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Wonderful Lebanese in Forest Hills- Please Support Wafa's!

I recently discovered a hole-in-the-wall off of 72nd Ave and Metropolitan in Forest Hills. An extremely friendly woman owns this wonderful find; an authentic Lebanese kitchen. I say kitchen because that's really all there is; you can see her pots as she prepares the food right in front of you.

There are only 2 tables and a few chairs by the window with a limited menu. However, the food on the limited menu is divine. Thick, creamy hummus sprinkled with paprika and drizzled with olive oil. Freshly baked kibbe; bulghar dough with a lamb and pine nut filling. Sensuous baked eggplant with pomegranate juice and olive oil. She also offers meat pies and other goodies that seem to rotate (I didn't taste them but yesterday it looked like she had a tomato tinged pilaf, stuffed cabbage and some other stuff).

Each time I have gone to Wafa's it is pretty empty. For anyone in Forest Hills or nearby who would love to try authentic Lebanese, please support this great find and spread the word!

Note: The only thing I hope she improves upon is her choice of pita bread. She uses a store bought brand that is very thin and dry.

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  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586020

    did you see this thread? We've been going regularly for the last couple weeks, getting takeout.

    1. We've walked by it a few times (just down the street) and wondered about it. That storefront has been about 5 things in the past few years. Thanks for the post; I'm going to check it out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jennielap

        got some nice tabouleh tonight. It's $5 for a large stuffed 1/2 lb container. If you want it filled less it's $3, I think. They have a $7.95 lunch special there. It's a tiny place.

        1. re: janie

          I stopped by Wafas this week. I had her make me up a small sample of what she had in the steam table...eggplant, hummus,etc. Also had chicken in a pita and a diet coke. Everything was great, and I think it was $10.00. She was nice as can be. Reccomended.

          1. re: daveyj

            I tried this place tonight after reading the positive posts. It's SOOO yummy!!!
            I think the lamb gyro was about $7 or $8 and it's huge! Definitely enough to share. the tabouleh and baba ganoush are really good. and the baklava is to die for!! Well worth the calories.

      2. I felt so lucky to be able to taste Wafa's homestyle cooking- The Falafel was a rich blend of spicy, fresh and nutritious foods that moved my imagination way beyond this tiny restaurant's simple decor to the beauty of the Middle East. I found myself guarding my silence so that I didn't miss a culinary note. Her meat dish, Fusilli, consisted of a fantastic combination of lamb, beef, red beans that was rich and hearty. It left me wanting more. Wafa makes my food experience fun by challenging me to figure out how she created her perfumed baklava (hint: rose water). One of the patrons seemed to be embarassed at how much he loved Wafa's creations especially her chicken dish...What's nice too is that this restaurant is near to Eddie's (Homemade) Ice Cream Shop and other fun places, the Brightwater Gallery, the Cinemart Movie theatre, and the Sedona gym to work off all of those fantabulous calories!!!!!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: xio

          Just came back from Wafa's. Had the grape leaves, lamb shwarma and chicken shwarma. Delicious! And I usually do not like grape leaves because they are usually cold with hard rice in the middle, Wafa's version were warm and tasty. The chicken shwarma is big, the lamb is a little bit more moderate in size. Only concern is that since this place is a one woman show, she'll have a hard time keeping up if she gets really busy. Other thing to note is the delicious aroma of the food will stay in your clothes when you leave.

          1. re: judamazome

            tried the grape leaves on Friday, and yes, they are very good. The hummus is good too. She mentioned she would try to get chairs to sit outside when it's warmer if a permit is possible. Austin Street is so bleak for food, too bad the rents are so ridiculously high because she would probably get a lot of exposure there. She needs some kind of sign on the corner of that block, so people will walk up it.

            1. re: janie

              I went again on saturday night and the place was packed. All seats were full.

        2. I just had lunch here with 2 friends and we all loved it. The food was simply delicious. We had a little tasting of hummus, okra, eggplant salad, 2 different type of wheat salads, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pie and falafel -- everything was perfectly seasoned and very fresh. The desserts were also outstanding. Just as charming was the cook and hostess herself Ms. Wafa. I highly recommend this place -- you won't be disappointed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: choclitarian

            Just had takeout from there, there are only 2-3 tables. Very nice, wheat germ w/onions and taboule. A great option for the area

          2. This is a class operation; she cooks with love, from her heart. It's evident in every bite.

            The food we took out from Wafa tonight all had very simple, subtle flavors. Nothing to prove. The falafel sandwich was an outstanding combination of flavors, textures, very nice. The hummus is very creamy, with an understated taste compared to, say, Hummus Place in the East Village (perhaps Wafa's is more representative of a typical Lebanese approach?). The cheese pie was outstanding - I think I even caught a trace of mint in there. If anything was the weak link here, it was the beef pie; still, in all, that was pretty good too. My wife went ga-ga over the tabouleh, said it was some of the best she's tasted in years. On top of all this, the home-made baklava was sensational. The proprietress joked that we'd polish them off in a day. It was more like an hour. I could grope at describing the taste, but what's the point: Just try the stuff and you'll see.

            Alas, I'm in agreement about the pita. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but imagine how good all this stuff would be spread on something better.

            Thanks to Nicole for this post. I have to admit - living in this neighborhood - that when I see raves for a local place on this board, I've gotten into the habit of writing them off as enthusiasm brought on by wishful thinking and all-around desparation. But Wafa's the real thing.
            P.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Polecat

              I think I was there the same time as you today, around 6:30pm? If that's your baby in the pic, then I saw your wife sitting in the chair in back, and you in a hat on the phone? I ran in and got some Tabouleh quickly, and then dashed over to Five Guys to grab some fries for my toddler to try. Next time you go to Wafa's, if she's got the tilapia and lentils, try that, it's really great. I always enjoy your posts, so I'm glad to have sort of vicariously "met" you.

              1. re: janie

                You got me dead to rights, janie. That was me. Thanks for the tip on the tilapia dish. I'd also like to give the shawarma a shot, as well as other stuff.
                p.

              2. re: Polecat

                Funny you mention the pita. I thought the same thing. Everything was excellent...but the pita. Its sorta like D'angelos sausage and pepper truck on Woodhaven. It would be soooo much better on a softer bread,

                1. re: daveyj

                  Next time I'm there, I'm going to mention to Wafa about the pita---don't see why she couldn't at least have the fluffy Queens Pita from Main Street...the only problem is it lasts one day, tops. But, they must deliver because Carmel sells it. I'll give her the number and see what she thinks...

                  1. re: daveyj

                    which truck is better? D'Angelos or the Hot dog truck?

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      Two totally different animals. D'angelos is sausage and peppers, Dominicks is hot dogs. They are practically next to each other. Get a dog at Dominicks and then a S/P at D'angelos.

                      1. re: daveyj

                        funny, we were driving past and my friend mentioned a rivalry; doing some research:

                        http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/0...

                        yielded that its actually husband and wife each running each truck; funny!