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Best Mideast on Atl. Ave.

Just a non-scientific straw poll....What is, in your opinion, the best Middle Eastern place on Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Court Sts. We've only tried Tripoli and have been pleased but not overly impressed (the BYO was a bonus). A friend said Fountain was good. Any preferences or suggestions?

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  1. I love Fountain. I like Yemen Cafe. The new place ( can't remember the name ) is hit and miss.
    Never liked Tripoli.
    The sleeper? FATOOSH!

    1. Waterfalls is def. the best!!!

      1. hmm, im intrigued as i live in the area but always find myself going all the way to Parrkslope's Mr. Falafel for the gyro lunch platter. how would you all say these atlantic guys compare to mr. falafel.

        1. Fatoosh is fantastic and a bargain.

          I still love Tripoli for the old time atmosphere and decent food.

          Yemen Cafe is great and the real deal, according to those in the know. I believe it, judging by the racks of freshly-skinned lambs they bring in every morning before dawn.

          Otherwise, I haven't kept abreast of the new changes along that venerable strip.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Hilltop

            Yeah, I like Yemen Cafe very much. Humongous portions, so be warned! (And take some food home.)

            I like Fountain Cafe but haven't tried the other places listed here and look forward to doing so.

            1. re: Pan

              I'm also a fan of Yemen. I'd say Mr. Falafel and Yemen are my faves even though Mr. F's is in the Slope.

              1. re: Pan

                The food is good at Yemen (lamb at least), however at my one visit to Yemen cafe, my party of three was given one serving of bread, when several single diners were served two! Was I supposed to ask for more bread? Or do they just assume that non-Yemenis don't want as much? Has anybody else noticed this effect?

                1. re: spchang

                  That's odd. They gave us a lot, there were 2 of us. And we are certainly not from Yemen.

                  1. re: spchang

                    you should have asked for more. Im sure they would have given you as much as you wanted. the whole bread/rice issue is loaded today. Lots of people dont want it or if it is served its just left there drying up. Its one perfectly natural reaction for restuarant hosts to hesitate to give a whole lot to unfamiliar patrons up front

              2. Fountain has always been our favorite. We must've eaten almost a hundred meals in the place (we used toi live around the corner) and we were less then delighted only once or twice. It's consistently great.

                1. I'm torn between Fountain and Waterfalls.

                  1. While I usually order from Waterfalls or Zaytoons (which is not an Atlantic), Fountain is very good, as is Sanaa. However, I find each place does some things better than others. For example, Zaytoons' grape leaves are tops, but Waterfalls definitely takes the Tabouleh prize.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: deepyarn

                      I think Waterfalls is very good, Tripoli not, Fountain eh, Sanaa ditto, Yemen Cafe good.
                      My experience of Yemen Cafe was mounds of good, simple meat and rice - has anyone had anything exotic or spicy there?

                      1. re: jen kalb


                        When we had the chowhound get-together a few months ago (November), everyone liked the lamb soup (very intense lamb broth, to which you can add some lemon), and some kind of baked beans and tomato mixture (you can dip the flatbread into it). Help me out guys, what was the name of the bean thing? It wasn't necessarily spicy, but very flavorful.

                        1. re: parkslopemama

                          I wasn't there, but I think you mean Foul Moudammas. Heres a recipe:

                          1. re: oolah

                            Yes, I was there, and it was foul. It was ridiculously good. Hi PSMama!

                            1. re: prunefeet

                              And it was with favas, not white beans? My memory is going in my old age. :-P

                              1. re: Pan

                                My favorite was favas, bubbling in a little pot, but it's entirely possible that there were also white beans that I am forgetting, for similar reasons!

                              1. re: oolah

                                Wait a minute, I'm confused. Isn't foul usually served at room temperature, with the fava beans relatively in tact? The dish I was talking about at Yemen Cafe was served bubbling hot, and the beans had softened into a dip-like consistency... Well, I guess I have no choice but to return to Yemen Cafe for further research!

                                1. re: parkslopemama

                                  Hey parkslopemama, this foul was what you were describing, bubbling in a little cauldron. I just had it again last week. Foul I believe just means fava beans, and they can be served various ways. Delicious with that great bread, but be careful or you will seriously scald the roof of your mouth!

                                1. re: parkslopemama

                                  Jen, I just went again last night, and there were indeed white beans w tomato on the menu, I guess I so enjoyed the favas that I blocked this out. Pan was right!

                                2. re: jen kalb

                                  Ask for their hot sauce. It's spicy and tasty.

                                  Sorry, parkslopemama, I don't remember the name of the dish with the big white beans and tomatos, but I liked it.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    Agreed on Sanaa, based on one trip. I thought it was OK but not special. I had a shrimp dish. And it's I guess twice as expensive as Yemen Cafe.

                                3. can I hijack slightly to ask
                                  Waterfalls (Atlantic Ave) v Tanoreen (Bay Ridge)
                                  I've eaten at them both just one time, but based on that limited data
                                  I go with Tanoreen

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pitu

                                    Not even close any more. I used to love Waterfalls and still think that it's worth going to since we live only 2 blocks away. But Tanoreen is much much better. Enough so that we get into the car and drive to eat there.

                                  2. Though also not on on Atlantic I would add the mideastern place on henry st. in the heights. They make a mean koftka kabob.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: mdog

                                      Tutt Cafe. They also make a nice merguez sandwich. The pitzes there are no match for Fatoosh though. The green pitze at Fatoosh (leek, fenugreek, mozzerella) is fantastic. Get the merguez on it and ask for some tahini to dip the slices in.

                                      1. re: gangly handful

                                        Where are Tutt Cafe and Fatoosh? Are they Levantine, Egyptian, or what?

                                        1. re: Pan

                                          Tutt Cafe is on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, down by the fruit streets. Fatoosh is on Hicks Street, also in the Heights, one store front in from Atlantic. I prefer Fatoosh, though I couldn't tell you what type of food they serve up specifically. The guys behind the counter are from Central America, and are really nice. When the person I assume is the owner is working in the restaurant, things are much more serious. Fatoosh has limited seating - they do a lot of take out, whereas Tutt can accommodate more people. If I recall correctly, and for what it's worth, Fatoosh was Zagat rated in 2006, though they were dropped in 2007.

                                          If you're going to try Fatoosh, I recommend a falafel sandwich - ask them to put some muhummarah (sp?) in it - or a lahambajin pitza.

                                    2. another vote for yemen!

                                      1. Thanks for all the great input everyone! We'll be off to Fountain and Yemen Cafe soon enough. In hindsight, I didn't really intend to confine the choices to that limited Atlantic Ave. corridor I stated, so any expanded areas (Court, Smith, or points east on Atl.) are fair game as well. I imagine this Atl. Ave. Mideastern food thread has been done several times in the past, but it's good to keep up to date with fresh reviews...Thanks again.

                                        1. don't forget Bedouin Tent on Atlantic, but closer to Flatbush. Can't remember the exact cross-street, maybe Bond? I love that place and they have a nice little outdoor garden in the back when the weather is nice.

                                          1. When they changed the name from Moustache to Bedouin Tent, the food went from sublime to lifeless. We loved it as Moustache and were very disappointed in the change. I haven't eaten there in a few years. Have they gotten things together again? I sure hope so.

                                            1. Had takeout from Bedouin yesterday. Decent but not spectacular. Chicken and falafel sandwiches were a little dry and the grape leaves were not good.

                                              1. I haven't tried enough variety to comment on (or observe) any change around the time of the name change at Bedouin Tent. But I am hopelessly addicted to their merguez and too frequently have it wrapped in pita or on a plate (definitely spend the buck on an extra pita--one won't get you through the meal if you eat it as a series of mini sandwiches.) Wish I had the nerve to ask them where they get their merguez. But I can't ask because ultimately if I can get it, they will lose a lot of my bizniz and I would feel sort of sleezy trying to gain this info. But it is wonderfully spicy, tasty, red-oily.....damn, I'm there.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: JonL

                                                  their chicken used to be sublime. then when they changed their name it became an entirely different thing. a sumac-choked approximation of its former glorious self. very sad. i'll try them again if i find myself back in the neighborhood and see where things stand now. i do love a good merguez...

                                                2. Does anyone know a place where I can get some decent Middle Eastern food, but also a hookah and good belly dancing??

                                                  I dont care if its in Manhattan (but in brooklyn near downtown/slope/willliamsburg would be nice).

                                                  3 Replies
                                                    1. re: oolah

                                                      Is there a one-stop place that is good for food, hookah, and bellydancing equally?

                                                      Has anyone been to Zerza? http://www.zerza.com/

                                                      how about Tagine? http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile...

                                                      There's also this place but it doesnt seem like they have bellydancing. http://www.southsmoke.com/saharaeast.cfm

                                                      Thanks for the headsup about the new place in Carrol Gadens.

                                                      1. re: pd_on_keys

                                                        LOVE Tagine. cozy space, belly-dancing, delicious food, beautiful moroccan cushions & lighting to get you in the right frame of mind. The only drawbacks are that space can be tight (I guess that's what cozy means) and sometimes (but rarely) the music from the bar in the basement can be too loud. I used to live near Tagine & would go often.

                                                  1. Ok one more post on Yemen Cafe, since I went last night. It was really really good. Had the favas (huge bubbling cauldron, proceed with care), lamb soup, salad, husb had roasted lamb and I had Yemen Special Fateh with Lamb...I highly recommend this last dish, it's fateh, which is the flatbread they serve with everything, shredded and topped with a rich lamby stew, which is absorbed by the fateh shreds until they resemble some kind of thick homemade noodles. Oh god was it good. Unfortunately we ate so much fateh and fava beans first that we were too stuffed to to justice to our first course. Husb's roasted lamb was great too, moist, falling apart and flavorful. Service is ridiculously gracious...they gave us a bunch of freebies, but of course you should not expect that. I really love this place. The arab tea, as the waiter (maybe manager) called it, was dark, sweet and had more than a hint of cardamom, really delicious on a cold snowy night.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: prunefeet

                                                      One thing that all new visitors to Yemen Cafe should know is that you are expected to help yourself to the Arab tea, which is to the right side of the back of the restaurant. Regardless of how many glasses you have, you will be charged one price. (Of course, I don't recommend abusing their hospitality, but there's nothing wrong with having a second glass or even a third, and you can always up your tip if you like.)

                                                      prunefeet, I'm amazed by how much you ordered! Just one main dish is a good portion for two!

                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                        Hahah Husb is not a sharer. Anyway, some of the items were given to us, without having ordered them. It was my bday and I was determined to pig out. I did a good job.

                                                    2. I can't recall ever reading any reference to Hadramout, right next to Yemen. Does that fact speak for itself?

                                                      1. I can't recall ever reading any reference to Hadramout, right next to Yemen. Does that fact speak for itself?

                                                        "I pita the foul"

                                                        Good god almighty! :>)

                                                        1. My vote goes to Fountain. the food is always so fresh and flavorful. We eat there about once a month, and have never been disappointed. Tried tripoli, very disappointing. they did have a very interesting grain dish, but otherwise just eh.

                                                          1. Thanks to everyone for the info on Yemen Cafe. I've always wanted to go and heard it was great but for some reason never had the nerve to go in. Thought i would feel like an outsider. It seems so authentic. but thanks to my new-found confidence I'm going to go this weekend and i can't wait. thanks again. i'll let you know how it was.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: HankyT

                                                              They will make you very welcome. I hope you enjoy it.

                                                              1. re: HankyT

                                                                I agree with prunefeet. You will probably feel more like a guest than an outsider.

                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                  There's some place that just opened on the south side of Atlantic between Court and Boerum Place called "Palm Beach of NY" does anyone have any idea what it is? There's 2 hookah in the windows and the other night I saw about 20 people eating some sort of Middle Eastern meal at one large table, there was nothing else in there and I can't tell if it's a restaurant or what the deal is with this place.

                                                              2. I love waterfalls and it's my favorite place..

                                                                Waterfalls Cafe
                                                                144 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: benpipe

                                                                  I went there for dinner recently and was very pleased. Tasty shawarma and hummus.

                                                                2. For what it's worth I'll put my two cents in. I.M.H.O. Tripoli has the best authentic Syrian/Lebanese food which is what I like. The other places mentioned all seem to be Yemeni/Egyptian/Israeli food. Not a bad thing unless you are looking for Syrian/Lebanese. The Middleast is fairly diverse.
                                                                  Tripoli is one of the few places I can get Kebbe Nayeh (Raw Lamb).
                                                                  If I am in Bay Ridge Tanoreen is my go to place. In Manhattan it's AL Bustan.

                                                                  7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                  156 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Motosport

                                                                    What do you recommend at Tripoli other than Kebbe Nayeh?

                                                                    1. re: Pan

                                                                      It's all good! Depending on the amount of people we'll order: Hummus, babaganough, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed squash, shish kebab, kibbe, okra and on and on. It's all really good. I like it because it is authentic Syrian food. Not fancy or glitzy, just good home style cooking.

                                                                      156 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                        Thanks. I work about a 15-minute walk from there. I'll give it a try.