September 5, 2009

A Day at Brighton Beach

There's no better way to round off the end of summer than to take one last visit to the beach. In this instance, we forsook the flashy lights and semi-dilapidated rides of Coney Island for a small exploration around the Russian community at Brighton Beach.

I tagged along as part of a larger group, casually spurred by an interest in the area and guided by our trusty iphones/blackberries. We stopped at the beach first for a dip in the water. You can find photos of that elsewhere, but it just looks like a regular beach. Sand, water, and people wearing less clothing than they probably should. You can form your own mental image.

Our first stop was at M.I. International Foods, which had a huge selection of European goods. We sampled a Russian babka-type chocolate cake with a fluffier, lighter, but also blander taste, some salted ham, and this Tarragon drink that tasted like fizzy licorice.

We also split a $5 bag of chad roe, which is the egg sac of well, chad. It's the first step before caviar, apparently. It was probably the saltiest thing I've put into my mouth, ever. Maybe I'm not cut out for caviar after all.

At our next stop, I tried butterfish and a Russian "dessert" (?) called Karum. It's like a block of cream cheese covered in chocolate. I don't think your life will be incomplete if you miss out on this experience.

Dinner will speak for itself in pictures:

The night ended with a few rounds of Bat Hunter on a playground, followed by some long chats and drinks on the beach. Not a bad way to spend a day away from the city.

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