Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home Cooking Slovak Food at Milan's

One of the things I like about running the website for Sunset Park is that I get to explore the neighborhood in all it's corners. After having done so for the last ten years I am amazed how every day there is a new discovery. Since Sunset Park has had an explosion of eateries and restaurants it's only fair that we should write about them as well. This will be the first of many, I hope.

Milan's owner Milan Franko

I first stumbled on Milan's Restaurant a year ago when I included their page on my website. By all accounts it is the only Slovak Restaurant in the borough of Brooklyn. Yesterday I finally got a chance to try some of their food. Milan's is owned and operated by Milan Franko and his wife Miloslava who is also a professional chef who runs the kitchen and as Milan claims is the real boss. Milan and his wife emigrated to the US from Slovakia in 1991. His story is what is typical of hard working immigrants to this country who work hard at achieving their dreams. Coming from a family of chefs and restaurateurs it was always Milan's dream to open a restaurant of his own. Milan's opened it's doors 11 years ago. It wasn't long before they got rave reviews by the New York Times food critics. The restaurant is very functional and spartan. Their menu is eclectic and features dishes from Slovakia, Czech and Poland. Like most of the region one can find the same dishes across borders with some variations in the recipes.

Hungarian Goulash

The dish I had was Hungarian Goulash and potato pancakes. The Goulash was excellent to my taste buds. Now I am not a connoisseur of food, I just know what tastes good and if I like something. Milan's also serves Czech Pilsner beers on tap such as Staropramen, Urquel and Krusovice. All of them put Budweiser to shame and make it seem bland by comparison. I also had a taste of Slovak pasta with sheep cottage cheese topped of with some bacon. All in all I enjoyed the meal and liked hearing Milan's story of trying to make it in Sunset Park. The place has a homey atmosphere and the dishes seem more like home cooking than some cookie cutter kind of fare one gets in fast food places. The menu is reasonably priced and if you like East European food it's the place to go. Much of Sunset park is undiscovered territory by Sunset Parkers, not to mention our neighbors to the north and south. You should give Milan's a visit and try the food. After all, how often do you get to eat some Slovak home cooking?

Slovak pasta with sheep's cheese.

Incidentally, it's located at 710 5th Avenue off of 22nd street.

[where: 11232]
[where: 11220]
[where: 11215]


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Anonymous said...

looks fantastic! Thanks for the post! BTW, was wondering if you know of any good greek / mediterranean restaurants in the Sunset Park area? I have been a resident of Sunset Park for over 25 years (since the age of 5) The only one I knew of closed down (used to be on 4th ave and about 40th street)

Frank said...

Absolutely check out Spartan Souvakli at the following URL.

They are located just over the border on 8th avenue and 68th street. Technically it's Dyker Heights but a lot of their customers are Sunset Parkers :-).


I've been going back to Milan's for almost 2 years now. When I lived in NY, I would always enjoy exploring Brooklyn eateries, but Milan's was love at first bite! Milan himself is simply amazing...go there more than once, and your his new friend. Be prepared to talk for a long time after eating, as he is always up for a good conversation and getting to know his customers. The food there is simple, Slovak/Czech cuisine at it's best. The potatoes are to die for!! The beer's great! I haven't had one bad experience at Milans. Even though I no longer live in NY, I find myself going back everytime I'm in the city. And everytime I walk through his doors, it's like going home.