I'm not the kind of person who'd be labeled as "the life of the party"; I'm more like the person who stands in the corner and looks lost or confused. So to shoot myself up the ranks without gaining any social acuity, I bring out the big guns: Georgian cheesy bread, aka khachapuri.
- One loaf is the size of...a whole buttload of quarters.
- This one had congealed a bit before we dug in. Still tasty, though.
Georgian Bread in Brighton Beach is a small bakery well known for their imeruli khachapuri ($6), a large, flat round of soft, slightly chewy and crusty bread filled with a mixture of cheese, egg, and butter. Buy at least two of them: one to tear into right away (preferably shared with at least three other friends, who will subsequently loooove youuuu) when it's fresh out of the oven, and one to eat later at home.
...Or to bring to a oven-equipped party where people will fawn over your contribution of warm, soft, curd-y (not so much gooey), salty cheese wrapped in carbs. Those people may not remember your name, but they will remember the khachapuri.
- Get a behind-the-scenes look at Georgian Bread in this video from Chow.
I only bought two loaves (if that is the correct khachapuri unit) during my last visit to bring to two parties; on retrospect I should've bought more, considering how rarely I go to Brighton Beach. They reheat well and, I'm guessing, would freeze fine. Don't just buy two of 'em; buy...four. Or five. Yup, that should do it. Just make sure to hold the loaves horizontally when it's still hot or all the cheese may gloop to one side.
You may remember khachapuri from my post about Pirosmani, a Georgian restaurant that makes three kinds of khachapuri (among lots of other Georgian dishes). Their breadstuffs are all very good, but their imeruli khachapuri almost looks anemic compared to Georgian Bread's.
Another option for satisfying a khachapuri craving: make it yourself. (I keep forgetting this option exists. Is that what my kitchen is for? Oh yeah.) Here's a recipe that looks promising and fairly simple.
(Many thanks to Noah for introducing me to Georgian Bread!)
265 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235 (map)