515 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ
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.