NJ Dining: Joeyness (UPDATED)

Click here for a Hi-Res Slideshow of Joeyness!

515 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ
(201) 461-2700

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

Sometimes I get the best recommendations from my readers — just yesterday, local OTB fan Sarah emailed me about Joeyness, a five month old Lebanese take-out on the far end of Main Street in Fort Lee. Despite the fact that I head that far down that street occasionally to stop at Boom Boom Chicken, it’s a generally ignored part of town, which hosts a couple of professional buildings, auto repair shops and the local police and fire department. So Joeyness totally escaped my notice, and I am really glad Sarah told me about it — and so will you.

Joeyness, named after the childhood nickname of proprietor and Culinary Institute of America graduate Joey Ghazal, is a tiny Middle Eastern cafe (with one decent-sized table and a two-top, with some outdoor seating) which serves primarily as the base of operations for Joey’s retail brand of Hummus and other Mediterranean salads, which he sells to gourmet stores in the NY metro area. He’s also producing what Rachel and I now consider to be the best Falafel balls in the entire area, even rivaling our other Lebanese favorite, Bennies in Englewood.

Joeyness storefront on Main Street in Fort Lee.

Prepare to achieve a higher level of Joeyness. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Joeyness uses and sells Equal Exchange Fair Trade coffees and teas. All political correctness aside, Joey makes a mean iced coffee with it at the cafe.

Cappuccino made with Equal Exchange silk espresso roast.

Ice Coffee made with Equal Exchange French Roast.

A plate of cold green bean salad (not the vinegary kind, this one is olive oil, garlic, tomato and spices, a great combination) and Tabbouleh, which is a traditional Lebanese salad made with hand-chopped parsley, scallion, tomato, LOTS of lemon juice, bulghur wheat, olive oil, and mint. A perfect and wonderful salad combination for a hot summer day. Joey’s mom actually chops up all the parsley by hand for all the Tabbouleh that is made at the store, and they sell a great deal of it.

Two Lentil-based salads — Lentouleh, a Lentil Tabbouleh (similar to the one above, but with lentils instead of bulghur) and a great Lentil/Bulgur/Caramelized Onion salad, which has a nearly identical texture to chopped liver.

An assortment of Hummus (chickpea salad) and Babaghanoush (eggplant salad). From lower left counter-clockwise , Country Hummus, Babaghanoush, Roasted Garlic Hummus, and Tomato Hummus (my personal favorite). All are topped with Extra Virgin Olive Oil imported from Lebanon.

Dandelion Green salad. Bitter and lemony. Tastes like a cross between Broccoli Rabe and a Japanese Seaweed salad.

A takeout order of Falafel destined for another customer.

A plate of Kibbe, a popular Lebanese dish made with bulgur wheat, beef and pignoli nuts, somewhat analogous to meatloaf. This is baked in a casserole and seasoned with a 12-spice Middle Eastern spice blend created by Joey’s mom, and served with yogurt sauce.

Felafel Croquette Closeup

An assortment of Joey’s specialties. Falafel, which is made from a ground up mixture of chickpeas and fava beans (and spices), grilled Chicken (juicy and marinated in lemon juice and spices) and Kofte, ground meat balls that are heavily seasoned, and are just outstanding. This is served with pickled wild cucumbers, which is imported from Lebanon. Everything is just absolutely delicious.

Falafel sandwich cross-section.

Kofta Kebab sandwich.

Joey allows you to custom order sandwiches. This is a creation I came up with called the “Beirut Tour Bus“. It’s Kofte Kebab (Ground Lamb Patties seasoned with mint and parsley) with Sun Dried Tomato Hummus, Tabouleh and Tahina (sesame paste). A truly killer combination, if I say so myself.

A plate of Lebanese sliced wild cucumber pickles.

Whole Lebanese pickles.

Be sure to end the meal with these wonderful Lebanese cookies — the green is a pistachio/rosewater flavor and the other is filled with dates. Really moist, and great with coffee or tea.

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10 Responses to NJ Dining: Joeyness (UPDATED)

  1. Joyce says:

    So glad you discovered Joeyness too–the food and customer service are top-notch!

    For those who haven’t yet experienced the “higher level of Joeyness”, once you do, I’m sure you’ll keep going back for more…

  2. Stan says:

    I went today for lunch, got the Falafel Sandwich which was excellent. Told them I found out about the place from your blog, which they were quite happy about. I’m definitely going back, thanks.

  3. […] “Beirut Tour Bus” sandwich at Joeyness in Fort […]

  4. Eric says:

    Went there today and met Joe and his Mom. they were both very friendly and extremely passionate about there food. I must say that I LOVED everything I had there. I tried the roasted garlic hummus, the Lebanese pastries(Pistachio & Date), falfel platter, Lebouleh, and the babaganoush(Not sure if I speeled that right and too lazy to check). Almost forgot, I think the coffee there is great too……..Going back very soon!!!!!!!!

  5. Eric says:

    I went back there later today to load up on more of their great food. Honestly, this is the best falafel I have had since moving to the Northern NJ area(I am in River Edge). If you go there you absolutely must try the 1.) Falafel 2.) Lentouleh Salad 3.) Kafta…and last but not least, be sure to get an iced coffee before you leave. I have not eaten anything there so far (Went there for first time today) that I did not think was delicious. I will report back when I have a chance to try some other items as well………

  6. OTB Reader says:

    My husband and I tried Joeyness last night for dinner after reading your blog. We were not disappointed at all and loved everything we ordered. I had the best falafel I ever tasted and my husband had the kibbe which was also delicious. In addition, we also ordered the cold string bean salad. We definitely will be going back. Everything was homemade, fresh and delicious. Joey and his mom were happy to hear that we heard about his place from your blog.

  7. Dave says:

    Just wanted to say, great write up. I went yesterday and although I didnt get the chance to eat as much as I would’ve liked, this place was great. Add to the whole food experience, the wonderful people behind Joeyness, and you’ve got a phenominal recipe.

    I ended up eating the unspeakably delicious string bean salad, and decided to go for the falafel/chicken sandwich. Believe it was called Dr Dave on the menu. I was with my daughter and although she’s not into Middle Eastern food, Joey and his family made an effort to bring her some nice things to eat. She’s a picky eater, but I even got her to try a little bit of the falafel, and she thought it was great.

    Anyway, thank you again for the wonderful write up. I use to live in Fort Lee, and wish I still lived there. Luckily I only live 15 minutes away. So I guess I shouldn’t complain.

  8. Croapino says:

    We discovered Joeyness last summer and its definitely the best falafel! Joey and his mom are the best hosts in Fort Lee too. The portions are massive, but everything is organic and healthy.

  9. […] eateries in Fort Lee have popped up, Mediterranean-style in particular. My current favorite is the two-table takeout Joeyness on the far end of Main Street which specializes in Lebanese Falafel and Kebab sandwiches. However a […]

  10. […] food in the Bergen County area. For that, I’d have to recommend you to Joeyness in Fort Lee or Bennies in Englewood for Lebanese style food, and Adonisa’s in Fort Lee or A […]

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