I tend to avoid Middle Eastern food because I’ve had really bad experiences with dry kababs and chewy falafal. That won’t be a problem at Cafe Barada, a cozy Lebanese restaurant on Mass. Ave. that will make you wait for the freshly fried ‘falafil’.
We were really taken by the labany bil toum, an appetizer made with a creamy homemade yogurt cheese, garlic, mint and olive oil and made sure we didn’t leave a speck of it behind.
The lunch sandwiches were gigantic, fresh and mouthwatering — we tried the falafil and the kibby (minced beef). The rest of the menu looks delicious too.
The Salameh family from Haouch-Barada, a small village in Lebanon, first opened it in Arlington in 1985, and credits it to grandmother Afifi Salameh. Today it is still family-owned and run. They continue to believe in fresh ingredients and freshly cooked food, which really is the secret to the perfect falafil, said son Charbel Salameh. His mother Claude, always busy in the kitchen, continues to prepare food exactly the way she served the family as he was growing up.
I have passed by it countless times, seen rave reviews on yelp and was finally was tempted to try it thanks to a friend who swore by it. Now I do too. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. Whatever you order, don’t forget the yummy yogurt dip!
2269 Massachusetts Avenue, N. Cambridge