Saturday, February 8, 2014

AZ // BZ Manousheh, New York

It's official. A new epoch is here! AZ! I can't understand how for thirty years, I could live without Za'atar. From now on, my calculation of times will be Before Za'atar and After Za'atar.

I can't believe the first time I ever had Za'atar was at the Persian cooking class I took in Berlin last November. Ever since then, I have been craving Middle Eastern food so when I learned about Manousheh, I had to go there the very next day!

The place is not yet overrun by customers, at least not on an extremely cold Saturday at 1 pm. It's a joy to listen to the people behind the counter explain what their signature dish is and what Za'atar is made of and they even have a little glass jar readily at hand to let people smell. It didn't take me long to know what I wanted: one Manousheh with Za'atar, Jibneh, rolled and filled with cucumber, olives and tomatoes. The Manousheh is delightful. An herb and spice explosion mixed with the fresh taste of the vegetables and that soft Libanese breadshell, nomnomnom!

The crew seems genuinely happy to work there, a very rare find in New York. One of them (maybe the boss?) was even muching on a Manousheh himself when I was there - what better sign is there that the food that is served is awesome?
Kenmare Street on which Manousheh is located is not really a feast for the eye, but a perfect way to go and have lunch there is to combine it with a visit to the New Museum of Art, just 1-2 Blocks away.

It's a gonner!

Copyright of all photos: J.

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