Chuck’s friend from yesterday? The one who recommended 9 Roses for good Chinese food? Well, among his other suggestions was Lebanon’s Café for good Mediterranean. I am amazed at the number of high caliber Mediterranean restaurants in New Orleans.
“Why would Falafel and Hummus lovers from throughout New Orleans flock to Carrollton Avenue’s Lebanon’s Café, when there is likely to be a Middle Eastern restaurant nearer where they live or work?
“There are so many reasons… Some of our patrons say it is because
“It should not come as a surprise that Loyola's ‘Favorite Veggie Plate’ in New Orleans comes from Lebanon's Café, a haven for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. This Middle Eastern restaurant…serves up a mean vegetarian plate of hummus, baba ganuj, tabouleh and falafel that the rest of the table will probably try to sample—but it's up to you to let them. Luckily, the omnivores at the table will become quickly distracted when ordering one of many pleasing meat dishes like the kibby plate or gyro, made with perfectly spiced ground beef and lamb.
It was past the normal lunch hour when we arrived and the restaurant was only about a third full. But this makes it easier for Chuck to take photos without drawing undo attention to himself—and me.
“The dining room is spacious with lots of windows that makes for great daytime dining. When the weather is nice there are tables outside on the sidewalk as well!...During slower hours it's a seat yourself kinda place which I love. There are paintings on the walls and all kinds of fun trinkets that decorate the shelves to keep your eyes wandering while you wait.”
This time I didn’t repeat my mistake from 9 Roses and spent considerable time studying the café’s on-line menu. I could have made a meal from the appetizers alone. Among the more enticing were: Faul—mashed fava beans mixed with garlic, lemon juice, jalapeño peppers, and extra virgin olive oil; Tabouleh—finely minced parsley mixed with tomatoes, onions, and cracked wheat; Safeiheh (mini pizza)—ground lamb, ground beef, and tomatoes with spices baked on a pita bread; Zaater Bread—oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac with olive oil baked on pita bread; and, of course my favorite, Falafel—seasoned ground chickpeas with onion, parsley, and garlic.
I finally decided to order just one—the Zaater Bread. “Behold the
However you describe Zaater (or Za’atar), this was delicious. Chuck asked if he could have one of the four wedges—he ended up eating two. That’s how good it was.
For my entrée, I chose the falafel plate with hummus and salad. Let’s start with the hummus. Marvelous. It came with a pool of olive oil
And now the falafel. Double marvelous. First, they were round balls and not patties. (Remember, that’s one of my eccentricities.) They were full of parsley and lightly tasted of garlic and onions. And there was some undefined, but definitely spicy, element to the seasoning.
Now Chuck’s friend from the French Quarter Fest recommended the Lula Kabob, but hedging his bets, Chuck ordered the Combination Kabob. This included: chicken marinated in garlic, spices, and herbs;
We asked our server what went into the marinades and seasonings. She retired to the kitchen and came back and told us that the ingredients were “secret.” I don’t blame them. I’d probably want to keep the recipe secret myself.
Today we were in agreement. Lebanon’s Café served the best Mediterranean we’ve had in New Orleans—and maybe anywhere. This was a 5.0 Addie meal.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.