Mediterranean and Middle Eastern eats in the Village at Taboonette

Dishes can be ordered in a pita or pan. (Facebook/Taboonette)

BY GABE HERMAN | Taboonette, a fast-casual Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant, opened a Village location this past summer, offering a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.

The origins of Taboonette are in the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant Taboon, founded in 2004 with Chef Efi Naon. The name comes from the taboon oven, a traditional rounded wood-fired oven.

The oven is also used at Taboonette, which opened its first location in 2012 near Union Square at 30 E. 13 St., between University Place and Fifth Avenue. The second location, at 80 Carmine St., at Seventh Avenue South, opened this July.

Taboonette offers counter service, and the Carmine Street location gets especially crowded during weekday lunch hours because many people work in the area, an employee noted, but it also does steady business for dinner with a lineup of local regulars.

The location at 80 Carmine St., which opened in July. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

Lunch and dinner options include chicken shawarma, lamb kebab, salmon, falafel, sweet potato falafel, braised lamb shawarma and kruveet with vegetables roasted in the taboon. Dishes can be ordered in a pita, which goes for about $9-12, or in a pan for an extra $3-4, which includes rice or quinoa. There are also add-on options such as various meats, salmon, avocado, hummus, cauliflower or other vegetables.

Hummus bowls are $8 and can also have toppings added, like meat, vegetables or falafel. Breakfast options are available throughout the day and include “shakshuka” with eggs, tahini and cilantro; “Israeli,” which includes fried egg, tzatziki and chopped salad; and “sabich-omg!” with eggplant, hardboiled egg, chopped salad, tahini, tomato coulis and amba, a condiment with pickled mango.

Taboonette has vegan options, which are noted on the menu, which also notes which dishes contain nuts. There are also salads which include arugula-herb salad, haloumi salad, chopped salad and warm kale salad.

The restaurant is generally popular with Yelp reviewers, getting four out of five stars overall. Most people like the food a lot and commented on fast service and delivery, while some felt it didn’t give big enough portions for the price or didn’t think the food was quite tasty enough.

One reviewer wrote that he ordered a quick lunch of the lamb pita, and said it was good enough to go back to for a lunch spot. “It was small but filling,” he wrote. “There is a lot going on here in terms of flavors. It has both a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern taste to it. Although the flavors were complex it still hit the spot. The lamb was cooked well and the pita was the perfect vessel for it.”

Taboonette is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and more information can be found at www.taboonette.com.

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