Yet another restaurant has recently opened up in Sunnyside. This time it’s a Mediterranean (primarily Lebanese) offering, in the form of Habibi on the corner of 43rd street and 43rd avenue. It replaces the El Shater grocery store, and in fact still contains many grocery items.
Right now it’s exclusively a take-out place, but the proprietor said outdoor tables are planned for the near future. There are two separate counters – one for a bakery (with both breads and sweets), and one for the savory dishes.
The primary “entrees” at Habibi are sandwiches, most of which cost just $3.50. Here we see the chicken kebab version, which comes with a variety of pickled vegetables and spicy sauce. It was good and quite filling, especially considering the price.
The falafel sandwich was really great – highly recommended. It’s also just $3.50 and comes with what is apparently an even greater variety of items than on the chicken sandwich. Make sure to ask for it spicy, as even in the spicy version it’s not really all that hot, which leads me to believe the non-spicy version must be rather bland.
There is a variety of appetizers, which are sold by the pound ($5 or $6 per pound). This cabbage was $6 per pound (it’s exactly one pound seen here). It wasn’t bad, but was mostly unremarkable – probably the least interesting of all the dishes we got.
Here is a dish I’ve certainly never had in this form before – fried cauliflower. It was very good, and the sauce is what really makes it special.
Probably one of my least interesting pictures… a standard rice pudding ($2). The dessert selection is actually quite large. This pudding was pretty much what you would expect.
What is this? I don’t know. We just pointed at it behind the counter. But it was good. And it’s not sweet (well, it’s a little sweet, but this is the perfect dessert for people that don’t really like sweets – I am looking at you, Asa). As to what this actually is, based on looking up various items from the men on Google images, I am almost certain it’s called Osmalieh.