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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New York City | July 3, 2015 | Part II: Balade

After I left Central Park, I took the F to The East Village. It was a 10 minute walk or so from the subway and along the way, I asked for directions. The one man I asked, I showed him the directions I had printed out and he exclaimed: "Oh! My friend owns that restaurant! Mind if I photograph this and send it to him?" I smile and say, "Sure, go ahead!" After he snaps the picture, he tells me it's only a few seconds a way in the north. I find it two minutes later.


I was sweating when I walked through the door of Balade. I was the first and only one there. A Middle Eastern guy greeted me and I said I had reservations, for one, at 2 PM. He welcomes me and sits me. We talk all throughout the meal. I explained that tomorrow (July 4) was my birthday and I was spending the day celebrating now. He smiled and wished me a happy birthday.

He pours the water and I ask for the data juice, which is called اجوة (ajwa). The waiter, whose name is Hamza, was really friendly as I mentioned above. Before guests arrived, Hamza and I had nice conversations. I also ordered the Baba Ghanouj  as an appetizer. I knew what I wanted for a meal: quail with rice. I also asked him if I could take pictures for my blog. He smiled and said, "absolutely!" Hamza suggests to me that maybe I should submit my photography for various publications.






When more people arrived, conversations ceased. Hamza brought out my Baba Ghanouj and ajwa; both were AWESOME. I loved the ajwa - it was very sweet. I could taste a hint of rose in it. Then Hamza brought out my quail and rice. The quail reminded me a bit of duck. It was dark. It had an orange zest taste to it. They are small and I scarf them down.





Hamza brings out more Baba Ghanouj for me. He said, "Free of charge. Happy birthday!" I thanked him. The quail and rice was $25, the Baba Ghanouj was $8 (Hamza also gave me the ajwa for free). The total bill was $35 after taxes. Because Hamza was a great waiter, I left him a $15 tip. Still, $50 isn't bad for NYC.

I was really pleased with Balade. When I returned home, I saw Hamza also included Baklava with the Baba Ghanouj. Their Baklava was awesome too! I would definitely recommend Balade!


6 comments:

  1. Balade looks awesome, Jessica Marie, and so does the Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Mrs. Shady and I love to try exotic recipes from around the world and that restaurant would surely be to our liking. I am very happy to learn that you once again encountered friendly people and even got some extra food in honor of your birthday at no charge. Thank you for the well written review. You could be a food critic!

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    1. Maybe I should give the food critic role a try. :)

      I would definitely recommend Balade. It's the right amount of everything and the food I had wasn't spicy at all (I don't eat spicy food). It was just the perfect blend of everything and the staff was so attentive and nice.

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  2. That sounds like a wonderful experience, Jessica! ^_^ Maybe when I eventually expand my palate to include more than just couscous I'll venture over. Balade is the place you went...

    ($50 was my bill at Han Dynasty)

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    1. You should! It's definitely not a bad walk either!

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  3. Hmm...it's been awhile since I last read or heard the word "scarf" be used to describe eating. :)

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    1. Haha! That's my favorite phrase every once in a while involving eating.

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