Check out Balaboosta – Just Ignore the Attitude-sta!

After a long day of shopping, we wandered into Balaboosta, a new Nolita Mediterranean restaurant on Mulberry Street (near Spring Street) at about 6:00 on a recent Sunday night. We were excited to try it, since it’s owned by the same people who own falafel hotspot Taïm. When we walked in, we were happy to see that the place was mostly empty, so we figured we would have no problem getting a table. However, the rude hostess told us (with an attitude!) that there were reservations coming in at 6:30 so we would have to have a seat and order at the bar. We Magpies looked at each other like, is she kidding? We were shocked that she was going to make us eat at the bar when there were literally about 15 open tables! After much negotiating, we finally persuaded the hostess to let us have a table to quickly order a few things. We were really annoyed when we sat down – but we got over our annoyance once we tasted the food. We decided to order just a few things to split. We tried the uh-mazing hummus (made with tahini, lemon and roasted garlic), which is served with the most delicious warm pita (it almost tasted like naan, it was so dough-ey)…

And then we ordered the eggplant bruschetta, which is topped with an herb and citrus salad. It tasted like the best  babganoush we’ve ever had…every bite was better than the last.

And how could we not order the falafel? It’s the same falafel served at Taïm, but these are called “falafel wrapped meatballs” – since there are meatballs inside! They were so savory, and simply amazing.

But the real standout was the lightly fried cauliflower served with pine nuts and currants (which we almost didn’t order at first!). It was literally life-changing – we have never had cauliflower that good.

So when you’re in the mood for Middle Eastern treats, check out Balaboosta – just ignore the hostess’s attitude-sta!

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