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March 8th, 2011 BRIAN PANGANIBAN | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Cheap Eats 2011: TarBoush Lebanese Bistro & Bar

     
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Want to get a measure of a Lebanese restaurant? Order its veggie mezza ($12). The traditional assortment of hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, grape leaves and tabbouleh is as good a metric as any in determining a kitchen’s acumen. TarBoush’s accompanying pita bread, which comes out of the kitchen hot and appropriately puffed, ably serves as a vessel for the spreads, but lacks the slight yeasty tang of the best examples of this staple. The tabbouleh is great with everything—an unusually high parsley-to-bulgur ratio gives the salad a bright, astringent quality with a subtle nuttiness. Nice and crispy, the falafel is at its best when you assemble an ad-hoc sandwich with the other mezza accompaniments. Over on the hot side of the menu, The grilled chicken ($14) is tender and succulent, with a lovely garlicky finish, and the kafta kebab ($14) is easily one of the best versions in town, substantial and filling while still moist.

 
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