It’s soup weather and while there are several places to get your fix downtown, one of my favorites is at Alfanoose on Fulton St. (at Ryder’s Alley). Not only is their red lentil soup delicious, it’s also a steal and a complete meal if you pair it with one of their savory pies.
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If you’ve tried to eat at Alfanoose lately, you may have noticed they no longer exist on Maiden Lane. Word is the building they were located in between Broadway & Nassau St. is being developed and they were forced to move. What you may not be aware of is that Alfanoose moved to Fulton St. (at Ryder’s Alley) in the space where L&L Hawaiian BBQ used to be. Both are long-running businesses in the Financial District but L&L Hawaiian seemed to be floundering around lately, adding a Chinese food buffet and some lunch deals to lure people in. I couldn’t find anything online that they have moved to a new location, so it looks like the city has lost one of its only sources of Hawaiian plate lunch.
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.
If you’ve worked in the Financial District, chances are you’ve heard of Alfanoose on Maiden Lane (btw. Broadway & Nassau). It’s something of an institution in that it’s been there since 1999 and at some point earned recognition for having some of the best falafel in the city. I am not really into their falafel which is in a long cylinder rather than the usual orb, offing the ratio of fluffy inside to crust, and is a couple of dollars more than you’re going to pay at any street cart.
That was the only sandwich I’d eaten there, but then a couple of weeks ago Lunch’er Deep once again recommended the kafta kebab sandwich tweaked to include fried onions. Ground lamb and beef cooked over charcoal sounded pretty great, but would it redeem Alfanoose?
Alfanoose, located at 8 Maiden Lane between Broadway and Nassau, has been on the Downtown Lunch radar for awhile now. A quick search of the website has showed it popping up every year for the last few years. Lunch’er Lara recommended it to profiled Lunch’er “Tam” back in 2007. It was mentioned in the comments of the 2008 Readers’ Poll for Best Falafel. And most recently, Daniel was honing in on the place after visiting the Country Kebab. Seems to me it’s high time we made this puppy an official Downtown Lunch.