NJ Dining: Aleppo Restaurant (UPDATED)

February 26, 2010

Note: This article originally appeared as “Off the Broiler Economic Stimulus Dinner II”. With the recent review of this restaurant in the New York Times, we thought it would be appropriate to raise it to the foreground and update several photos.

Aleppo Restaurant
939 Main Street, Paterson NJ
(973) 977-2244

ESD II Collage by you.

For our second in our series of Economic Stimulus events, we enlisted former Bergen Record restaurant writer and fellow food blogger Victor Sasson to arrange a lunch for us at one of South Paterson’s best Syrian restaurants, Aleppo, after which we went shopping at some of the local bakeries and markets.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NJ Dining: Al-Basha

March 23, 2008

Al-Basha Restaurant
1076 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503

Web Site: http://www.albashanj.com/

The Main Street stretch of Clifton and South Paterson known as “Little Arabia” is an area that I always wanted to explore, but never really got to. Sure, growing up Jewish and having traveled to Israel when I was younger I know more than just a little bit about Middle Eastern cuisine, and I’ve eaten at a number of very good Lebanese (1) (2) and Turkish restaurants in Bergen and Hudson County and have prepared a number of authentic dishes at home. But South Paterson always seemed to escape me, I guess because I don’t speak Arabic and having such a huge choice of shops and restaurants to look at seemed overwhelming to me. I wouldn’t say that I am uncomfortable around Muslim and Arab people — I have a number of habibi of my own but the language barrier is definitely an obstacle for me.

Fortunately, I had my friend Ghassan Fawzi to bring me on this trip. Ghassan is a fellow Linux-head that lives in New York City and comes to Paterson during the weekends to shop for those special groceries he doesn’t easily have access to. He’s also an Israeli Palestinian (an Israeli citizen of Palestinian descent) and we are both working on a computer project to help bring Israeli and Palestinian kids together. To reward me, he wanted to bring me to eat Palestinian food at his favorite place in Paterson. So Rachel and I joined Ghassan and his wife at Al-Basha restaurant, on Main Street, for a lunch of a couple of plates of mezze.

“Al-Basha” is named for Yaser Basha, a Ramallah-born Palestinian who came to the US in 1980, and went on to become an Italian chef. He started his own restaurant in 2002, which serves traditional Palestinian and other Middle Eastern foods.

Come inside Al-Basha and try some authentic Palestinian cuisine. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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