I was really looking forward for our dinner at Gazala's Place in Hell's Kitchen, sometimes craving Middle Eastern cuisine. We found it walking one afternoon on 9th Avenue, seeing the owner, Gazala Halabi making some pita at the window.
Gazala's is quite a small place so don't be surprised to have your back on your neighbor's chair. For the time we arrived to the time we left, the flow of patrons continue to arrive and go, probably having the same cravings as we did.
They have a large menu, with quite classic items for this type of cuisine and so, we decided to go with their vegetarian sampler where we could pick five different items. Our picks were: hummus, babaganouj, tahini, falafel. Overall, it was ok and I thought even disappointing. The hummus and falafel were good, but the babaganouj and tahini had a weird taste...
We ate them with their paper thin pita I mentioned before, a pita that was delicious and slightly chewy.
We also got the potato cigars that are rolled pita stuffed with mashed potatoes, curry and other spices. I loved it: it was deliciously crispy on the outside and it reminded me the ones my family cooks but more in a triangle than a cigar shape (we call them "bestel").
Then, we ordered a sort of Middle Easter pizza: the cheese pie. It was a made with pita dough, topped with homemade goat cheese and spices. This was pretty good and a perfect dish if you love goat cheese.
But really, what we were looking forward to eat was the dessert: kenefeh. It is a shredded dough, topped with homemade sweet cheese, pistachios and (lots) of honey. This was huge, but not enough to justify a $14 dessert. I liked it as it was crunchy and gooey at the same time, and delightfully sweet.
Although we liked some of the dishes at Gazala's, I admit that I was a bit disappointed by this place. For Middle Eastern cuisine, I really prefer Byblos that has some outstanding food, including a much better kenefeh!
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!