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Middle Eastern food in Brooklyn

  • j

Would someone recommend good middle eastern food in Brooklyn? We used to love Fountain Cafe on Atlantic Avenue but the last few times we were disappointed. Thanks.

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  1. a friend of mine swears by Waterfalls on Atlantic and Henry -- posts as recent as Sept. agree:

    1. Waterfalls isnt what it used to be but I think it's better than Fountain. If you're willing to try something a little different, a # of us had a very good experience at Yemen Cafe several weeks ago (search for post if you want details). Zaytoons on Smith St. is reasonably good as well. I think that Tanoreen is way better than all of Atlantic Ave but it's in Bay Ridge (if that matters to you).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve R

        Yes, we all enjoyed Yemen Cafe, and the service was really good as well.

        1. re: prunefeet

          Yemen Cafe is AMAZING. When I went we had enough people to share and try several things, every single one delicious. Lamb falling off the bone. Chicken ridiculously moist for white meat. Mouthwatering fried bread strips in honey. And yes, the service was incredibly polite.

      2. I like Black Iris on Dekalb....(228) Great Falafel, Kebabs are pretty decent as well.....relaxed environs, nice people, and BYOB. Their take-out also delivers in a timely manner.

        1. If your not looking fancy, try Fatoosh on corner on Hicks and Atlantic. It has wonderful middle eastern that is on par with the old waterfall, before that went down hill (or down stream?)

          1. Sanaa, the Yemeni place across from Yemen Cafe, has a wonderful chicken schwarma sandwich, the best I've had since I was in Germany. The pita could be better though. Ask for it with some of the yogurt salad on it. Their lentil soup is good too.

            I've not had Yemen Cafe so I can't compare it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gangly handful

              I was very disappointed with Sanaa on one visit and thought Yemen Cafe was better. The service was beyond incompetent (I usually dont complain about this) though the roast lamb I had was decently seasoned. Cooking was minimal/extremely plain - this may be one place that suffers from having only men in the kitchen (or so I surmise) -

              1. re: jen kalb

                I had lunch at Sanaa about a week ago. I got a shrimp dish. It was perfectly fine, but I didn't feel that its quality justified the much more expensive pricing (even considering the general expense of shrimp) than Yemen Cafe across the street. I haven't tried their shawarma, though, so thanks for the recommendation, gangly.

              2. re: gangly handful

                Just had the minced lamb over hummos at Yemen Cafe. Wow, for me, that just blew everything else on Atlantic away. The lamb is tender and spiced just perfectly. And the bread is phenomenal, alternately chewy and crispy. Go there.

              3. Zaytoon's is good, though the lamb schwarma can be a bit dry. The lamb schwarma at Bedoin Tent on Atlantic has tended to be better the times I have been there, though their chicken schwarma has a weird taste, almost as if they smoke it with oak chips or something. Of course, I don't think they do that, but it seems to taste that way. Stick with the lamb sandwich. Waterfalls is good, too, as the others have suggested.

                1. I think the good places in Bay Ridge - Im thinking particularly of Tanoreen, Karam, Mazza Plaza (where I think the original chef Karam now presides, its very good) . . . search for others, there have been posts recently - Family Place???....

                  Damascus Gate has gotten good reviews but its meat was consistently slammed on a muslim site I was reading recently,
                  http://www.zabihah.com/ - I havent visited yet.

                  Havent been to Waterfalls recently but historically it topped all the competition downtown.

                  1. Mister Falafel on 7th Ave. between 3rd and 4th Streets. Great Egyptian food, especially the okra stew and kibbeh balls. I also recently discovered a Lebanese section of Brooklyn around the high 60's streets on 5th Ave. in Bay Ridge. I didn't try the restaurants but the shops have great cheese and fantastic pistachios.

                    1. I think Waterfalls is still really great--delicious smokey babagnoush, tasty, lemony stuffed vegetarian cabbage, crispy falafels. I'm curious as to why people think they have gone done hill.

                      1. I agree with Steve R. Tanoreen is way better than anything on Atlantic Ave. The food reminds me of my grandmother's cooking (and that is a serious compliment). I would suggest making the trip to Bay Ridge and ordering anything with lamb.

                        1. Was at Tanoreen last nite. Didnt have any Lamb, but the Lentil soup and Falafel platter was excellent
                          I live 10 min walk away and always seem to forget its there.
                          Every time I do remember it I kick myself
                          for going to all these subpar middle eastern places

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bruklinboy

                            Lucky you!!!! If I lived in Bay Ridge I'd be there once a week.
                            Do you have favorite pizza in your 'hood?

                          2. Grandmas on 3rd Ave btween Ovington and Bay Ridge Ave(69th St, to the old timers)
                            1 block west of the R train Bay Ridge Ave stop

                            Actually, when you get out of the train at that corner there is an Original Pizza that makes really good Fresh Mozzarella pizza too. Not too fond of their regular slices tho

                            1. Right next door to Tanoreen is Peppinos for pizza. But I am straying off topic...
                              Bay Ridge is a haven for middle eastern food. Between Tanoreen, Mazza Plaza and Karam, I am a very happy camper...

                              1. What are the pickings like for folks who only eat veggies and fish at Yemen Cafe?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Ljubitca

                                  My recollection is it's not terribly interesting...in our group one person was a vegetarian and while he really liked what he ate, if I recall correctly he didn't have many options to choose from.

                                  1. re: Ljubitca

                                    I seem to remember that grilled fish is an option. I haven't tried any, because I tend to get lamb, chicken, chicken livers, et al. when I'm there, but I would think it would be good.

                                    1. re: Ljubitca

                                      There was an item on the menu called something like "vegetarian plate" and we sort of laughed...wondering what it was. I bet it's good though, everything else is. Maybe just stewed vegs with rice.