Food

The Early Word–Gialeti’s Cafe

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Mona’s Middle Eastern ‘Tasting Menu’

Gialeti’s Café in Windsor Terrace/South Park Slope, Brooklyn, opened about a month ago. It’s a small, sunny operation on a block that can use some good cheap eats. The café is owned by two women–Gia and Lety, get it?–who bake pastries, make salads, sandwiches, soups and crepes. There must also be a woman named Mona in the mix somewhere, because the Middle Eastern “tasting menu” is listed as homemade by Mona. The café offers a hodgepodge of Italian, Middle Eastern and straight coffee shop foods, and although the dishes I sampled didn’t blow me away, it all tasted very fresh and homemade in a way that can’t be faked.

Mona’s Middle Eastern tasting plate is shown above (I took it to go). It includes your choice of 5 salads for $7.50. Best of those dishes by far is the stuffed cabbage–tender cabbage wrapped around juicy, well-seasoned ground beef. You can get three pieces of this plus a slab of polenta for $5. That’s what I’d do if I stopped by again. The other salads–red cabbage, chickpea, tabbouleh, tzatziki–are just fine, but unremarkable.

Leti’s homemade caramel-pistachio wafer looked very exciting (I love those junky cream-filled wafers), but sadly my wafer was stale, although the caramel and pistachio filling is delicious.

Pretty, but stale  
Gialeti’s Café
1658 Eighth Avenue (at Prospect), Brooklyn
718-768-0500

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