We've become regulars at Waterfalls Cafe, on Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Henry Streets in Brooklyn, on the South Side of Atlantic, ever since we read about it here on Chowhound.
We can fairly certainly say the same thing about Waterfalls that we just posted about Sripraphai, the Thai restaurant in Queens, which is that we've scoured New York and every other city we visit for Middle Eastern food that comes close to the indigenous region. Waterfalls is the only one in the city that comes close. For those of you who love Sripraphai as we do - which is half the Chowhound board, it seems! - Waterfalls is the Sripraphai of Middle Eastern food in NYC.
Like Sripraphai, the decor of Waterfalls recedes into the background. Simple, white, almost decorless, but also clean. And the prices: Dirt cheap. We eat a ton and dinner for two is about $25, tops.
We keep saying that if Waterfalls would take the same food and put it a restaurant with in extremely upscale surroundings and dishes etc in Manhattan, they could increase the prices by 5x and be packed. Waterfalls has an open kitchen where you see their magic and fresh ingredients.
The salads are from heaven. Two dishes in particular we would say are the best we've had anywhere, including in the Middle East: the Fatoosh salad and the babbaganoush. The Fatoosh salad at Waterfalls may be the best salad at any restaurant in New York -- rivalled, we think, only by the Chopped Salad at the Greek restaurant Elias' Corner in Astoria, another favorite of ours and many other Chowhound posters. The babaganoush at Waterfalls tastes completely unlike any other you've ever had - a magnificent, smoky flavor. I don't eat baba anywhere else but here.
And the chicken quality - wow. Not only is it seasoned incredibly and grilled perfectly, with those georgeous charcoal lines, but each piece is of the highest quality: White meat chicken breast, which ethnic restaurants in New York can sometimes skimp on.
No we weren't paid to write this! But we do have an abiding interest. This restaurant has become rather empty, like others on Atlantic Avenue, since September 11. We're afraid that something could happen to our favorite restaurant if we don't start seeing enough other customers in there soon.
It would be heartbreaking to lose this all-time gem.
PS We've had Middle Eastern in every other restaurant on Atlantic Avenue and nearby. Not only are they not in the same league as Waterfalls, we don't even think they're good. To us, those others would also rate a distant second to several better Middle Eastern places in Manhattan - all of which still take a back seat, by far, to Waterfalls.