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middle eastern

Cafe La Maude

After many thwarted attempts, I finally got a chance to brunch at Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties. It’s down a few steps from the ever popular Honey’s, but it’s a completely different experience. It’s cute on the outside, and it’s probably even cuter when it’s warm and the front windows are open and there are tables outside.  But omg, the inside is just so sickeningly cute and awesome. I mean, seriously. It’s so amazing and well-done and beautifully designed it makes me want to cry. If I could dream of a kitchen and dining room, it would look like Cafe La Maude. I would also be filthy rich in order to be able to afford it.
It’s totally european chic and cool on the inside. Grey subway tiles! I love it! It’s a cafe so the menu is fairly small, consisting of some breakfast items, sandwiches, and salads. There’s also pastries and coffees. The fare is french-lebanese, so you’ll see a nice mix of middle-eastern and french favorites. Really though, can I just say again how attractive this place is?
Here is the Saumon Fume. It is an open-faced sandwich with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, and an overflow of arugula. This sandwich was enjoyed quite a bit, until J bit into an olive pit and almost broke a tooth. That kind of put a downer on it. Also, he asked for an egg to be added on but there was no such egg! Oops. But otherwise, a good sandwich.

I got the Halloumi Press. It was a grilled halloumi cheese sandwich on baguette with roasted tomatoes, green olives, mesclun greens and an arugula basil aioli. I fell in love with halloumi cheese ever since having it at Kanella so I really enjoyed this sandwich. This halloumi was actually quite salty though, so don’t expect anything bland. We also tried an oj/lemonade mix drink that had a slightly odd taste to it. Not odd bad, just odd. I felt like it was flowery, like a honeysuckle taste? In any case, we liked it! The service was ok. We had to wait quite awhile for the food, and people that were seated after us got their food before us, which wasn’t that cool. But the atmosphere is too great to let that bother you. It’s definitely a place to just hang out and linger with friends. I’ll wait for my sandwich if I can just soak in how lovely this place is. If only I could go home and my home was this lovely!

Café La Maude on Urbanspoon

Lunching in Mississauga

My customer was in Mississauga, and the location was literally across the street from Square One Shopping Centre, one of the largest malls in the entire country of Canada. It was overwhelming, even for someone like myself who grew up with King of Prussia. In any case, I got to dine at the food court there. P recommended Cafe Madina, which was lebanese food. I got a chicken shawarma, which was filled with lettuce, cabbage, chicken, garlic and hot sauce, and these crazy pink pickled turnips. It was all rolled up and grilled/pressed. It was so damn good! I could eat these all the time. The chicken was well cooked and all the fixins and flavors worked well together. And because it was rolled up, it was actually easy to eat. I also got a side of half potatoes and half salad. The salad I got had apple, mango, carrot, and cucumber, along with a bunch of herbs. Loved it. And the potatoes too. Really, this was an excellent meal, especially for a mall food court meal! But really, it would have been good anywhere.

Little Eats Downtown

I got to attend a little event downtown this week at APO. It used to be called Apothecary, but I remember hearing that they had to change their name since they weren’t an actual apothecary. It’s a bar. And a pretty cool one at that. They’re not normally open on a tuesday night, so we have the place to ourselves. That was pretty cool.
The event featured some food from Leila Cafe, a fairly new middle eastern joint. Honestly, I wasn’t too crazy about the food. The hummus was too salty and a bit too dry. The rice and chicken/lamb dish… the chicken and lamb were good, but the rice wasn’t, and it was overloaded with cinnamon. I could see all the cinnamon powder on it. Eek. The dolma were pretty good. They had little falafel disks (not balls) that were the best of the offerings this evening. I don’t really see myself going to Leila to check it out myself. I think there are better middle eastern offerings around.
There were also mini cupcakes from Cupmakes, a very young cupcake place. These little things were adorable. A might on the dry side, but the frosting made up for it. It was banana chocolate. Incredibly banana-y and delicious.
There were also a number of special drinks for the evening. This is the blood orange swizzle. Really tasty. You could hardly taste the alcohol. Since this is a fancy drink place, they make each individual drink to order. So there were long lines. It was annoying. I can see on a normal night doing this. But when there are only 5 drinks on the menu, and hundreds of people are going to be ordering the same drink, it wouldn’t kill you to make bigger batches.
We didn’t get quite enough food, so we stopped by El Vez for a little snack since it was right down the street. The salsa mexicana. They all had a bit of a kick. Now these chips. Let me just say something about these chips. They were crunchy. But they were super greasy. Beyond greasy! It just seemed ridiculously greasy. I think they could totally degrease these a bit.
I was driving, so I had a virgin strawberry margarita. I know how strong their typical margaritas are, so I knew I had to be good. Damn it if these virgin margaritas aren’t freakin tasty. I could have drank a giant pitcher of this. Gah. So damn good. Since it cooled down a bit, we enjoyed the drinks and chips outside and it was a lovely evening.
Leila Cafe
401 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 319-1903

520A S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 581-6586
Apothecary Bar Lounge on Urbanspoon

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