Jack’s Wife Freda

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When restaurants are first come first serve, I usually don’t have the patience to wait very long when there’s a massive line. However, after a few years of this mentality, and meaning to try Jack’s Wife Freda, I finally took the plunge, and waited for brunch at their SoHo location. Seating is limited, as it’s a smaller, cozy restaurant, but they recently opened a second location, so, I figured that might take away a bit of the wait. Nope. This American-Mediterranean restaurant must be doing something right.

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To drink, I ordered their Cantaloupe Mimosa. I dislike traditional mimosas, since, I’m not a big orange juice fan. But, when someone can offer a good alternative, I’m on board. Why hasn’t anyone been offering a cantaloupe mimosa anywhere else? I really loved it, and it tasted just how you’d imagine, like champagne and cantaloupe, which, is delicious. 

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For my meal, I had the Mediterranean Breakfast (2 eggs any style, chopped salad, labne, avocado and pita bread). I love a Mediterranean Breakfast, and really enjoyed this one. It’s a pretty simple dish, but everything was prepared really nicely, and I especially liked the chopped salad, which had a really nice, clean flavor with a hint of citrus to add a little zing. 

The Shorts:
Name: Jack’s Wife Freda
Location: 224 Lafayette Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, but since I’ve already experienced the great wait, that is brunch, I’d love to go back to check out their dinner. 
Would I recommend it? If you’re going for brunch, like most places, unless you’re willing to wait 40mins-an hour, I’d show up on the earlier side or later side to avoid some of that waiting time. But, the vibe is really cozy, the service is great, and the food is really tasty. 

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.