Comfort food with an Egyptian twist

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THE QUEENS COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco
The beef shawerma platter is delicious, filling and affordable.THE QUEENS COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco
The beef shawerma platter is delicious, filling and affordable.

It’s no secret that mom knows what she’s doing in the kitchen. She has a way of taking a dish you’ve eaten a million times and turning it into a culinary masterpiece. And even if your particular mom wasn’t the greatest cook, she was still better than most because her food possessed a quality that others couldn’t even approach – comfort.

At On the Nile Café & Restaurant in Astoria, mom is in the kitchen preparing dishes with a flavor profile that would put a five star chef in Manhattan to shame. The Café is completely family run, with the Hamzas providing fresh Egyptian cuisine passed down through generations.

They adhere strictly to the standard of fresh ingredients and offer an original take on familiar foods. Their falafel, for example, is made with fava beans instead of the usual chick pea – the result is a far more flavorful and smoother falafel, available on pita bread or as a platter.

But before grabbing a falafel, it would be wise to go over their appetizers, all of which are under five dollars – a surprising fact considering the quality of the dishes. The stuffed grape leaves are rolled to order in fresh grape leaves, not the canned variety most places serve their customers. Also, be sure to order the humus served with warm pita bread. Their version of freshly mashed chick peas is blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

On the Nile’s pita sandwiches are flavorful and very affordable, all seven dollars and under. Besides the falafel, they also offer grilled chicken, shrimp, lamb, grilled Egyptian sausage, a spicy combo of chicken, beef and lamb, and many more. They also offer mini versions of these sandwiches – perfect for the on-the-go diners or those who can’t choose and want to sample a few different options.

As a special treat to their customers, On the Nile offers two mini falafel sandwiches for only five bucks – a great introduction to the fava bean falafel.

And their platters are just as flavorful – and affordable – as their sandwiches. Served with rice and a salad, all of their sandwiches are offered as platters, with the addition of a 16-ounce charcoal grilled steak, lamb ribs and a rotisserie half chicken. Each dish bursts with authentic and bold flavors that speak to the tradition wafting from the kitchen.

Also wafting around the cozy café is the heavenly aroma of fruit-flavored hookah smoke. That’s right – not only does this spot boast some of the best food in the area, it also has herbal, non-nicotine, non-tobacco delights for before or after dinner.

Even better than that is Nile’s healthy and fresh fruit and vegetable juice. Nothing is added except for the juice and chunks of mango, strawberry, orange, grapefruit, lemonade or carrot.

As the owners say, everything is cared for from A to Z. Get down to “On the Nile” and experience homemade Egyptian cooking from an authentic source.

 

On the Nile Café & Restaurant

33-09 36th Avenue

Astoria, NY 11106

Tel: 718-255-6471

Fax: 347-642-8085

Email: onthenilecafe@gmail.com

www.onthenilecafe.com

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

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