marhaba in lambertville, nj


Oh my heavens. Okay.

I tried to write a post about this restaurant, Marhaba, back when I first started this food blog. Because it is one of our favorite, favorite places, and there was no way I could have a blog highlighting all of the best food and how to make it or where to get it without including Marhaba. BUT, one of the coolest things about this Middle Eastern restaurant is the ambient lighting (brought on by several badass bejeweled lanterns, all of which I will be needing in my future art-deco home), making it nearly impossible to capture good photographic evidence of the meal without disturbing all of the other patrons around us.

SO. This past Tuesday when we decided to take a short bike ride during DAYLIGHT, arriving at this tiny little place via canal path at about four in the afternoon, I realized: the possibility for pictures! Here and now! The two of us being the only ones here, with a window seat! Not even the belly dancer is here to distract. (No, really. They have one. Every Friday night. I'm uncomfortably serious.)

Even though there is a variety of other amazing dishes that we order from Marhaba (they have quite a few vegetarian options for the size of their menu), and even though my sun-dried tomato pitZA (yup) was a first-timer for me (I was craving pesto, as I always am), here it is, folks. One of our very favorite places, the best.

Not exactly a Middle-Eastern specialty, but you can't really go wrong with lemonade when you've been riding around on an adorable bike with a basket, finding sunning turtles with the cutest boy ever. Makes sense to me.

Okay, no joke, the most amazing hummus you will ever have in your life. I don't care where you go, or where you buy it, or if you make it yourself, Marhaba's is better. AND, the freshest, most amazing pita you have ever had in your life. When you order it (or two, duh), they make it right then. Not from a plastic package (don't even joke), not earlier that morning: right. then. They don't mess.

Though I often go with a different pita-based main course (a Middle Eastern version of a calzone, more or less, with spinach, feta, chick peas, and almonds, which of course makes me die), this particular day I was drawn to the pitZA (can't help it) with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and just the right amount of fresh mozzarella. Cute Colin had a falafel sandwich. And a Turkish coffee. YUM.

Whew. I feel so much better about my food-blogging now that I've been able to include one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. Everything before this has felt like a LIE. Okay, not really. But seriously, though. Daylight rules. As does the fact that my bike has a golden basket, which was perfectly sized to carry our leftovers back to the car.