By Chef Shawn Burnette
About Chef Shawn Burnette
Chef Shawn Burnette has taken over the Brooklyn kitchens of Putnam's Pub & Cooker and Circa Brewing Co. His menu at Putnam is a contemporary approach to Irish fare with dishes like Braised Lamb, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Steak & Potatoes. At Circa, Burnette works with the brewery to integrate dishes that reflect their collaboration and expand their focus on craft pizzas.
Chef Burnette began his career in Richmond, VA and has worked with well-respected chefs like Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady's, April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and Mark Ladner of Del Posto.
With Shawn's guide you can travel to four of NYC's boroughs and cross the world eating Middle Eastern Labneh, Mexican tacos, American barbecued ribs, Ethiopian flatbread, and Aussie hangover food.
CHEF SHAWN BURNETTE'S
GLOBAL NYC GUIDE
MIDDLE EASTERN | Glasserie
This is the first place I think of for any sort of ethnic food in New York City. It's Middle Eastern with a heavy bent toward Israeli. It's way out on the tip of Greenpoint and I would walk a mile uphill in the snow to eat here.
They consistently serve some of most innovative and exciting food you will ever have in New York City. The only thing more visually striking than the plating and colors of the food is the restaurant design. Built in a 160-year old glass factory it feels like it has been here forever. The Griddle Bread, Labneh, Harissa Rabbit & Kohlrabi Tacos, and the Pickled Beets with Bulgarian Feta are so inspired.
95 Commercial Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222
MEXICAN | Los Hermanos
Housed in a converted, unassuming garage in Bushwick, the spot is BYOB, but there's a great craft beer, make-your-own-six-pack store on the same block. Los Hermanos is actually a working tortilla factory with some of the best tacos I have ever eaten and they're filled with the freshest ingredients. Obviously the tortillas are pretty good. It feels like a family business and sitting in the courtyard with friends on a spring evening is perfect. If you're eating on a budget, this is my first choice.
271 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237
SOUL | Sam's Soul Food
It takes a great deal to impress me with Southern food. I've had the best and Sam's stands up to anything I've had -- oh dear lord, it's good. Order the oxtail because words can't describe it. Everything comes with their divine cornbread. Here is my pro tip: I always ask if they have any cornbread that hasn't been cut so I can get a corner piece.
The BBQ chicken, smoked BBQ ribs, and meatloaf are all without an equal in this city. For a Southern boy missing home, this is the place. The employees are some of the nicest people I have ever met. It is a long trip from Williamsburg for me, but I am always happy to make a day of it.
598 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
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ETHIOPIAN | Queen of Sheba
For gathering friends and starting conversations, there isn't anything better than Ethiopian food. Queen of Sheba is good enough to get me to come over to the big island of Manhattan. I've never had anything other than the sampler plate and you won't need anything else. You would be amazed at what conversations come up as you sit on the floor with your friends while eating with your hands. They have the best Injera (flatbread) on the planet, at least that I've ever had.
650 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
AUSTRALIAN | The Thirsty Koala
I'm not much for brunch and don't know anything about Australian food, but I was dragged here by a friend and I will be forever grateful. It is a cool place to hang out with friends over a pitcher of beer and in good weather you can sit outside. Every dish I've had has been tasty and, seriously, whoever came up with Corn and Jalapeño Fritters Benedict needs to be praised. It's a great spot for a Sunday morning when you are recovering from a late Saturday night.
35-12 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, NY 11105
Cover photograph courtesy of Glasserie.
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