Vegetarian (and Vegan) Delights of NYC: Karisik Meze Tabagi at Village Kebab in Brighton Beach

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The karisik meze tabagi is a wild farrago of short dishes and bread dips, and everything is vegan except for the garlic-flavored yogurt and cucumber in the upper righthand corner.

There are certain types of restaurants where you can depend on getting a spectacular vegetarian meal, including Indian, Chinese, Mexican, and Italian places. Add to the list Turkish cafes, where, even though there's greasy meat turning in the window, and meaty kebabs in the glass refrigerator case, you can depend on the vegetarian dishes being the best things on the premises.

Village Kebab is a newish Turkish restaurant on Brighton Beach's main drag, and the vegetarian meze platter (which looks like a Matisse landscape) is a wonderful combination of salads and bread dips, served with a fine puffy round homemade loaf of bread that marries well with all of them.

In the above picture, starting at the upper lefthand corner and going clockwise, find the following dishes: tabouleh, soslu patlican (fried eggplant, garlic, tomato sauce), garlicky yogurt with cucumber and dill, patlican salatasi (paste of eggplant, garlic, and parsley), hummus, piyaz (navy bean salad), acili ezme (red-pepper dip with walnuts), and patlican ezmesi (aka baba ganoush) in the middle. Note the made passion of Turks for anything eggplant.

A large serving of karisik meze tabagi, more than enough for one person, is $8; a humongous serving, enough for two or three, is $13. 1111 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-934-1350

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The doner may be on the awning, but the vegetarian meze rule at Village Kebab.

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