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Dec 9, 2008 02:40 PM

middle eastern in the village

looking for good middle eastern delivery in the village. somewhere with good chicken and lamb schwarma (very lean and well done) and good salad.
seems so hard to come by.

Any rec's would be great.


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  1. Moustache on Bedford street near Barrow.
    They don't have shwarma, but they make a great merguez sandwich (or so my non-veggie partner tells me; I stick to the veggie stuff.) The baba ghanoush is the best this side of the Jordan. Excellent salads. Fresh-baked pita.

    13 Replies
    1. re: simkhele

      I have to chime in on Moustache. It had a lot of great reviews from reputable sources so I gave it multiple chances, but it still doesn't compare to anything I could get from a vendor back home or whip up with my eyes closed. They didn't even have fresh yogurt on one occasion! To me, that's highly suspect in a Middle Eastern restaurant. I'd rather have shish taouk from the halal truck on 6th Ave than order from Moustache again.

      1. re: JungMann

        I'm really suprised by this. I really like Moustache. Its pretty cheap and I've found it to be quite reliable. I'm a fan of the Merguez as well but I've had most of the stuff on the (short) menu and never encountered any problems.

        1. re: Renguin

          I haven't had the merguez sandwich, but the shawarma lacked zip. Same with the chicken and lahmajoun, neither were as flavorful as their counterparts from the Arabic delis in Brooklyn. In fact that might be my major problem: Lebanese food is marked by the vibrancy of its flavors; the food at Moustache in comparison is like eating shadows.

        2. re: JungMann

          i agree with you, jungmann. moustache is cute and charming and it's inexpensive for a sit-down place. but the food by itself, while decent, would not be enough to bring me back, now that i live more than a few blocks away. i don't have an real complaints about the food, i just don't find it to be particularly standout.

        3. re: simkhele

          Thank you but def looking for shwarma. any other rec's?

          1. re: BLover33

            yatagan on macdougal has decent lamb doner (very similar to schwarma) and chicken kebabs, but it doesn't deliver.

            1. re: cimui

              I finally visited Yatagan on your advice and while I enjoyed my döner, I didn't recommend it as it doesn't fulfill the OP's desire for lean meat. But that grease is probably what makes it such a popular choice so close to Bleecker Street.

              1. re: JungMann

                I'm glad to see you survived to tell the tale. Yatagan doners are greasebombs, good for settling the several pitchers of happy hour natty light that preceded it in one's stomach.

                Does lamb döner come in a lean option anywhere and if so, is it like getting lean pastrami? Even at supposedly higher end places, the doner I've had (in many parts of the world, though not at its source) has been greasy.

                1. re: cimui

                  I only barely survived. Typically dubious of any hot sauce that didn't originate from Asia I bathed my sandwich in theirs and paid the price for the rest of the afternoon.

                  Döner might not come lean, but the shawarma I like is rarely dripping grease. If anything, it's dripping yogurt and vegetables. They might sear the meat after slicing to get rid of the excess fat or maybe the excess of yogurt makes it seem a lot lighter than it actually is.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Unfortunately, I have to agree with JungMann's assessment of Yatagan. Cimui, have you ever tried doner kebaps in Europe? The meat is juicy without being heavy with grease.

                    While not my favorite, I would hit Mamoun's for shawarma in the village. Also, I think there's an Olympic Pita Express near Union Square, which would be worth the extra schlep. Olympic and Azuri (in Hell's Kitchen) do the very best shawarma I've had in the city.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      i've heard a ridiculous amount of delicious things about azuri and still haven't been. must remedy that.

                      interesting that you'd recommend mamoun's for schwarma!! i think that might be the only menu item i never tried there -- since i liked the ones at yatagan so much. maybe i'm just a sucker for grease.

                      i have had schwarma / doner in munich, in a small town outside of dublin, london and berlin. it's been a while, but i don't think i'd really call any of that stuff low fat, either (unless you do that whole calories fall out of your feet if you eat standing up thing that someone was talking about on a different thread ;).

                      1. re: cimui

                        The mid east food in Amsterdam is really good. The Shwarma, falafel and maot excellent. Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn I find to be more authentic than what ive had in Manhattan. I am still trying to find good Sahalab, an almost arab congee, breakfast porridge beveragy soup,, im not sure if anyone would describe Sahalab the way i do, but i havent had a good one since I was in Jerusalem in the arab market.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          Try mouhlabia. It is a quite similar variant on the same theme. Otherwise you could probably make the same at home using konnyaku flour.

        4. You should try Taim, which is vegetarian but one of the best falafel joints in the city. Really, really good salads, esp. carrot and beet.