Alfanoose Finds A Way To Make Cauliflower Deliciously Unhealthy

It seems that sometime since I last ate at Alfanoose on Maiden Lane (btw. Broadway & Nassau) the restaurant has started playing up the fact that they serve Lebanese food rather than generic “Middle Eastern cuisine,” or coasting on the fact that at some point they were once named as having the best falafel in the city. I’ve never been wowed by the falafel, but they do have a pretty extensive selection of vegetarian items on the menu (a french fry sandwich!), including fried cauliflower. I figured this could either be a very good, or very bad way to pretend I’m being healthy.

I’d like to note that the service at Alfanoose wasn’t too swift during the prime lunch time, so be prepared to wait 10 minutes or more for your food. I wasn’t in a huge hurry, but I had called in my order and still had to wait once I got there.

The cauliflower for my platter ($10) was fried to order. I wish they would have let more oil drain off before putting the vegetable in the takeout container because it was fairly oily, but was a good change of pace from falafel. I would recommend either grabbing extra tahini or hot sauce or some salt to sprinkle on the cauliflower as there was no seasoning to be had here. If you like cauliflower, you’ll probably like this, but if not even frying probably won’t change your mind.

You get to choose two sides to go with your platter and I chose foul mudammas (chickpeas and fava beans with tahini, tomato and herbs) and cracked wheat with lentils, both of which I’d never had before. The platter also comes with one of the thin pitas Alfanoose uses for sandwiches. I really liked the cracked wheat with lentils which was a nice change of pace from rice. The foul mudammas took a little bit of getting used to but it was a nice counterpoint to the fried cauliflower. If you’re looking for something other than hummus or baba ganouge in your platter, this is a good option.

I’m glad I tried another vegetarian option that you don’t often see at Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, but I don’t know that the cauliflower was so awesome that I would order it again – at least in platter form.

Alfanoose, 8 Maiden Lane (btw. B’way & Nassau), (212) 528-4669


1 Comment

  • That platter looks damn good. I’ve been ordering from Alfanoose since it opened (must be at least 12 years ago) and have always found their food to be fresh, tasty and a good value.

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