We were looking for a Middle Eastern restaurant close to Union Square and found Salam Café, a family owned restaurant located in the West Village, that has served customers for more than 30 years.
I like the place, its decor that seems authentic, as well as the layout of the restaurant: the entrance looks like a café, with its beautiful round tables decorated with mosaic, a private room that gives the impression you are in a tent, and its large dining room where we got seated.
Food wise, they have tons of dishes that cater to vegetarians and non-vegetarians, with some classics like falafel, hummus, babaganoush or kebab. After we ordered, they brought us some grilled pita (a bit tough I have to say) as well as some olives that we call olives cassées in French or cracked olives, a truly mediterranean way of preparing olives. The olives, green, are first cracked, then marinated in a juice (saumure), prepared in a similar manner as an herbal tea, made of different herbs like fennel, coriander, etc. as well as pepper. It has been a while since I ate some and I could not stop...
For our appetizer, we went for the Sfia, a Syrian flat bread topped with cheese, that was very good and would satisfy any cheese lover considering the amount of cheese there was.
For her entrée, Jodi chose the vegetable ouzi, a fillo stuffed with spinach, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, peas, rice, raisins that has been baked golden brown. It definitely looked good and seemed to be a popular dish (the offer it also with chicken, lamb or shrimp), but it was just ok, having more rice than anything else.
On my side, I went for the combination kebab, composed of chicken, shrimp, lamb, merguez sausage, and kufta. Served with rice and cooked on charcoal, this was really good and a good price, although I wish they had more merguez sausage in it as it was so good! I love when restaurants propose a combination platter so you can try few things and this was is definitely recommended.
For dessert, we opted for the baklava that was just good, but a bit dry.
We had our dessert with some delicious mint tea that cut the sweetness of the baklava.
The food at Salam café was good, but I admit that it is not as good as Byblos, a Lebanese restaurant I discovered last year and where I would rather go back to to get some delicious Middle Eastern food.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!