When my parents and I went to this year’s Ridgewood July 4th fireworks, we sat in the King’s parking lot and one of the restaurants – Tabboule Fine Lebanese Cuisine – had someone handing out menus.
Then on Saturday, October 1, 2011, my parents called me to see if I wanted to join them to check this place out. Always happy to try somewhere new, I said yes, and I met up with them there in the evening on Sunday, October 2.
They start you off with a complimentary order of Za’atar Chips and their take on tzatziki. It was a very nice way to start off the meal.
Next, we had a selection of hot appetizers. We had the Phool (fava beans sauteed in garlic, lemon juice & olive oil), Soujouk (sauteed beef sausage made with traditional Armenian spices & tomatoes), and Mousbaha (garbanzo beans with lemon, garlic & olive oil). Each was good on its own, but the Phool was the strongest. Mixing them together was yummy.
For our main courses, my mom and I each had the Beef Shawerma Pita. Of course, that’s how they spell it. It is often spelled shawarma. Anyway, it was tasty, but disappointingly small. It still have yet to find shawarma in America that compares to what I had across the road from an army base in Israel while on Birthright in January of 2002.
My dad had the Beef Shawerma Platter. That was much more substantial and, I’d say, a better value for your money.
The restauranteur suggested we try kenafeh for dessert. There were two options – pistachio or sweet Lebanese cheese. We (well, I) chose the Sweet Lebanese Cheese Kenafeh (shredded filo dough wrapped around sweet cheese topped with honey). I’d never had this before. I don’t think my parents had either. We liked it. Though I should tell you, it will require two utensils to get yourself a bite, as it is a bit sticky and caramelized.
A return to sample other menu items is a distinct possibility.
Tabboule Fine Lebanese Cuisine
90 North Maple Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
– Evan Bindelglass
(Photos taken with iPhone 4)