I haven't been to Alfanoose since 9.11 so when I heard they were closing for an extended vacation I thought I'd go back for nostalgia sake. I've eaten a considerable amount of Middle Eastern food since my last visit so it was a bit of a comparison test to my newly acquired hoomus-addicted taste buds as well.
The chicken shwarma looked pale and flavorless compared to the crispy, red-spiced version at Rainbow falafel. The hoomus looked a bit thin and the babaganoush ordinary compared to my favorite versions at Hadom, Hoomos Asli, or Rainbow.
The layered onion, potato, and lamb casserole called kafta bil-saniyeh was much drier than I remembered and was priced at a steep 10 bucks. The generous portion of saffron tinged cracked wheat salad it sad on was the highlight of the dish. It had a wonderful tenderness and was perfectly spiced.
The ful was outstanding though. Creamy, eggy, it was oozing out of my pita. It's full of beans(fava I believe) and is very satisfying.
I still think the stuffed buns, sesame rolls and kibbeh are what make this place truly special but they were out of all of the above. I noticed that prices were a bit higher than other places around or maybe my budget is just smaller now.