The Waterfalls Cafe at 144 Atlantic Avenue is the best of that strip of Middle Eastern restaurants and one of the better Arab restaurants in NYC.
The owner, Aladdin Hussari, serves the usual Middle Eastern classics--babaganoush, shish kebob, falafel, etc.--but specializes in Syrian dishes found nowhwere else (that I know of). These include mouhamarah, a spicy red spread made from red peppers, chile peppers, walnuts and oil, and motawama, a cooling salad of pureed baby zucchini with garlic and oil. Check out the refrigerated case at the end of the restaurant: There you will also find a wide variety of unique preparations, like swiss chard with a spicy dressing, vegetarian stuffed cabbage, moulkeya and shampat (a stew of cracked wheat in a spiced tomato broth).
They also do the standards better than the competition--smoky babaganoush, juicy lamb chops and one of the best chicken shawarmas in the city.
This is a friendly storefront restaurant with excellent food and it deserves to be better known.
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...