A Taste of Home at DeKalb Market

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I can't remember the last time I felt homesick.

When I moved to New York six years ago, a happy confluence of circumstances made the supposedly Big Bad Apple feel just like home very quickly. Not long after I left the Philippines, my family migrated to the West Coast, so their house in Seattle felt more like home than the empty structure that was left behind in Makati. New York also happened to be filled with people I grew up with—so there was no shortage of folks who shared my silly Pinoy humor (the pusit-opposite joke doesn't translate), understood that an Ateneo-La Salle basketball final was an event of national concern, and agreed that spam, egg, and garlic rice is a legitimate (and delicious) meal.

That I could not only find people who understood my taste in food but also a profusion of places from which to procure the aforementioned food made the transition from Manileño to Nueva Yorkino much easier. I've lived in a place where the only way to get Filipino food is to cook it yourself (looking at you, Stuttgart, with your groceries that are not only devoid of fish sauce but also promptly shuttered at a very hangover-inconsiderate 3pm on a Saturday). But here in my new home in Brooklyn, weekend hangovers can easily be remedied with a stroll to Dekalb Market, where Filipino food phenom Maharlika provides the perfect antidote to last night's sins: juicy, flavorful beef tapa and garlic rice—with plenty of spicy, garlicky vinegar to boot!

They even have a fabulous longganiza on a bun, which gives me cause to swoon. Charred on a grill and topped with bagoong-spiked mayo and pickled carrots, it brings back memories of drunken stumbles through Boracay's white sands with longga burger in hand—but it also holds its own as a fusion dog to rival all the fancy mongrels the city has to offer.

It's easy to while away a day at Dekalb Market, with its quirky shops, profusion of good food and cheap booze, and sun-soaked picnic tables.

Dekalb Market could well be my home away from home all summer ... as long as the tapa and longganiza keeps coming!

Dekalb Market is located at 138 Willoughby Street (at Flatbush Ave) in Downtown Brooklyn, New York.

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  1. I know what you mean! :) I am in Canada and I miss Filipino food already two days after arriving.

    PS: What camera are you using? :) If I may ask.

    1. Just a few days without rice and I'm running to the nearest takeout! But I'm sure the trip to Canada is worth a tiny bit of rice depravation hehe!

      I've been taking all my pictures with my iPhone 4s. The camera is amazing!