Al-Baraka Mediterranean Cuisine
- Jim Leff
I hold in my hands a takeout menu from brand new Al-Baraka Mediteranean Cuisine, 154 E55 (bet. 3 and lex).
At first glance, the menu's Turkish (ezme, ayran, adana kebab). But there are also Lebanese touches (chicken kofta, falafel, basboosa), and some Pakistani/Afghani touches (tika kebab, sambosa, mugal biryani, kulfa), and one dish--prepared only to advance order--that I'm unfamiliar with: "Zafarani full chicken roast" (I know it's a north indian or pakistani dish and it uses saffron, but I can't pin it down further than that).
I'm used to seeing leak-over between any two of those cuisines, but never all three, and the dishes chosen are kind of puzzling.
Does anybody know what the deal is here? And whether it's any good? They've got some sort of buffet on weekdays for lunch, and they deliver free
I think it's housed in the new Islamic Center that was under construction on 55th St. Know this is sort of simplistic, but aren't those regions you mention the menu draws from all heavily Islamic? I've walked past it at night several times and it's kind of depressing how empty it is. But since you say they deliver, I might try it for lunch sometime.
re: Martha Gehan
"I think it's housed in the new Islamic Center that was under construction on 55th St."
It may abut said center, but it's not in it...it's a free standing restaurant, I remember that fer sure
well...yeah, but so is a lot of the world. In any case, "Islamic" isn't, of course, a single culture or cuisine. And if they were going for some sort of pan-Islamic theme, they'd be crazy not to include Malaysian or Indonesian, not to mention Senegalese....
If that's the tiny place with the front that opens up cafe-style in warmer weather whose name and exact location I always forget, it was pretty good but a little greasy (tho I'm no expert on any of those cuisines). They have a bunch of different dishes and you can pick from -- they assemble it, not a self-serve buffet.
I dragged a coworker there today after reading your query. They have a $9.95 buffet lunch that seemed very similar to Indian food, I assume they were pakastani dishes. The buffet was self serve, although the waiter did bring a naan like bread to the table, that was thicker than naan - to me it almost seemed like a cross between naan and the bread in popusas.
The choices included lentil soup, rice, chicken in a sauce off the bone, chicken on the bone in small pieces, lamb, and mixed vegetables. They also included cantaloupe, jello, and rice pudding for dessert.
I thought it was fine, although what I ahd I would not refer to as Meditteranean.
Also, when I got the bill, they had included a 15% gratuity, which I think is odd. Many places add on tip if you have a big party, but there were only 2 of us.