Anyone know a Mediteranean spot in Morris Plains???
The place is on Speedwell, just a couple doors down from Arthur's Tavern - but I can't recall the name. Up until last year I used to work nearby and sometimes we would go there for lunch, especially when the weather was warm (so as to sit outside, since it is a hole-in-the-wall). I really love good middle eastern, so I wanted to like this place, but it is only so-so. While everything looks good, the taste generally comes off a very bland, even a kabob or falafel with a generous squirt of chili sauce or tahini.
700 Speedwell Ave, Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Its called CARMEL HAIFA, an easy google away. The best I can say about it is that it is the only Lebanese/Palestinian place in the area and therefore worth an occasional visit. I hope they fix the ventilation issue before OSHA shuts them done - the smoke from the charcoal grill is heavy and fills the place up, somewhat like the tear gas often experienced in the real Palestine; but that's another story. I prefer to sit outside, at a sidewalk table where I only have to deal with the cigarette smoke produced by the chain smoking proprietor of the nail salon next door, taking his every-five-minutes-cigarette-break.. Its best to visit when the wind is blowing from the the south.
It is Carmel Haifa and it really is more of a take-out restaurant. I would never consider eating there unless you are getting a quick bite to eat. With that said, their appetizers, salads and soups are amazing! I do not care for lamb so I stick to the chicken dishes and it was rather bland.
I love their hummus and typically bring in my own serving dish and they fill it up with hummus and a touch of olive oil, olives and spices. This way I can serve it to my guests and it still maintains the proper presentation. They always tell me that this is how they do it in the old world.
Their fattoush is wonderful also. I've had fattoush at higly-touted Illili in Mnahattan and CH is better. Lastly, the homemade wild mushroom soup is the real deal. I "reserve" mine ahead of time since they tend to run out early...even on a summer day.
So with all my babbling I love their sides but their mains are okay. At least their chicken swarma.
Hope this helps.