Last year, a friend (my comrade in organ meat-eating) discovered a community of Bukharian Jews in Rego Park. Fascinating history, but for now, far more interesting was his description of the food. Two words: lamb fat. Rego Park’s just a short distance from Flushing, so on day two we set off in search of skewered lamb fat.
My research revealed a bunch of Bukharian restaurants in the neighborhood, but the big, bold letters of Cheburechnaya drew us in. As did the skewers of meat and more in the showcases. We tried some lagman (a tomato-based soup with housemade noodles, sliced lamb, and vegetables), samcy (like a pie with lamb meat and onions; unfortunately, they were out of the bone-in ones) cheburek (dare I call this a crispy knish?), which were all okay, but then the kebabs were a-coming.
Highlights were the veal sweetbread and lamb fat skewers. My partner was only willing to sample a bite of each, so needless to say, I got my cholesterol-laden share. The sweetbreads weren’t as tender as I’d hoped, but they were quite tasty with an interesting texture. As for the lamb fat, let’s just say they were, well, fatty. Great caramelization on the outside made for crispy entry, but once inside, nothing but soft and sweet fat—with the raw onion a perfect counterpoint. I couldn’t help but finish the plate. When’s the next time I’m going to order raw fat?
Well, maybe the next time I’m in Rego Park. Though the lamb testicles might be next on the to-do list!