Tania’s Kitchen

Instagram Post 6/2/2019

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If you’ve never tried Haitian food, whatever are you waiting for? Some of the best I’ve tasted comes from Tania’s Kitchen, a family owned catering and pop-up business that operated a booth at the 2019 World’s Fare a couple of weeks ago in Flushing and they were one of my favorite vendors.

You’re looking at Diri Djon Djon (black rice that gets its color from dried black mushrooms, a Haitian specialty), Banan Peze (fried plantains), Pikliz (pronounced Pick-leez, spicy pickled cabbage), and up top, delicious Griot (incredible deep fried pork) and Kodenn Fri (equally incredible deep fried turkey). It isn’t easy to make meat so tender and so crispy at the same time, so mèsi anpil to the talented chef!

What’s that? You missed the World’s Fare? No problem because you can find them at the Queen’s Night Market this summer. Check out taniaskitchen.nyc for their schedule, then head to the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Saturdays from 5pm to midnight. Bon manje!

Kreyol Flavor

Instagram Post 4/17/2019

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The early bird just might not get the worm. Or much else to eat for that matter. Timing is everything, they say: at certain restaurants and events, if you arrive too early, you’ll hear, “It’s not ready yet!”; arrive too late and the good stuff is gone. The former was the case at Kreyol Flavor, 8221 Flatlands Ave, Brooklyn. A friend of mine who knows Haitian food and the fact that I love the stuff suggested I give this mini chain (three locations) a try, so I was pleased that on a trek through Canarsie in search of Caribbean and African food, this venue made the list curated by my itinerary guide/dining buddy.

What we were able to snag was a pair of smoked herring patties that were flaky to the extreme and equally tasty. There’s another location closer to home that I’m looking forward to scoping out soon – when I can join a famished flock’s feeding frenzy.

The World’s Fare – Chiktay

Instagram Post 5/3/2018

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“Chictay” read the sign. The word was unfamiliar to me so naturally I was compelled to try the dish, and it was delicious. The salad of herbaceous shredded smoked herring served with crudités and crackers disappeared in no time and since I didn’t buy an extra portion to take home, I realized that I needed to hunt down a recipe for domestic execution. I learned that chiktay, Kreyol for the French chiquetaille from the word déchiqueter, to shred, is commonly made from smoked herring (aran so) or salt cod (morue) so now I have two kitchen challenges ahead.
The chiktay aran so was served under the banner of Abundance Food – Manmi Dju Dju, a Brooklyn based company that makes Haitian seasonings and marinades, at The World’s Fare in Queens this past weekend and was a perfect example of lesser known (to some!) ethnic food deserving of more recognition. Smokin’!

Kafe Louverture

Instagram Post 3/11/2018

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A quick visit to Kafe Louverture, 392 Halsey St, near Marcus Garvey Blvd, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn yielded these two hot and fresh hand-rolled Haitian patties: salted cod (morue, my favorite) and vegetable. Not to be confused with denser Jamaican patties, these bbs were delicate, flaky and satisfying. Kicked up with a splash of hot sauce, they got my day started with a bang.

Be sure to check out the artwork while you’re there, much of which is for sale. Gotta go back for a deeper dive into the menu!