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. 

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.