'middle eastern' on Serious Eats

Hearty Fare at Yemen Café—No Lamb Required

Yemen Café's ambience recalls that of a cafeteria—the bare tables are dominated by families whose gigging toddlers race around the dining room, and the ice water and sweet mint tea are self-service. The casual atmosphere makes it that much easier to focus on the food here, which is soulful, delicious, and a great bargain. More

Local 92 Does Great Hummus if You Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Chef Shai Zvibak soaks his dried chickpeas overnight, rinses them, then simmers them with baking soda "to accelerate the cooking" for five or six hours. He purées them with tahini—no olive oil—and some spices he brings over from Israel. He tops the finished hummus with warm spiced chickpeas, starchy fava beans, or spiced ground beef. Then he does it again two hours later.

His Local 92 is an East Village hummus bar with aspirations beyond a hummus bar. There's a wine and cocktail list, appetizers, entrées of schnitzel and meatballs and fish. The roomy, casually pretty interior is a far cry from most of the city's cramped hummus and falafel shops, including Zvibak's own attractive but slender Hummus Shop on the Lower East Side. But it's the hummus, indeed made every two hours so it's always fresh, that keeps me coming back.

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A Sandwich a Day: Veal Tongue at El Rawsheh

Take a bite without knowing and you might guess it's lamb shoulder, subtly gamey and deeply tender with soft striations of fat. But there's a darker, more mineral quality to the meat, a funk that, come your second bite, you realize could only come from tongue. This is one of the more approachable applications of the muscle out there. More

A Sandwich a Day: Sabich at Nish Nush

You can think of Sabich as breakfast falafel: fried eggplant, egg, salad, and yogurt all stuffed into pita. That pita's a big part of what makes the sandwich, and at Nish Nush in Tribeca, it's made daily. It's light and springy, but strong enough to hold all the traditional components of a sabich. More

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