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Best Use of Za'atar New York 2011 - Balaboosta

Balaboosta

Balaboosta

214 Mulberry St.

New York, NY 10012

212-966-7366

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Za'atar—a spice blend that combines dried hyssop, thyme, and sesame seeds—adds a lovely herbal kick to fish and poultry dishes. But one of the best uses of it in the city can be found on crispy potato chunks at Balaboosta, Einat Admony's Nolitan follow-up to her perennially popular falafel joint, Taïm. Here, patatas bravas, traditionally a Spanish dish served with a tangy tomato-based sauce, gets a Mediterranean makeover. The spuds are fried to a deep golden brown but still fluffy inside, then doused in the herbal spice blend and served with a creamy roasted garlic aioli. After trying these, the Iberian iteration seems so, well, pedestrian. 214 Mulberry Street, 212-966-7366, balaboostanyc.com (10012)

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