>> Karam | Eat the World New York City

21 October 2014

Karam

LEBANON

Karam has been around for ages, doing swift takeout business to the Middle Eastern communities of Bay Ridge. I never seemed to have a camera on hand when I have stopped by in the past, but took three recent visits to remedy this. Based on the frequency of customers and the beauty of the spits in the window (below), you get a good sense that your mouth is going to have an excellent time here.


Walking in to this small space is an assault on the nose, as the spices coming from behind the counter really are heavenly. A crowded refrigerated display case also shows off the wonders of Middle Eastern cuisine, with fresh kebabs ready to be grilled, as well as all the cold appetizers one could wish for.

Karam has been written up in a couple places, best known for its appealing sujok ($7.50, below), which includes merguez-like sausages and a good helping of pickled vegetables, and plenty of garlic sauce. It comes wrapped in a toasty pita and the combination of tastes is certainly a winner.


Another favorite whenever I dine Lebanese is of course the chicken schwarma ($7, below), with cuts from the spit above and more of the pickled vegetables and garlic sauce. The cuts of meat drip in their own juices, and the sandwich falls apart long before you can finish. Perfection.


For a little crispiness, and to taste one of the most ubiquitous of Middle Eastern spices, try the zaatar pie ($1.75, below), which goes a long way with a portion of hommous ($5)


A fantastic way to sort it all out and try a good portion of the cold appetizers is to asked for a mixed plate. My latest attempt at this was rewarded with the plate below, which included grape leaves, hommous, babaghanouj, eggplant salad, Italian beans, and roasted cauliflower.



The people working here are also very pleasant, making the whole experience accommodating and friendly. You would not expect anything less from Middle Eastern hospitality, but it is definitely a good break from New York City nonetheless.

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