4924 8th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11220
Cliche-avoidance-be-damned, Sunset Park is a treasure trove. We at Smart Getaways actively encourage readers to get out of Manhattan to experience the best restaurants New York has to offer, and you sure don’t have to go as far as Flushing or Sunset Park to find great eats, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Asian food in both neighborhoods is often comparable to the real thing – we should know: we’ve had it – and together they comprise one of the best reasons to visit NYC in the first place.
“We get it. What about the food?!”
Alright, let’s talk about the food.
Metro Cafe is just one of many excellent Chinese restaurants, and like many truly authentic restaurants it specializes in regional cuisine – the region being Sichuan. You can’t go wrong with one of the “hits” like water-boiled beef (a woefully inadequate translation for a succulent hot-oil stew with cabbage and braised beef) or hot pepper chicken (served dry, with pepper flakes and basil).
But when you’re dealing with a real chef, it’s often exciting to follow him/her down the rabbit hole a bit for something truly different/regional/challenging, and the chefs at Metro do wonders with fish. The hot oil fish stew (my own translation) is buttery, tender, and suffused with aroma.
Metro also does a baked whole fish in a casserole. Whenever you see the kitchen staff chowing down on something during their break it’s good indication you should try it, and at metro the go to is a big whole fish in the center of the table, individual bowls of rice, and an unsentimental race to dismantle the centerpiece.
Metro serves excellent noodles as well, though if I were craving noodles alone I’d go down the street to Yunnan Flavor Garden. And here is the rub for Sunset Park – the bar is set so high here that within blocks you can find 3 or 4 spots worthy of inclusion in the “best restaurants” series. This is not an omnibus directory, though – it’s just a sampling to get you going in the right direction. Stop by Sunset Park, visit the metro, stroll down the street to Ten Ren tea shop, and experience everything along the way.