spends a lot of time in the neighborhood, and asked if he'd ever seen boza, a Turkish hot drink prepared with chickpeas, cinnamon, and sugar. He pointed me to a pair of markets, by the names of Efe and Sultan, on Ocean Ave. at Ave. W. Although those markets don't serve ready-made boza, at least they sell the mix; I'll visit them soon.
I first encountered Uncle Louie G's in Midwood; a scoop of root beer sorbet (small; $2) had a slightly bitter taste of, well, roots, but the uneven, grainy texture was certainly interesting. Another time, in Bay Ridge, lemon sorbet (shown; large; $3) was much smoother and more refreshing.
Uncle Louie G's 376 86th St., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (one of many locations) 718-724-2120