For a few years I passed a spot in New York's Astoria called Mezze Place. Initially I thought it was Turkish, but it turns out that the owners are Israeli. I finally visited this past weekend on Sunday, going at that time known typically as "brunch." I've never liked the idea of "brunch," as it seems neither-here-nor-there. Between breakfast and lunch, it strikes me as lacking the boundaries that can make eating so often a regular but deliciously satisfying ritual. Call me crazy but I just can't see eating eggs in the afternoon!
Well, Mezze Place transformed my sense of brunch. La Chaim! The brunch menu has the usual array of egg dishes, but that was just on one side of the offerings. The rest of the menu was gloriously dedicated to the restaraunt's name sake, mezze! Mediterranean goodies such as Israeli chopped salads featuring cukes, tomatoes, tahini, and mint. Octopus, falafael, lentil kofte, merguez, and cauliflower (the new power food!).
Everything was fresh, clean, and it was low on the salt content (even the salt shaker was tiny). Talking with owner Youad Keren,we kvetched about the state of neighborhood's culinary drabness - a virus that seems to infect too much of my home borough of Queens, quite the opposite next borough over, namely booming Brooklyn. Sadly Keren told me that due to the lack of business, he is selling the business. Even with good internet buzz, word of mouth and regular clients, Astoria is stuck in the twilight zone that celebrates food boredom.I guess are addicted to what they know in Mediterranean cuisine, namely souvlaki and Greek-sauced burgers. All to say that Mezze Place will be missed!