We all know that your [dateless] NYC born and raised Michael of The Kitchen Gaily is forever traipsing this city and it’s eateries. I also assume that you know that I try not to be pretentious about my food and where I eat. As long as it’s good I could be eating in a back alley somewhere and I wouldn’t care. Just put it in my mouth and let me go to town! (Don’t you get any ideas!) So when I came across Balaboosta by a recommendation from a friend who works at a very respectable/well known food magazine I was super excited to see what the hub-bub was about.
To be honest I actually waited for the right opportunity company-wise came to me. Much like I’m picky about my men, I am also picky about where I go with certain people. Some people are more low key, some just don’t know how to act right, some won’t travel outside of the gayborhood and some are just easy as a teenage girl during prom night! Hence why when one of my oldest friends whom I shall call Pamalama (aka old easy) asked me to lunch I knew exactly where to take her! Lama and I have a history of never going to the same place twice and always going someplace very NYC. So, I know we’d have the best experience possible together!
Nestled off of a lovely corner in picturesque Nolita (Spring & Mulberry to be exact) you’ll find Balaboosta (The Perfect Housewife) It’s lovely to walk into as it’s rustic wood ceiling and tchotchke lined shelves remind you of home. The staff was pleasant and attentive yet I was confused as the prior day we called and asked if we needed a lunch reservation and were told they don’t take reservations for two but upon walking in I was asked if I had a reservation. What?
As I waited for Lama to arrive I was kinda obsessed with the recipe boxes that were on this shelf next to our table to be honest! Everything in them sounded delicious and the waitress even went to the kitchen to ask what a word was that we couldn’t read!
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We decided to start with the fried olives. I mean…salty olives that are fried… what’s not to like? Put it over Organic Labne (strained yogurt) and drizzle with Harissa Oil (red pepper oil) and it was heaven. For our main course I ordered the Shakshouka with merguez, we shared a pumpkin carrot soup and Lama ordered the Goat Cheese Panino.
I love Shakshouka! In layman’s terms it’s basically poached eggs and a delicious tomato sauce. Think of it as if you took the sauce from a chicken cacciatore dish and put some poached eggs in it and served it. It’s an egg lovers dream especially when you add meat to it. This Shakshouka was unfortunately a little underwhelming. I hate to say it and maybe it’s Einat’s way of making it but I’ve always had delicious runny eggs in my shakshouka. The more to mop up with the yummy rustic crusty bread they give you! These eggs were so well done I could’ve made egg salad and as for the Merguez…(Lamb Sausage) well if I found more than the little nugget maybe I could say something about it. The best part of the dish was the sauce left over at the end. It was rich and ever so tasty and I wanted more!
The pumpkin carrot soup was good. Light with the tiniest hint of spice and the pumpkin seeds and yogurt also added a nice warm and cool effect to it all. Had we ordered it first I think it would have made a nice start to the meal but since we were so deep in rich things it got lost. Nevertheless it was still good.
Put goat cheese, olives, grilled zucchini, pesto and roasted peppers in a pressed sandwich and you will always have a winner! This was the best thing we tasted and Pamalama only let me have one bite as she quickly deep throated the thing in only the way she could and I don’t blame her.
Being very ful,l we decided to skip dessert. It was lunch after all and we have to watch our girlish figures. Swimsuit season is fast approaching afterall! Overall, I think the perfect housewife left her kids to tend to the meal while she went for a massage. Or maybe in trying to be so darn perfect we lost site of the things that should be the easiest. I don’t know. I try to be easy to please and not too negative but I’m just relaying the truth here. I see the potential and why people would love it and I definitely will have to give it a try for dinner but as for first impressions for lunch I would’ve been just as happy with 3 dollar falafel at Rainbow Falafal.