Mediterranean Snack Cart At Zeytuna Fulfills Your Maffle Needs
Grocery store/lunch favorite for tons of downtown office works Zeytuna has had what they call a Mediterranean snack cart set up outside on John St. (at Nassau) for a little while now, and I have been meaning to try it. I didn’t so much want to eat there because it was new, but because they seemed to have a pretty random assortment of food. We’re talking something called a maffle, some sort of sandwich called a dove, crepes and “corn in the cup.” Oh, and samosas! After asking what corn in the cup was, I was told they don’t have it anymore and will be replacing it with ravioli. Random! Since the cart will probably only be there as long as the weather is nice, and I really wanted to know what the hell a maffle was, this finally became my lunch destination.
Zeytuna has long been a hot spot for lunch due to their giant basement seating area and insane variety of options. If I were forced to eat somewhere resembling a generic deli for days on end, I would want it to be here. Recently, they’ve kept the outdoor restaurant open later and have started serving alcohol, along with adding an ice cream cart on the little plaza behind the store.
But because it would be crazy to try to review all of that in one post, I’m sticking with the newish cart. Since I wasn’t feeling the crepes or whatever the dove sandwich is, and the only other thing resembling a real lunch was the maffle ($5.99), that is what I ended up with.
The two kinds available are chicken and mushroom, and buffalo mozzarella and spinach. You would think feta would be a little more Mediterranean, but I guess not. I also sprung for one of those samosas ($1.99), which was more like a bureka, in my opinion. Those also come with either chicken and mushrooms or vegetables. Basically my lunch was a couple of things encased in greasy bread.
The maffle reminded me of either a Jamaican roti or a kati roll, except the filling was baked inside the bread and then rolled up in burrito shape. Since it was about 90 degrees out that day, I wouldn’t have minded eating it as is, but instead it was thrown on a sandwich press and heated to hand-searing temperature. Seriously, it was like the kati rolls from the Biryani House cart all over again.
Inside was chopped up chicken and sliced mushrooms, with what I think was a bit of feta. I don’t know, there was something in there besides chicken and mushrooms, and it tasted like feta. This was a definite gut bomb, although I think $5.99 might be a bit steep for what you get. I definitely should have gotten some hot sauce or something for this to liven it up a bit.
The samosa was just OK. If you’re going in expecting one of the Indian variety like I was, you will be sadly disappointed. Again, it was pretty similar to the burekas I had at the Fulton Stall Market.
I’m kind of intrigued by the ravioli they’re adding to the cart soon, so I may be back for that. The maffle is good if you’re looking for something different and filling for lunch, but it might be hard to try the cart over some of the other options inside Zeytuna.
Zeytuna Mediterranean Snack Cart, corner of John St. & Nassau