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Take out from Bawadi consisted of four parts: Mansaf (the National Dish of Jordan!), Qidra Chicken (Palestinian), Fettoush Salad, and some compilmentary sweets.
The Middle Eastern culinary map seems very well covered here.
Starting with the Mansaf: some rather bland pieces of lamb are served with a sticky, pale yellow rice. The flavor is provided by the 'sauce' component ( called a soup on the menu). It is jameed, and this is why mansaf is not often found on restaurant menus. Jameed is dried yogurt made into stones. I guess like rock-hard yogurt. The stones are then crushed with oil to make the sauce. This is a laborious process, saved, fortunately, by a product called 'liquid jameed.' The taste winds up something like a really intense feta. So if you've been wondering what a concentrated feta soup would tastes like, wonder no more. Since I am not a feta acolyte, this didn't do it for me.
The qidra is cooked in a clay over or vessel, but the takeout container was made of some sort of non-clay plastic. The rice was redolent of spices, had slivered almond on it, and the chicken skin was brown and crispy. Good stuff.
Fettoush salad was good, with very thin, dark brown pita crisps.
I was surprised at how terrific the sweets were. This might be the first time I've had baklava that raised an eyebrow or two. All other baklava has always tasted exactly the same to me. There was also an excellent sesame cookie that had a nice chewy texture as opposed to the usual dry stuff.
Padaek and the entire Chef Seng empire is shut down for now....
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