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There's got to be some decent Lebanese in Jersey,NY, or CT, right?

sixelagogo Mar 22, 2008 05:26 AM

I'm of lebanese decent and from Detroit where there are more lebanese restaurants than pizza places, so I'm very familiar with what is good and with what isn't. Thus far, I haven't eaten any lebanese food worth mentioning, including many Patterson spots and Benny's in Englewood, all of which would make my grandmother turnover in her grave with dissapointement (Ba-at-te-lut-mah). So, question remains: in this crazy polyglotal tri-sate area, does a place that serves decent lebanese food exist or must I fly NorthWorst air everytime I want some decent Kibbeh?

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  1. l
    lovesublime RE: sixelagogo Mar 23, 2008 06:25 PM

    Someone? Anyone? I too would like some good Lebanese food!

    1. m
      mom2 RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 05:10 AM

      I would go to Hanna's in Danbury which is more of a lebanese market with a few tables for wait service, but the food is very authentic.
      There is also a lebanese restaurant in Stamford, Myrna's
      http://www.myrnas.com/index.html
      I've never been, but it might be worth a try...

      2 Replies
      1. re: mom2
        c
        cteats RE: mom2 Mar 24, 2008 06:53 AM

        We're big fans of Myrna's, but have limited experience with other Lebanese, so don't know how it compares. Would be interested in hearing from those that know the cuisine well.

        A selection of the hot and cold mezza is the way to go. Our favorites are the kibbe, lamb sausage, lentils & rice, fried halloumi cheese, hummus w/meat and the shankleesh.

        1. re: cteats
          ChefBoyAreMe RE: cteats Mar 24, 2008 08:06 AM

          I'll second Myrna's in Stamford, and note that they are expanding the Stamford location, opening a place in Greenwich, on W. Putnam right near Barcelona, and are trying to locate a spot in Darien as well.

      2. kimie RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 05:25 AM

        I'm not Lebanese, but it is one of my favorite cuisines. Matter of fact, I'm going to have it tonight! The best I've had is Tabboule in Ridgewood in the Kings Plaza on Maple Ave. Ridgewood is full of over-priced mediocre places (in my opinion)--but Tabboule is very good. Their fattouche salad, kibbe, and shawarma are really fantastic. The food is always fresh and flavorful. The owners are really great--and friendly. There are a few tables inside, but I live close enough to get takeout. Last time we were in there, we noticed they have a sunday brunch and a Lebanese "hookah" night. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

        1. a
          A avenue RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 07:44 AM

          I agree, Myrna's in Stamford is very good, as is Hanna's in Danbury. There is also a small place on High Ridge Road in Stamford, Layla's Falaffel that is decent.

          1. p
            Picnicchef RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 08:02 AM

            When I was a critic, I had a great meal in Paterson...lots of great middle eastern fare off Main St. My favorite spot moved to NYC. Byblos, in the 30s on the east side. Great food, and very nice owners.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Picnicchef
              sixelagogo RE: Picnicchef Mar 24, 2008 04:24 PM

              My dude and i used to frequent Byblos, as it is the closest to what I know Lebanese cuisine as being...the last time we went, however ,was the last time we'll ever go...Kibbeh Nayeh (raw lamb) wasn't fresh(SCARY) beef schwarma was almost inedible, and everything else was sub-par....unfortunately, that was the only spot in Patterson that i thought was worth its lebanese sumac...

            2. redfox697 RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 08:12 AM

              I don't know if it's Lebanese, strictly speaking, but there is Mamoun's in New Haven, CT which is a local institution for Falafel, Moujhedra, kebabs, and such. There is also a Mamoun's (same owners) on Macdougal St a block or so from Washington Square Park in NYC and I believe another one somewhere in the LES.

              In West Haven, CT there are a few well-regarded middle eastern restaurants, but I believe that their owners are from Turkey.

              1 Reply
              1. re: redfox697
                r
                rbailin RE: redfox697 Mar 30, 2008 09:35 AM

                Mamoun's is Syrian, strictly speaking. Check out their website at www.mamounsfalafel.com

                -----
                Mamoun's Falafel
                119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                Mamoun's Falafel
                22 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

                Mamoun's Falafel
                85 Howe St, New Haven, CT 06511

              2. TongoRad RE: sixelagogo Mar 24, 2008 05:06 PM

                Just out of curiosity, sixelagogo, what is your issue with Bennie's? Is it just a stylistic thing, that they don't have the type of foods you are looking for (maybe a bit too 'suburban', if that's the right word)? Every time I've been, what I've gotten has been of really top quality.

                Anyway- if it's a schwarma joint you're after, and you're in Queens, definitely look up Grill Point in Kew Gardens Hills (south Flushing, on Main Street and Utopia Pkwy.) They make their own laffa breads on the spot, and the salad bar rocks. They're not Lebanese, but the schwarma (lamb/turkey or baby chicken) will hit the spot, and save you some air fare to boot.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TongoRad
                  sixelagogo RE: TongoRad Mar 25, 2008 03:11 AM

                  My Issues with Bennies:

                  Price: $11 for a beef schwarma sandwich? Are they kidding?

                  Is it Lebanese?: Though they may be from Lebanon, their menu is "mediteranian/arabic" which is fine, but it is NOT lebanese. Maybe i'm a purist, but pan-arabic/mediteranian cooking does little for me; I'm looking for the real deal kibbeh-neyeh serving joint that stick to doing 1 cuisine well.

                  The place in Queens sounds promising, but the new bridge fare makes me wince.

                  1. re: sixelagogo
                    TongoRad RE: sixelagogo Mar 26, 2008 04:51 AM

                    I definitely understand your position on Bennie's and sympathize with it to a certain extent- that's what I was getting at by using the 'suburban' descriptor above. And it's not just them, but a lot of the Turkish, Indian, etc. places in northern Bergen county all seem to be these white tablecloth restaurants that seem to be missing 'something' and are more expensive than one would expect. But...hey, it's where I live, and there is definitely good food to be had there. And I'm a big fan of that Kufta Kebab, myself (I had many of them when I was working in Englewood).

                    <<The place in Queens sounds promising, but the new bridge fare makes me wince.>>
                    That's for sure! It's definitely an "in the borough" type of affair, but if you are there make sure to hit it. It's just off of the Van Wyck, on the way to JFK, so maybe on your way to Detroit...
                    :)

                2. c
                  csg71 RE: sixelagogo Mar 25, 2008 09:21 AM

                  I recently had a great meal at Evelyn's in New Brunswick
                  http://www.evelynsrestaurant.com/

                  1. m
                    motoeric RE: sixelagogo Mar 25, 2008 03:59 PM

                    Two quick suggestions:

                    Mt. Arrarat Bakery in Queens on the LIE eastbound service road just west of the Cross Island. They are Lebanese from just outside of Beirut. Lots of imported stuff to go with the stuff they make in house. Not sure of the spelling here, but lebhmi, tubbuli and bit lehua are all for the having.

                    A little further east (Roslyn?) is a store called Super Jordan that comes highly recommended from my Lebanese brother in law.

                    Good luck!

                    Eric

                    1. ambrose RE: sixelagogo Mar 25, 2008 06:15 PM

                      I like Cedars in Somerville, NJ, which claims to serve authentic Lebanese food. I have no idea whether it's authentic but I really enjoy eating there!

                      http://www.cedarsfinecuisine.com

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