Restaurants & Bars 5

Cafe Baraka

passing thru | Feb 23, 2005 07:03 AM

went for the first time last night to this central sq. locale. not on top of things enough to preorder the squab bastilla, the so + i settled for a starter of armenian dates and labneh. the combo of sweet dates and tangylbaneh was really interesting, though the dates weren't necessarily anything super special. for an entree i had a really nicely done lamb shank over a bed of tasty (though perhaps slightly overdone for me) vegetables and some really soft and delicious couscous. the gf had the mixed vegetarian platter and pronounced it quite good--all i tried off of it was an interesting carroty (?) puree that tasted of caraway and had a sort of carbonated fizz to it--quite tasty.

washed it all down with a carafe of their excellent rose lemonade--i was a bit leery here, as i am sometimes oversensitive to flowery tastes--but the hint of rose here was subtle enough as to be quite good. the service was also excellent, as our hostess regaled us with tales of how she thought she'd end up working in the tunisian film industry--i guess her family has involvement there--but somehow ended up running a restaurant in cambridge. also interesting was when she mentioned that baraka had been here 8 years, which is amazing to me. i lived just around the corner when this place opened, and i remember thinking that it'd probably never last in this slightly odd location. luckily, to the area's great fortune i was dead wrong about that.

cafe baraka
80 1/2 pearl st

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