KØD

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Burgers. Super American, right? Well, they’ve got them all over Brazil, you can find them at many luncheonettes, but, there really aren’t any stand-alone burger joints. Now, in Vila Magdalene, Sao Paulo, you can go to newly opened KOD Burgers, and I went on the opening night.

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This quick serve restaurant focus on all homemade ingredients, without frills. The menu will change occasionally from day to day, depending on what ingredients are in play that day. Vegetarians and vegans can also dine in with at least one veggie option every day.

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Since I don’t eat meat, I went for their vegetarian option that day, the Chick Chick (Burger vegano de grão-de-bico, tofu e curry). Now, the group I went with all had the beef burgers and loved them. So, I have to think they’re doing something right. However, I didn’t really love my veggie burger as much. I can respect the fact that it’s all made in house, using fresh and local ingredients. And, since it isn’t the only variation of veggie burgers that they offer (although it was that night), they might have tastier options to be tried. 

The Shorts:
Name: KØD
Location: Rua Mourato Coelho 1134 São Paulo, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Personally, might not be my spot.
Would I recommend it? For meat eaters and burger enthusiasts, yes. There was a lot of positive feedback on the beef patties. 

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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.