>> [CLOSED] Manar Cafe | Eat the World NYC

28 March 2018

[CLOSED] Manar Cafe


[UPDATE: Manar Cafe has closed and been replaced by Merguez and Frites, an Algerian-run joint]

Last year at the beginning of June, Manar Café opened its door just off the busy strip of northern Steinway Street south of I-278. Their specialty is the pocadio, a uniquely Moroccan sandwich that you do not find in many places around town.

I had walked into this microscopic friendly sandwich and smoothie shop not having any idea what I would find, expecting a merguez on a roll or something similar. The man working behind the counter guided me to the pocadio ($7, below), a sandwich on a roll that uses tuna as the main ingredient. You can choose between regular and spicy, the latter of which is recommended for just a bit of kick.

The sandwich creator will ask if you want mayonnaise, and by his tone it seems the sandwich is better with it. That being said, only a thin layer is used, so the mayo-averse can rest easy. The sandwich also includes deli-like slices of beef and cheese, egg, olives, and lettuce. The combination of everything with the bread makes for a quite pleasant bite.

Despite travel to Morocco, I had never come across a pocadio before, but am very happy to get to know the sandwich. This would be a great item to pick up and bring to a hookah bar that does not have food, if that is where the day takes you.

Manar is also a good place for khlii, a Moroccan dried preserved beef that is sometimes put in the category of jerky when spoken of in local equivalents. It can be eaten alone or combined with scrambled eggs, amongst other uses.

The times that I have walked in here, the small shop always seems full of regulars talking together or watching the news on the Moroccan channel to which the TV is tuned. They are happy to make space at the counter if you want to eat your sandwich here though, so don't be shy to ask.


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