Hangover Helper: Hungarian Pancakes with Chicken Goulash at Cinamoon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Eastern Europeans know how to do hangover food right. What's a particularly fine Polish-ish contribution to the Hangover Helper pantheon? These Hungarian Pancakes with chicken goulash ($9), where hash browns meet biscuits and gravy.
It's a simple dish: two fried potato pancakes and a pot pie-ish stew to soften them. But it's simplicity done right: the pancakes are crisp on the outside and creamy within, devoid of grease and as potato-y as you'd like. Though the chicken in this "goulash" (think cream sauce before paprika stew) is a tad dry, the bechamel-thickened stew it sits in is a creamy, gravy-like dream, with bits of soft peas and carrots for textural interest.
It's the mild chicken-y stew mom would make, salty enough for you to suspect that the broth isn't exactly homemade, but a pleasure nonetheless. A request for some extra sour cream on the side is gilding the lily, but this is Polish Greenpoint. Sour cream is a food group here, and that particular lily is always gilded.
How do you eat your biscuits and gravy? Do you dip or smother? At Cinamoon they give you the best of both worlds. One potato pancake lies beneath the sea of goulash, and the other sits on top. The bottom cake becomes a hot soft mess of potato and gravy, the kind of full-bodied softness at which Eastern European cooking so excels. The top cake, floating mostly out of harm's way, stays crisp, allowing you to soften it in small bites at your own pace.
664 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)