1 on 1, Recipes

BALABOOSTA A.K.A. The Perfect Homemaker

March 3, 2015

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Balaboosta, the name of one of Chef Einat Admony’s epic NYC restaurants, is a Yiddish term for the perfect homemaker, cook & hostess—a woman who does it all and does it well! A fitting name for a restaurant run by a woman like Einat, who also happens to own Bar Bolonat, falafel bar Taim and be a successful cookbook author. As a native Israeli, Einat followed intuition when she decided to focus on a delectable combination of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, gaining a serious cult following in the process.

Einat’s food is just as exciting as her life story, which was a real trip listening to one-on-one. After growing up in Tel-aviv, Einat cooked in the Israeli army, lived in Germany as a gipsy and worked in countless restaurants in NY before opening Taim in 2005.

I still remember the first time I ate at Taim about 5 years ago at the West Village location. I got myself a nice big falafel sandwich and parked my butt on a brownstone stoop, enjoying every crunchy, creamy, tangy bite and feeling like I had magically teleported to Tel-Aviv.

And my experience at Balaboosta was not far off. Only this time, I had the incredible chef to keep me company! While bonding over our love of Moroccan and Persian flavors, we feasted on all our favorite childhood dishes.

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To start, we mixed and matched hummus, matboucha (cooked tomatoes and red peppers), labaneh, fried olives; recipe here, zaatar pita, roasted cauliflower with pine nuts and tahini, crispy cabbage salad and a couple cold Goldstars (Israeli beer I grew up drinking. Ahhh…the taste of home :))

This kind of meal comes out on small plates (mezes) in stages. Start your meal with some small salads and work your way up. It’s all about sharing.

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For our entrees, Einat and I shared the corn flake crusted schnitzel (naturally), Israeli street fair pita (chicken and merguez with amba yogurt in pita with patatas bravas; recipe here) and Kibbeh Selek (Iraqi ground beef dumplings, semolina and red beet soup).

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Warning: always approach the pickled peppers with caution! Otherwise, let yourself indulge – this meal is worth it!

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Photos by- Matan Hakimi

 BY- Alexis Bendjouia, Renny Grinshpan and ME 🙂

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