zahav, round 2

If you have been reading for a while, you may recall (note: really, really awful photos, click at your own risk) the first time I went to Zahav. I went during restaurant week again, but this time for lunch.

hummus-tehina & laffa

assorted salads

In typical Zahav fashion we started off with the hummus-tehina w/ laffa and a selection of salads. The salads were (clockwise from bottom in above picture) twice cooked eggplant, radishes, fennel, and tomato/cucumber.

crispy haloumi

house smoked sable

The second course order consisted of crispy haloumi and house smoked sable. I’ve had the haloumi before and it was just as good if not better than the first time I had it. Cubes of haloumi were served with pine nuts over a date spread. The sable was served over toasted challah with a fried egg in the middle, egg in the basket style.

the galil

monsieur merguez

Me and my dining companion ordered the galil and monsieur merguez for our third course. The galil was eggplant topped with tehina and zucchini, served over a tomato couscous. The monsieur merguez was a sausage served with matbucha over couscous.

almond semifreddo

halvah mousse

Finally our desserts of an almond semifreddo and halvah mousse arrived. The semifreddo was served with a chocolate crisp and the halvah mousse was layered with a chickpea praline and blueberries.

The food was delicious as expected. I did however, wish I checked out what I ordered last time and tried some new stuff…previously I had the monsieur merguez. Totally would have ordered the farsi (hanger steak, persian rice, pickled garlic, and fried corn) had I realized it. For the second course, I REALLY wanted to try the crispy sweetbreads and grilled lamb tongue. It’s true, I think offal is pretty awesome and delicious…unfortunately, not everyone feels the same. There is always next time!

Haven’t gone to Zahav yet? What are you waiting for?! The hummus-tehina & laffa alone is worth the trip!

237 St. James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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sahara grill

A couple weeks ago I joined a Lebanese friend and another for dinner at Sahara Grill in Center City Philadelphia.

I let my friend order the appetizers and we started off with a fattoush salad and pita with hummus and baba ganoush.

This was the first time I had fattoush. The fried pita pieces with the greens and veggies tasted pretty good together. Soft and warm pita arrived at the table with homemade hummus and baba ganoush. The hummus was pretty fantastic as well as the baba ganoush. I’m still trying to warm up to baba ganoush though, since I’m a recent eggplant convert. I’ll always choose hummus over baba ganoush anyday.

I was craving falafel all week so my entree choice was a no brainer, the falafel platter. The falafel was cooked perfectly too..the inside was perfectly moist and the outside had a nice crisp. They served it alongside a salad, tahini, and more of that delicious hummus!

If only I could produce the same results making falafel at home..

Sahara Grill
1334 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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savory maza

On Saturday for lunch, my friend took us to one of his favorite restaurants in the area, Savory Maza, a Lebanese restaurant in Scranton.

Looking at the menu, in addition to their entrees, they had a large selection of maza, which are small appetizer plates…kinda like tapas I guess. We ordered a bunch of maza and one entree.

We of course got the hummus. Then we ordered the savory pie, grape leaves, and spinach pie. For the “entree” we ordered falafel.

My favorites had to be the hummus and pita, savory pie, and falafel. The hummus was fresh, smooth, and creamy. It perfectly complimented the excellent pita. The pita was soft, thin, and delicious. The savory pie was fantastic! It was like a sauceless Lebanese pizza…there were spices spread throughout the flatbread and splotches of cheese (not sure what kind) and pitted kalamatas throughout. It was sooo good. Lastly, the falafel was pretty fantastic. The falafel had a moist center with a somewhat crisp outside. It was wrapped in the same delicious pita that we were using for the hummus. They also served it with a side of tahini. Ahh I’m craving that falafel right now as I see the photo and write this post….heavenly.

Go check this place out!

Savory Maza
200 North Main Street
Scranton, PA 18504

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