I grew up in the melting pot of NYC. I am a first generation American, English my second language (my Dad’s tenth). The comforting aromas of ethnic cooking and stores were always available to me growing up. To eat REAL falafel, you went to a Lebanese market. To eat REAL marinara, you went to an Italian market. To eat REAL bratwurst, you went to a German market. To eat REAL chopped chicken liver, you went to the Jewish deli. etc If you want to understand this, pay a visit to Mediterranean Specialties Cafe and Goods.
The owners are what my mother would call excellent cooks with class. No one uses the word CLASS anymore. I know why – a few people are born with it and the rest of us have to want to cultivate it. My mother was raised Hungarian. Hungarians are known for there mathematicians, composers and, foremost, their hospitality. If a Hungarian invites you to a party, don’t walk, RUN.
I devour the homemade falafel at Mediterranean Specialties. Only I could make fresher hummus – delish. And the soup is always HOT and satisfying. The self seating area is bright and clean – a great place to meet a pal and trade stories.
Nahla Gholem is co-owner with her sister (I’ve heard) and are originally from Lebanon (many years past) and wears sharp glasses from LINKS on James Street. She was VERY friendly towards my mother when we visited. The inside scoop on that is: immigrants who speak English with an accent will show great respect toward others of the same. There is so little of it otherwise in America, from my own experience.
Mediterranean Specialties Cafe is @ 505 32nd st. Call 360-738-6895.