Sunday, March 23, 2008
Mona's Cafe, Shreveport: felafel, baba ganouj, Turkish coffee, bourma and even a shisha
The kibbe (spelling on all these dishes is variable because there is no direct correspondence between Arabic and English vowels) was smoky and tender; Mona's fried kibbe was served in football-shaped bombs of lamb and spices.
The fried felafel was aromatic and sweet. Pardon me if I incautiiously name it one of the city's best vegetarian dishes.
The hummus - sorry, I'm tasting my way through the leftovers that somehow followed us home - was creamy, with a slight after-tang. The tzatziki was lemony, thick and, well, superb. Dolmas were mild and appealing but the baba ganouj was astounding: smoky and spiciferous.
At the end of this Mediterranean trip I sipped a demi-tasse of fumacious Turkish coffee. Amidst the coffee beans there must have been dark-roasted pistachios or almonds. It was an effective foil to the
crispy, nutty bourma.
Was I totally seduced? Not totally: the green salad lacked distinction. Talbot, a soup maven, said the Lentil soup was not splendid.
And what about the potential head-to-head with our beloved restaurant, Yeero-Yeero? While the prices are similar (sandwiches about $4.49 to $6, entrees from about $10 to $15) and they both ply the Levant, there are different recipes, different specialties and distinct styles being offered; both are highly effective.
Mona's Cafe and International Grocery
11 am to 9 pm Sun - Thurs
11 am to 10 pm Fri & Sat
6030 Line Ave
The shisha? That's the Arabic-Hebrew version of the term hookah. Mona's offers the pleasure of puffing a shisha outside, after 3 pm, for $9 and up.