There is nothing better to me on a Saturday afternoon, albeit weather permitting, than grabbing a late afternoon lunch followed by an aimless walk (or wander) through the streets of NYC.
This past Saturday I was in the mood for Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine; specifically Israeli salad and hummus.
I gave those guidelines to my cousin and before I knew it, we were en route to Moustache in the E. Vill, which is one of 3 NYC locations (W. Vill & E. Harlem).
Complete with sweat drenched servers, copper topped tables & exposed brick walls, this place is the definition of a hole in the wall – but an exceptional one.
There was a slight language barrier between the waiter and myself, so I chose not to start asking questions about gluten and instead to select menu items I knew were safe, including:
Yeah definitely not that. The pita was placed on the table soon after we ordered, without us even ordering it. It was perfectly puffed with hot air and smelled delicious. Too bad.
Something that bothered me though – the bread wasn’t eaten by either of us and yet we were charged for it (can’t remember how much). Typical Euro style – but this place was Middle Eastern, what gives?
I told you I wanted hummus, and that was exactly the first thing I ordered. I asked for slices of cucumber which they so generously gave (& didn’t charge for).
They clearly did not have Israeli salad so I opted for what I thought was the next best thing: spinach & chickpea salad. If you are anything like me, you totally envisioned this:
Well think again. I asked for grilled chicken on top and it came kebab style, which I really liked.
This looked too good not to try. Good thing the waiter understood bread crumbs, because he confirmed (twice) that there were none in these lamb balls. Next time I’d definitely order this.
Overall it was not what I was expecting for lunch, but I was pleasantly surprised. Two thumbs up to my cousin for uncovering this spot.
We then proceeded to embark on our aimless walk and somehow ended up in Chinatown. Along the journey we made sure to stop at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery on the way:
Tully Phillips & Jennifer Wells have a nice story of how Tu-lu’s came to existence. Unfortunately for our diets but fortunately for the gluten-free population, fate brought these 2 together and they in turn have brought us their goodies.
I grabbed a mini red velvet and a chocolate brownie, before I forced myself to turn around and head out the door.
All in all, it was an Saturday afternoon well spent and over indulged.
Pros: Authentic food & cheap prices.
Cons: Small and no thrills.