Mama Ghanoush

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I love Mediterranean food, and I’m pretty familiar with, specifically, Lebanese food. So, when I saw a pretty adorable Lebanese restaurant sprout up in Kips Bay, I had to visit Mama Ghanoush.

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The interior is very charming and welcoming, with, one of my favorite things in the world, an open kitchen right toward the back of this cozy space, making you feel as if you were in grandma’s kitchen. They use fresh, local ingredients and incorporate others imported straight from Lebanese villages. 

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The menu offers a lot of options from small hot and cold plates, salads, to grilled entrees. I was in the mood to sample a few things, and decided to order a platter, meant to share as an appetizer for two, as my meal. I ordered their Maza Zgheeri (hummus, baba ghanoush, labnah, tabouli, pita). This was great as a meal, or, would definitely be something to get as a starter for the table. Everything tasted fresh, and each item, uniquely flavored on its own, goes really great together as well. The hummus was creamy, topped with some deep fried chickpeas. The baba ghanoush, eggplant, had a nice smokey flavor and really great texture, allowing you to enjoy pieces of the eggplant as opposed to some pureed and whipped versions I’ve had. The tabouli was fresh and zesty and the labnah, a yogurt based dip, was creamy, light, and topped with some cucumber relish for some freshness and crunch. The pita was also excellent, served warm, pillowy and delicious. 

The Shorts:
Name: Mama Ghanoush
Location: 442 Third Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the service was great, the ambiance is charming, and the food was really good. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s a great casual spot to have some Mediterranean food, you know, just like your Lebanese mama used to make. 

The Hungry Monkey

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In my short, but sweet, stay in Newport, RI, I also go to visit neighborhood spot, The Hungry Monkey. And, if nothing else, it’s a pretty adorable name for a restaurant. Luckily, they had more than a cute name to offer.

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? And, well, lunch is pretty important too. Hell, I take all meals pretty seriously. This local, casual restaurant only serves daytime fare, breakfast and lunch, so, make sure to stop by during the day while you can. 

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For breakfast, I kept it simple and ordered the Omelette Your Way with spinach and rye toast (2 Egg omelette with one choice of filling, served with home fries and choice of toast). A simple dish, yes, but delicious. The service is great, the food comes out quickly, and the vibe is really relaxed. My favorite part was the home fries, these things were incredible. Like, some of the best home fries I’ve had. They were spicy, so, tread lightly if you’re not a spice fan, flavorful and cooked perfectly with that crispness on the outside and tender meets softness in the middle. 

The Shorts:
Name: The Hungry Monkey
Location: 124 Broadway, Newport, RI
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. Next time I’m in Newport, I’ll be back, and hitting up their Stuffed Monkey Bread French Toast. 
Would I recommend it? I’d be a monkey’s uncle (or aunt) if you went anywhere else for breakfast.