No. 16: Burek at Gazala Place


No, those aren’t ants on top of chef Gazala Habibi’s flaky burek! They’re black sesame seeds.

Heart of the menu — though not listed on it — at Hell’s Kitchen Druze café Gazala Place is the humble burek. This meal-in-your-hand is prominently displayed in the front window, so you don’t really need to see it on the menu.

Made with a Middle Eastern variant of phyllo (or filo) called yufka, the burek comes with a choice of several different stuffings: feta, feta and spinach, feta and sun-dried tomatoes, among them. The bureks are much bigger than their empanada cousins, and one makes a good meal, especially if you get a side of babaganoush to go with it.

Bureks are common to Balkan, Russian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cusines, and the name may be styled in English a half dozen different ways (burek, boureka, borek, etc.). Any way you spell it, bureks are fundamental and delectable.

Gazala Place
709 Ninth Avenue

100 Days/100 Dishes is an almost-random alphabetical collection of delicious dishes from around the five boroughs. See the entire series so far.

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