If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been sick with the flu, hence, the lack of publishing. I haven’t eaten much other than soup and cough drops for days now. I’m feeling better though! Writing this post made me long for the days my taste buds could differentiate between unique flavors. Recently, I had to go to Astoria for a work project and had some time for myself to eat whatever I wanted. A friend of mine, Miss A.M., who is obsessed with all things Egyptian highly recommended Kebab Café, mostly for the delicious food but also for Ali, the owner and chef.
I came in when it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so I had the restaurant to myself. Ali was preparing food. The “kitchen” was tiny, taking up just a small part of the already tiny restaurant. This is Ali here, behind the mound of fresh vegetables. Throughout my meal, we spoke at great lengths about his passion for food. He says he was born in the kitchen and that to truly understand someone, you have to understand their food. “This is Alexandrian food, not Egyptian,” he made sure to mention to me may times. When I told him I was Chinese, he smiled knowingly. “You guys know how to appreciate food.”
I couldn’t stop looking at all the beautiful vegetables he was working with.
I didn’t know what I wanted so Ali just gave me a plate of a little bit of everything. Fresh falafel, some eggplant thing that reminded me of baba ganouj, various hummuses, sliced apples, cucumbers, red peppers, and FRIED KALE. I was in awe with the display and didn’t know how to begin. Ali came over with a basket of piping hot pita bread and added some hummus, apple, fried kale, and falafel, and told me to eat. He waited for my reaction as I stuffed the whole thing in my mouth.
So. Damn. Good. The sweetness from the apples, the spiciness from one of the hummus dips, the crispiness from the falafel, the crunch and grease from the fried kale… ugh, I’m salivating thinking about this.
Ali also brought over this delicious spicy sauce that I ended up completely demolishing.
And extra spices to play around with.