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Noho Lhasa, Cafe Lebanon, Bela

  • Bri Mar 8, 2007 05:35 PM

I've searched the boards and most of the comments re: the above restaurants are not very recent. Attending a lecture on Saturday evening and planning on a group of about 6 for early (6-ish) dinner. One vegetarian, so am looking for recent reviews of the above 3 or other spots on Main St that have good vegetarian options, so everyone is happy.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Bri

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  1. We really enjoy Lhasa Cafe. My husband and sons are vegetarian and I have also brought vegetarian friends there too. Plenty of choice for both and it is different, at I have not encountered many Tibetan restaurants. The food is good, as is the service.

    1. I do not recommend cafe lebanon. Amanouz is better but I dont remember if it was good for vegetariams.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sambossanova

        Any Lebanese restaurant should be fine for vegos. Between the hummus, baba, tabouli, foul, etc it is a feast.

      2. Thank you both for your feedback!

        1. I haven't been to Bela in a while, but it's tiny and a group of 6 would be about half the restaurant- you might call them to check to see if it's okay. Bela is old-school vegetarian, kind of 70s-style, but a very sweet little place. Hard-core meat eaters might be slightly turned off but I've always found the place very charming and the definition of a local joint.

          Amanouz has a nice couscous plate with vegetables that's really good.

          1. We all ended up at Cafe Lebanon because that was the group consensus. Several people on the boards here have said that Ahmanouz is better and I will definitely check it out sometime soon to compare/contrast. However, Cafe Lebanon was generally a crowd-pleaser.

            They had chicken shwarma in sandwich form but they agreed to add add it to the Fattoush salad or make it into a dinner. The shwarma wasn't as good as my favorite place in CA, but it was good. The garlic sauce (til?) was more of a mayo consistency than the fluffy stuff I'm used to, but was still tasty as well.

            Also the lamb kabob was marinated and grilled to med. rare and very good as well. We tried the Lebanese beer and wine and enjoyed them as well.

            Overall, I have nothing negative to say about this restaurant. Our service was amazing (group of 8), and the food was really good.

            Thanks for your help everyone!

            1. Cafe Lebanon and Amanouz are fine for meat eaters and veggies alike. Stay away from Bela. Its off-putting and weird. I went in there two years ago and there was a sign on the wall that said "We reserve the right to refuse service to individuals (sic)at our discretion." Swear to God. I thought I was in Alabama circa 1962. And it was not a joke. I've been there twice since and clearly there are certain kinds of people they feel uncomfortable serving. I don't feel that they would appreciate a group of six laughing talkative men plunking themselves down at a table.

              1. Went to Lhasa Cafe about 18 months ago. Was kind of tasteless and uninteresting. I had much better Tibetan food in Middletown, CT of all places, at Little Tibet. I have no desire to go back to Lhasa, even if it is the only place in Northampton were one could, if one wished, procure Yak dumplings.

                BTW: Another pull for Amanouz. It's simple, cheap, has a ton of menu items, is really very tasty, and has a certain charm.

                1. Amanouz is the better of those you mention, but small and not especially comfortable. Why not try my favorite in town, Circa, which is just off the main drag, and always features veggie dishes?

                  1. All these posts are helping me tremendously. Although I live in VT, I have lots of friends in Noho and spend a lot of driving time in Western MA, in general, so I'm always looking for good food options while on the road.

                    Thanks again everyone!

                    1. pretty big time gap in posts here. cafe lebanon is no more. there's one in springfield and one in east longmeadow. amanouz is still great. i like the food but wonder if that's cause it's kinda the only show in town for mediterranean type cuisine. weekends can get crowded. i personally like it's cramped charm but def know people who don't. it certainly gets a lot of press as "the" place to go. never been to lhasa or bela, though i've heard, as prior post mention, that the latter is pretty "hardcore" vegie.

                      1. It's all water under the Coolidge Bridge by now, but I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Paul and Elizabeth's upstairs in Thorne's Marketplace.

                        1. Bela's is absolutely hard core Vegetarian. There is no meat available at all. They are also careful to identify dairy ingredients for hard core Vegans. It reminds me of the cafes that abound in Seattle, Berkeley and San Francisco. I think the food is wonderful. Most of the menu changes daily to take advantage of fresh & local produce. Tofu, Tempah and seitan fans take notice, Carnivores beware !

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: belcherveggie

                            I never did make it to Bela's, but have walked by it and it looked quaint and the menu sounded good. Since some of my new fave restaurants are Tofu-A-Go-Go in Greenfield and Vegetarian Paradise in Brattleboro, and both are vegan, I don't see why Bela's would be offputting . Quite the opposite in fact. The food at both places is delicious. Even though I'm not a vegetarian, if the food is good that's all that matters to me.