Afternoon Snack: Spanakopita and Chickpea Salad from Boubouki

Afternoon Snack

Quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner.

It's late afternoon and dinner is a few hours away. Where do you get a quick bite to carry you through the day? Afternoon Snack looks at quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner. Got a snack we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.


[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

The Essex Street Market is full of treasures (Shopsin's and Beurre & Sel for starters), and the tiny Boubouki stall is another great addition to the list. Rona Economoum is cooking up some charming sweet and savory Greek specialties, including a fantastic Spanakopita ($4) and a satisfying Chickpea Salad ($4).

The spinach in the pie is as tender as it should be, but so bright with spinach flavor it tastes barely cooked at all. Mint adds dimension, and oil-slicked feta crumbles are honest expressions of dairy with a sweetness to balance the tang. I'm most impressed by the phyllo crust, flaky as can be but easy to cut through, buttery but not too greasy. It's an excellent snack.


Boubouki's chickpea salad is minimalist: chickpeas with some parsley and feta in a dressing of chickpea broth, lemon juice, and olive oil. It's honest and forthright, the kind of simple home-cooked food I'd love to see more of from little stalls. True, the chickpeas themselves could have been cooked more thoroughly to cut the chalkiness from their centers, but for a low price and a bright, clear dressing, this pile of beans will see my fork again.


In the Essex Street Market 120 Essex Street, New York, NY, 10002 (map) 718-344-4202