Thursday, June 27, 2013

Marhaba, Lambertville, New Jersey

On our quest to find new restaurants to eat at in our travels to visit the grandchildren in Pennsylvania, the village of Lambertville in New Jersey has been giving us some nice spots. The other day when we were at the Inn of the Hawke (amazing place) on our way down we spotted Maraba, a Middle-Eastern place, across the street. A peek through the windows, and some internet research, made us realize this was the place for our return trip. 

We timed it so that we got there a little before noon on a Thursday and there were two other tables dining. Inside it is small, it might seat about forty, and rather eclectic looking. Marhaba means welcome in Arabic, and we felt welcome. Our waitress was pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable. We looked over the menus and decided to have the Babaganough appetizer. The portion was large and it had plenty of garlic flavor to it, along with seasonings I'm not familiar with, but I liked. I asked about them and one was sumac spice which had an earthy tone to it. With it came an amazing pita that was warm and seemed homemade. A nice start to the meal.

We couldn't decide what to get, there were too many interesting choices. I was going to get the gyro, but I decided to get out of my comfort zone and try something different, so we decided to get two pita wraps and split them. Our waitress knew what we were doing and she plated them so we each got a half. 

I forgot what they were called (silly me) but they were very good. The one on the left was hard-boiled eggs, grilled eggplant and pickled mangos. Multiple flavor notes and the pickled mangos were intense at first, but they grow on you real fast and they make you want more, becoming the star of the dish. The one to the right was falafel, cucumber and babaganough and it was also quite good. What I found was that the food had flavor, and a bit of heat, which is a nice touch for Middle-Eastern. I got the feeling there was a bit of Indian flare to it and everything was light, refreshing, filling and full of complex tastes. All told it was $23 before tip, quite reasonable. 

We'll be stopping back for some of the other dishes. If you go, bear in mind it is a BYOB. Not a problem for us as were in the middle of a road trip when we stopped, but something to remember if you like a drink with your meal.

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