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Moustache- Middle Eastern in Lambertville

My Wife and Daughter and I tried Moustache a great new middle eastern restaurant in Lambertville NJ last night. The food was really good, prices were reasonable and the atmosphere was cool. It is a byob across the street from the inn of the hawk and is open 7 days a week from 11am to midnight. If you live in Central Bucks or Hunterdon Co. NJ and like middle eastern food I highly recommend it. We have such a void of good ethnic food in that area that when we get a good one we really need to support it.

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  1. I drove by there the other night, hoping it was doing well, but concerned because (a) it's ethnic, and (b) it's named after a patch of hair grown above the upper lip. I was happy to see that it was hopping! Did you have falafel by any chance? Any other highlights?

    5 Replies
    1. re: JCap

      We had Hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, middle eastern pita pizza (with ground lamb and veggies) and chicken schwarma ,which were all tasty. They bake fresh pitas that come out puffed up like a balloon because they are filled with steam. My wife found the falafel to be on the dry side, but I think falafel is kinda dry by nature. I just make sure to dip the falafel well before I eat it. The grape leaves were stuffed with rice and were served warm which really grew on me as I ate them.They had many kinds of kabobs that looked good also.

      1. re: JCap

        I eat there often and the highlights are as follows: baba ghanoush, chicken schwarma, stuffed grape leaves, and above all else, the ouzi.

        1. re: madgreek99

          Cut and pasted from my BLOG:

          We've heard great things about Moustache from friends, so on a beautiful February NJ day, a drive to Lambertville was just what the doctor ordered to enjoy some nice weather outdoors. After all, how many days near 60 degrees to you have in February?

          Moustache is located in the location that used to house a Capa Pizza where we had pies on multiple occasions. Upon walking up, you could see that they did some work to the outside of the building, with some nice landscaping, and some paint work to the building. Moustache prides itself on Middle Eastern cuisine, and they seem to be doing it the right way!

          Upon entering, this place did a complete 360 from the old Capa Pizza days. The interior was totally renovated and rearranged, with the old rotating pizza oven being removed, and the entire kitchen being moved from the front left hand side, to the rear right of the building where the bands used to play. The rustic concrete floor is still there, and the new tables are adorned by copper tops, and look very nice. Lanterns hang from the ceiling, and this really helps set the tone and ambiance for some good ethnic cuisine.

          One of the first things that Zelda noticed was the sign behind the host stand that says "We proudly accept cash." Upon looking around, there were no Visa/MC stickers on the door, so I took a walk a few blocks to hit the ATM at the corner on Bridge Street.

          Upon returning, I was greeted at the table by an order of hummus that looked absolutely gorgeous. A nice ring of hummus surrounded some chopped chick peas, served with a fresh pita, whole, in a basket. Upon picking up the pita, you could tell how thin and airy it was. You could tell that these were definitely homemade, and they were at the right side of the tasty scale. Awesome!! Upon tasting the hummus, this was delicious as well, and this coming from a guy who is not a big fan of chickpeas. The hummus had a nice tahini seasoning, and some other middle eastern seasonings, a tad of lemon juice, and it made for a gorgeous app!

          I opted for the gyro, rotisserie broiled, sliced in nice chunks of fresh beef, and this too had a nice medley of Mediterranean spices. This was served with a nice sauce, tomato, and romaine lettuce. I could have ate 5 of these things they were so good, and by the far the best gyro I have eaten on the East Coast. This was awesome, and served in the same fresh, thin, homemade pita! YUM!

          Zelda went with the falafel sandwich, served in yet another fresh baked pita with lettuce and tomato. Again, not being a huge fan of falafel, I was pleasantly surprised at the gorgeous aromatic taste of this dish. More chickpeas with nice spice and vegetables made this dish incredible, and it is something that I would have no problem eating.

          Add a few Coke's to the tab, and we got in and out of there for around $22. For the quality of food, with the nice aromatics and spices that went into these dishes, this was an absolute bargain! I look forward to going back soon!

          1. re: njfoodies

            Great write up and we also enjoy reading your blog! Happy to report that our dinner at Moustache last night was as good as your recent experience.

            J and I arrived around 5:45 for an early dinner, with a bottle of Spanish rosso in hand and cash in our pockets - thanks for the heads up njfoodies! We lucked out as we were seated at a deuce in the window and were soon followed in by a party of 8 and others that filled the place by 6:00.

            This place is a great addition to L'ville with a selection of reasonably priced food served in a casual setting. The most you'll spend here is $15.75 on the meat kabob combo entree. The aps and pitzas are all priced less than $10 and the kabob entrees less than $15.

            We ordered the hummus and falafel. The falafel was dark, dense and very good. The hummus was simply excellent and the fresh piping hot pita's, what can you say, but perfect! For entrees, J ordered the chicken kabob and I order the meat combo. Her chicken was super juicy, steaming hot and very flavorful. My combo was the equal. All very good.

            We would have liked to try the pistachio ice cream for dessert, but were so full that we boxed up half of the entrees to go. Next time, for sure. We were well fed and out the door for $44 plus tip.

            Things I'd change - throughout dinner, other diners continued to pour in and J felt the constant eagle eyes of those standing & waiting in the center of the room to be seated. One woman was particularly annoying as she hovered over my shoulder, gauging as to whether we would finish before the deuce behind us in the corner. Maybe it'll be better in the summer months and arriving patrons can wait outside?! : )

            Things to like - everything! Casual vibe, excellent comfort food prepared to order and served steaming hot, great spices & tastes, byob, middle eastern music that's turned up a bit but no complaints as it transports us to the middle east and beyond!

            We look forward to return visits!

            1. re: Foody4life

              Great write up Foody4life, and thanks for checking in on our blog.

              I think I might have to sugget going back here this weekend for lunch one day as we truly enjoyed it. Great food!

              Sorry to hear about your experience, but I can picture it as the place is small. If only they had some outside seating for the summer time! Another good option however is to walk a block up the street have have a cup of coffee at Pure Energy while you wait. Just have them call you when your table is ready! Love their coffee though...even though it is a bike shop! -mJ

      2. This place has been closed for over 3 weeks.
        Does anyone know if it is going to re-open?

        3 Replies
        1. re: wetsons

          Oh no!!!! Please somebody, tell me this is a temporary situation!

          1. re: wetsons

            Moustache is indeed closed but it appears to be temporary. There is a sign on the front door saying that there was a death in the family.

            I had lunch at Moustache about 2 PM some two and a half weeks ago. I was the last customer to leave and was a little surprised when they locked the door behind me (they are supposedly open all afternoon). I wonder if that was the day they closed.

            1. re: ambrose

              I was told that there was a death in the family and they had to travel to the "home country," wherever that might be. (This is what one of the neighboring businesses said to me.) They said it was a temporary closure.

          2. Such a bummer when I read this in the paper the other day....another one bites the dust. Was great while it lasted though.... -mJ

            1. This Zatter Bread - Is there anywhere else in Central Nj that serves this? Never had it and would like to give this a try? Thanks much

              14 Replies
              1. re: shabbystorm

                Zatter (a traditional spice blend of sesame seed, thyme, sumac, oregano) mixed with olive oil rubbed over fresh dough then baked.

                So it seems Zatter is the name of the oil/herb rub. Pretty sure that it would taste good on any bread, especially flatbread. I found this about a joint in the Village that does a version on pita bread. Coincedently, it's called.......
                Moustache
                (212) 229-2220
                90 Bedford Street,
                near Grove Street
                West Village

                Moustache, a tiny Middle Eastern restaurant on a pretty block in the West Village, specializes in pizzas made with pita dough, or pitzas, as the restaurant calls them. The best are distinctly Middle Eastern, like lahmajun, a crisp crust with a savory layer of ground lamb blended with onions, tomatoes and spices. The best way to start is with a combination of salads, like richly flavored hummus, smoky baba gannouj and earthy foul, a blend of wide fava beans with parsley, tomatoes and garlic. Don't leave without trying zatter bread, a crisp individual-size pizza made with pita dough and topped with a smoky, aromatic combination of olive oil, thyme, toasted sesame seeds and sumac, a tangy reddish powder that has been used for centuries in the Middle East. Another branch of Moustache is at 265 East 10th Street in the East Village.

                1. re: grampart

                  It's no coincidence that the restaurant(s) in New York and the one in Lambertville shared the same name.

                  http://www.centraljersey.com/articles...

                  1. re: ambrose

                    Nothing about this guy surprises me.

                    1. re: ambrose

                      I have eaten at both the Moustache restaurant in NY (and at the original Moustache in Brooklyn, now called Bedouin Tent) and the former Moustache in Lambertville.
                      "David," the owner of Moustache in Lambertville was always cheerful and welcoming during our several visits. But, he became visibly agitated when I asked him whether he was aware of the existence of a similarly-named restaurant in NYC. He told me of his plans to sue the owners, claiming he had originated the name and had plans to open Moustache restaurants around the country. My wife and I walked away feeling just a bit strange about the intensity of his response, particularly since we had used Moustache in Brooklyn for catering nearly 15 years ago.

                    2. re: grampart

                      Thank you very much for all these details, your kindness is much appreciated.
                      Going into the Big Apple this week to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, either of those locations are close by.
                      Zatter Bread from the original Moustache and Rock and Roll perfect together :)

                      1. re: grampart

                        Thank you again!
                        We had a wonderful afternoon in Gotham. The Zatter Bread, Pita bread, chickpea and spinach, baba ganoush, and falafel were wonderful.
                        The Belford location was less than a mile from the Rock and Roll Annex, a perfect walk, a perfect foodie day.

                        1. re: grampart

                          "Zatter" sounds like an alternate spelling of the traditional Middle Eastern spice and herb mixture usually spelled "Za'atar." See:

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Za'atar

                          1. re: MercerChow

                            Agree with your assessment.
                            Their "Zatter" Bread was actually one of their signature "Pitzas"
                            A small Pita Pizza pie with the spices described on top. Yummy.

                            1. re: MercerChow

                              I can't thank you enough for that link. I've been wondering for years what that wonderful purplish spice Evelyns in NB uses on their salad, chicken, and veggies. Sumac! Anyone where I can buy some?

                              http://www.apinchof.com/sumac1114.htm

                              1. re: jrd303

                                Kalustyans in Manhattan does mail order but it's more fun to go in there. They also have the several regional varieties of za'atar.

                                http://www.kalustyans.com/

                                1. re: jrd303

                                  I haven't been able to find any locally, but I did buy some on the internet. I'm sure a Middle Eastern grocery store in NYC would have some.

                                  1. re: madgreek99

                                    Afandina has powdered Sumac. Imported from Lebanon but in a McSorleys type container and seemed like it's been there a while. Still has the flavor but not the pop. .

                                    Afandina
                                    558 State Route 18
                                    East Brunswick, NJ 08816-3716
                                    (732) 390-9600

                            2. re: shabbystorm

                              Marhaba, the restaurant that occupies the former Moustache space, has zatter bread on the menu.

                            3. I am completely addicted Marhaba's Baba Ghanoush in any form... I cannot emphasize how perfect it is, texture, flavor, etc. All perfect. I am always trying to get my bf to stop there on his way and get me a baba ghanoush sandwich (it's really a wrap).

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: penthilisea

                                Good to hear! I haven't gotten there yet, and I love baba ghanouj. Can't wait to try it. Don't know if I'd want it in a sandwich... What's that like? I like dipping pita in it usually...

                                1. re: penthilisea

                                  Please try their zatter bread.
                                  If you're addicted to their Baba, the zatter is like crack.

                                  1. re: famdoc

                                    Well I guess I know what my plans are for saturday...

                                    :)