Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York CityEast of Sixth Avenue, Bleecker Street is where restaurants go to die. With the abundance of college students and tourists coming through here, you’d think this stretch of Greenwich Village would be prime real estate to open a food business. But unfortunately very few of the fast-casual concepts survive. Since I’ve lived in New York, I have seen more turnover on this street than anywhere else.
So when I saw a new place called Manousheh recently open on this block, I didn’t pay it much attention. I figured it would last a few months and then something else would come and replace it. Except this time I tasted the food. And if everybody else does too, I think it will be here for a long time.
The food here fits the fast food needs of the neighborhood, which seems to support both pizza slice joints and Middle Eastern food, Manousheh is where the two meet. Named for the Lebanese flatbread that it serves, it’s built for on-the-go consumption.
Once you choose your fillings, the dough is baked until slightly charred, spread with toppings, and then wrapped up for walking. The company has mastered the preparation since they debuted at Brooklyn Flea and are accustomed to catering to hungry shoppers.
I’ve been here twice now (which might be a record for me) and was amazed both times at the chewy, crispness of the bread and the bold flavors of the fillings. Pairing the tart, salty cheese called jibneh with the bright, tangy za’atar spice is the way to go. Once the cheese melts into the warm dough, it feels like you are eating pizza of the gods. The labneh (thick and creamy yogurt) is also a nice foil to the spices and is another worthy choice.
These are just two of the options so I’ll definitely be back to try the others, like ground beef and their sweet options. I urge everybody to do the same and try these out and hopefully, if you listen to me, we can keep this worthy place in business. It might be a first for this area of Bleecker.
|193 Bleecker Street (between Sixth Avenue and Sullivan Street),