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Since 1904, they've been serving up traditional Sicilian specialties like Vestedda (a sandwich consisting of spleen, ricotta, and grated cheese on a fresh baked roll) and Pasta con Sarde (pasta served with sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts and raisins), as well as the best and biggest rice balls, or Arancina, you'll find anywhere in New York. Filled with spicy chopped meat, peas and just a touch of sauce, it'll set you back a mere $3.50, or $6.50 if you opt for the far more decadent Arancina Special, which is smothered in cheese and tomato sauce.
As soon as you walk through the door, you feel like you're having an important experience, stealing a glimpse of the Old Brooklyn it's becoming increasingly difficult to find and, in some circles, increasingly frowned upon to seek out: for the most cynical and self-loathing among us, the quest for this this type of authenticity can smack of cultural tourism. For the rest of us, it's an invaluable history lesson and one of the best meals our borough has to offer.
Ferdinando's Focacceria, 151 Union Street
Old School Brooklyn: Ferdinando's Focacceria