Cafe Kashkar / by Nicholas Doyle

Deep down in the belly of Brooklyn, minutes from the water of Brighton Beach, lies a lone outpost of Uyghur Cuisine, the food from Xinjiang region of China along the border of Kazakstan.

Cafe Kashkar is named for the city of Kashgar, the westernmost city in China, just before the borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It sits directly on the ancient Silk Road, making it a literal cultural crossroad from the far east of China to the world of the Turks and beyond.

I didn’t know all that at the time, so I missed out on the dish that most prominently displays that connection, Lagman. It’s a dish of hand pulled noodles topped with spicy lamb that for some reason is hidden under the “soup” heading on Kashkar’s unintuitive menu.

But don’t let the confusing menu or far-flung location stop you from adventuring out there. The food is amazing and transporting. Plus, you can always take a dip in the atlantic in the warmer months.