Uncle Mina Goes Chula

Williamsburg’s Uncle Mina, a humble hangout for Egyptian chow, has changed hands, and been renamed Falafel Chula. Mina’s new owners are the folks behind nearby Taco Chulo, which gets only mixed marks from hounds. But, surprisingly, Falafel Chula’s been doing pretty well.

Early reports praise carrot salad, foul medammas (seasoned mashed favas), and the falafel deluxe sandwich (falafel, hummus, eggplant), part of an expanded new menu. And the redone interior is an inviting upgrade from Mina’s formerly dingy digs.

In Carroll Gardens, two-month-old Mazzat is another promising spot for Middle Eastern bites from a broadly Mediterranean menu emphasizing small plates. Kibbeh and baba ghanoush are smart orders. The warm vibe, attentive service, and well-mixed cocktails are also winning fans. “The neighborhood needed something like this,” writes Theo43.

A more established hound destination, Cobble Hill’s Yemen Cafe, makes intensely meaty lamb soup—”the one thing that will warm you down to your bones on a cold rainy day,” reports a grateful dixieday2. A small bowl of the deep brown broth, flecked with chopped onion and herbs, is just $2.

For dessert, Bay Ridge hounds endorse Sweet Arayssi, descended from a venerable bakery in Beirut. Its rendition of the nut- or date-filled shortbreadlike cookie called maamoul is moist, aromatic, and delicious. brooklynsabra, who has fallen hard for the one with pistachio, ranks Arayssi’s ahead of competing cookies at D’Vine Taste in Park Slope, Damascus Bakery in Cobble Hill, and Mansoura in Gravesend. jen kalb finds Arayssi’s maamoul wanting, both in the quality of the cookie and the complexity of the fillings, and prefers the individually wrapped ones at Damascus.

Falafel Chula [Williamsburg]
formerly Uncle Mina
436 Union Avenue (between Devoe and Metropolitan), Brooklyn
718-387-0303
Map

Taco Chulo [Williamsburg]
318 Grand Street (between Havemeyer and Marcy), Brooklyn
718-302-2485
Map

Mazzat Mediterranean Kitchen [Carroll Gardens]
208 Columbia Street (between Sackett and Union), Brooklyn
718-852-1652
Map

Yemen Cafe [Cobble Hill]
176 Atlantic Avenue (between Clinton and Court), Brooklyn
718-834-9533
Map

Sweet Arayssi [Bay Ridge]
7216 Fifth Avenue (between 72nd and 73rd streets), Brooklyn
718-745-2115
Map

D’Vine Taste [Park Slope]
150 Seventh Avenue (between Garfield and Carroll), Brooklyn
718-369-9548
Map

Damascus Bakery [Cobble Hill]
195 Atlantic Avenue (between Clinton and Court), Brooklyn
718-625-7070
Map

Mansoura Pastries [Gravesend]
515 Kings Highway (between E. Second and Third streets), Brooklyn
718-645-7977
Map

Board Links: Falafel Chula in Williamsburg
Mazzat on Columbia St
Lamb Soup at Yemen Cafe—a cure for what ails you
Sweet Arayssi in Bay Ridge

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