I sort of wrote off Mombar (Steinway between 25th and 28th, Astoria) after a couple of visits based on less-than-great food and high prices. But a visit last night (Kabab Cafe is closed for vacation) demonstrated that both problems have been set right!
We started with the "mixed appetizer" plate -- hummus, baba, felafel, ... -- and the mombar homemade sausage. Both were excellent which was a very good sign -- the sausage had been one of the best dishes when I've been there before but the mixed apps had been off. The baba was different from any I've had before, very sweet and creamy, delicious! Mustafa serves this platter, like his brother, with slices of apple; he also adds slices of honeydew and cantaloupe, a fantastic idea to my way of thinking. Oh, in addition to pita bread, the appetizer comes with Egyptian bread, a phyllo-dough pastry that goes very nicely with baba.
The main courses were quite good -- I felt slightly let down after the transcendent nature of the apps -- the only entree that really made me sit up and take notice was the divine shrimp Alexandria. Other dishes were Phyllo pastry stuffed with salmon and vegetables, which would have been great without the pastry -- the salmon was spectacular but the crust was a vestigial appendage. And two types of tajeen, which had been the best dishes when I've been there before; I think they were just as good this time but everything else was so much better as to outshine them by far.
The bill for this wonderful dinner, including a large tip, came to $23 per adult. We were 6 adults and one seven-year-old, who ate mainly bread and rice and played with shrimp shells.