September 23, 2009

mamoun's

After back-to-back-to-back-to-back tiny little restaurant spaces, I was a bit surprised by the décor of Mamoun’s Mideast Cafe. There was a bar! With stools! And more than 10 tables! And subtle music! I was ready for my taste buds to be astounded.


I placed my order for the chicken kabob sandwich ($5.99 + tax) with tomato and lettuce, sauce (tahini—woohoo!) on the side. I was served with a wrap half the size of all others I’ve tried--not a good initial impression. I opened the foil to find a pita pocket with char-grilled hunks of juicy chicken placed atop the lettuce and tomato. After spending way too much time trying to figure out how best to maneuver the wrap such that I got a bite of everything, I finally just dove in. And the bottom fell out.



Yeah, the pita was pathetic and I just wasn’t a fan of how the entire thing was put together. Although I really enjoyed the char on the chicken and the fact that it was tender and moist, there was no seasoning on it of which to speak. That was disappointing. What was even more disappointing was the tahini. I love tahini, and this has been my first wrap making use of it. Mamoun’s was nice and creamy but way too salty--I could barely choke down a bite containing it, and that's coming from a salt-addict lover (just ask anyone who's ever dined with me). I was hoping it would salvage what was heading toward being a total disaster, but it didn't.


My verdict? Unfortunately, I don’t think I got my money’s worth here. It was something I could easily replicate at home, and with much neater and less-frustrating results.

Mamoun’s Mideast Café
206 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12206


22 comments:

Barbara said...

The photographs make the wrap look pretty good, Grace. Isn't it a shame the taste didn't measure up? Hopefully, when the bottom fell out you were leaning over the plate and didn't get it in your lap! :/
I may not live in NY state but I sure do enjoy your reviews.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I'm sorry you were disappointed. It just happened to me also..

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, yummy! Just the kind of food I adore!

Cheers,

Rosa

Kate at Serendipity said...

Well, it LOOKS mah-velll-ussss. Sorry it didn't live up to appearances. Thanks for the review. This is a restaurant I probably will skip... ;-)

LilSis said...

Bummer! Your photos make it look like it was good, so if you didn't read the review, you wouldn't even know that this was a "thumbs down".

unconfidentialcook said...

I have to say that wrap looks pretty darn good, but I know how looks can deceive and how frustrating that can be. If you ever come to LA, try Zankou chicken. Great Tahini. Great hummus. Great Chix Tarna. Just make sure they heat/steam the pita. Yum!!! We get dinner from there once a month, at least.

Ingrid said...

Bummer!
~ingrid

Albany Jane said...

Yeah, Mamouns is decent for apps, but just about anything else is overpriced (and even then, the appetizers are a little on the high side for what they are).

I think it's wonderful we've gotten so many new Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants popped up recently - before that Mamoun's was kind of it.

lisa said...

Your chicken kabob posts always make me hungry. Even when the wrap is not your favorite. Weird about the salty tahini.

Helene said...

So sad but the pictures are great. It looks good.

The Blonde Duck said...

That is so tragic...I hate buying undelightful food.

Elra said...

Love Middle Eastern Food very very much. Although I never heard of this "Mamoun", it sure sounds delicious!

Cheryl said...

That is very dissapointing, I hate it when I have high hopes which are dashed!

Paula said...

Bummer! Especially since your taste buds were ready to be astounded! I love that word ... astounded! I'm going to use it today.

Bridgett said...

What a disappointment! I am sorry to didn't work out for you.

Sophie said...

What a bummer. I've yet to try one of these...but from what I've been reading, it seems I should try making it at home :P. Now I've gotta find a recipe because this looks fresh and tasty, even though it didn't turn out that way...now I've got a craving for fresh and tasty food!

Lori said...

Ah mannnnn that sucks. You know what kills me is that I would love to have a restaurant and you can bet I would make sure my food was really good. So frustrating. And the more of a foodie I become the less I am impressed with restaurants. So usually if I say someplace is good, it's damn good. At least in my opinion.

Lynda said...

Bummer. the chicken looks so moist, but maybe next time it will be "The One"!

5 Star Foodie said...

Oh, no! I'm so sorry the wrap wasn't so great :(

Daniel B. said...

I think Albany Jane is right. Mamouns great reputation seems to be a holdover from the culinary dark ages of Albany.

Regardless of what I think about the state of affairs today, everyone agrees it used to be a whole lot worse.

I had an equally sad falafel there. And it is so disappointing, because the space and the people there are so warm and inviting.

Gloria said...

I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience. Maybe your next visit somewhere else will be much better.

Teanna said...

I hate it when you go to a place and it is nothing but disappointing!