The Early Word--Gialeti's Cafe
Gialeti's Café in Windsor Terrace/South Park Slope, Brooklyn, opened about a month ago. It's a small, sunny operation on a block that can use some good cheap eats. The café is owned by two women--Gia and Lety, get it?--who bake pastries, make salads, sandwiches, soups and crepes. There must also be a woman named Mona in the mix somewhere, because the Middle Eastern "tasting menu" is listed as homemade by Mona. The café offers a hodgepodge of Italian, Middle Eastern and straight coffee shop foods, and although the dishes I sampled didn't blow me away, it all tasted very fresh and homemade in a way that can't be faked.
Mona's Middle Eastern tasting plate is shown above (I took it to go). It includes your choice of 5 salads for $7.50. Best of those dishes by far is the stuffed cabbage--tender cabbage wrapped around juicy, well-seasoned ground beef. You can get three pieces of this plus a slab of polenta for $5. That's what I'd do if I stopped by again. The other salads--red cabbage, chickpea, tabbouleh, tzatziki--are just fine, but unremarkable.
Leti's homemade caramel-pistachio wafer looked very exciting (I love those junky cream-filled wafers), but sadly my wafer was stale, although the caramel and pistachio filling is delicious.
1658 Eighth Avenue (at Prospect), Brooklyn