Café Mogador

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For over 30 years, Café Mogador in the East Village is serving Moroccan and Mediterranean food, morning til night. And it’s no surprise how this restaurant has stood the test of time. They’re serving tasty, authentic food at super affordable prices. 

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The vibe is extremely relaxed and casual, but you still get friendly and attentive service. Sit where you’d like, whether it’s inside their cozy, yet simple, dining room, or at their outdoor patio. 

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Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day, and they’re serving it until 4pm. I love breakfast food, so I had to take advantage. I ordered the Middle Eastern Eggs (two eggs any style with hummus, tabouli, salad and zahatar pita). I love this type of meal, it’s fresh, healthy, and substantial. Each component was delicious, the salad is chopped, with a really nice zesty citrus and oil dressing. You can really taste the fresh parsley flavor in the tabouli, and their hummus is creamy and flavorful. The zahatar pita is also amazing, served warm and pillowy with the amazing Moroccan spices. 

The Shorts:
Name: Café Mogador
Location: 101 Saint Marks Place, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Well, I’ve been going for years, and I don’t plan on slowing down now. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s in the heart of the East Village, and the perfect spot to grab a casual meal or snack at any time of day. I also recommend trying their famous tagines.

Telepan Local

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On the quiet path of Greenwich Street, keep your eyes peeled for the unassuming door and entrance that lead to Telepan Local in TriBeCa, because you won’t want to miss it. This restaurant has a really lovely aesthetic, clean, a little woodsy with an emphasis on unique, liberally placed mirrors. Food wise, the restaurant’s focus is on American style, small plates, locally sourced and seasonal food. 

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The great thing about small plates, is that it allows you to try a bunch of things during one dining experience. The first thing I tried was the Asparagus and Ramps (lemon ricotta and sorrel). This was really nice, the vegetables almost take on a savory flavor, similar to that found in an Asian dish. To offset that a bit, the lemon ricotta is creamy, almost yogurt like, and has a bit of that zest from the lemon. 

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Next, I had the Shaved Artichokes (faro and fried parsley). I really liked this one. The artichoke had a nice citrus flavor, and the faro was tender. The fried parsley was great too, it added a nice, light crispness and airy crunch to the chew and meatiness of the faro. 

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Then, I had the Grilled Octopus (red wine and almonds). I loved this one, the octopus was savory, tender and had this great char on the outside. The leaves here are lightly dressed, and have a nice vinegary bite from the pickled red onions. Then, you have the rich creaminess of the almond sauce with little bits of crunch from some added chopped almonds. 

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After that, we had the Sourdough Pizzette (fried calamari ‘marinara’ and romano). I really enjoyed this one too. The top of the dough almost has a creaminess to it, but then a great crunch around the edges and bottom. The calamari is a little on the bland side, but, the texture was a nice contrast with that of the creaminess and crunch of the pizza, and the sharp flavor of the cheese. 

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Of course, I had to get dessert too. I had the Apple Pie Sundae (deconstructed apple pie, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, apple pie filling). This was the perfect ending to this great meal. The ice cream is creamy and rich, I especially liked the cinnamon, and really adds to the apple pie filling and caramel, letting you feel like you’re having an apple pie a la mode. It’s also confected with these little crunchy bits, similar to a sugar crusted dough, that adds a nice little crunch to the dish. 

The Shorts:
Name: Telepan Local
Location: 329 Greenwich Street
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, there are lots of other delicious sounding plates that I’d really like to try. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, the octopus and sundae were so great, I’d come back just for those.