Since its first location opened on Atlantic Avenue in 1948, Sahadi’s has become a New York institution. Expanded for the first time in 70 years, the Middle Eastern grocer opened a café at Industry City this August. The aisles are filled with the same high-quality, carefully sourced spices and dried fruits for which the store is known, but now the same team also offers a limited menu of bites and wines.
The best is the chewy halloumi sandwich ($11), which showcases the vastly underrated cheese, followed by the bright, well-balanced curried chickpea ($9). Both are prepared on a saj, a dome-shaped griddle that’s used to create laffa flatbread—distinctly thinner than a pita and, when rolled up, perfect for takeaway.
Next, we opted for the Moroccan-style hummus ($8), with preserved lemon and ras el hanout, which is made even heartier by a topping of chickpeas that are so perfectly crispy, they shatter into a powder when consumed. Meanwhile, the baba ghanoush ($8) contains smoked paprika and jewel-like pomegranate seeds, the latter of which provides a pleasant crunch. Less of a bargain is the falafel ($8), a small portion with only three of the fried orbs surrounded by crudité.
Not only is it difficult to locate, but this Sahadi’s also has odd hours: On most weekdays, the restaurant closes at 7pm, and the sandwiches are only available at lunchtime, so we had to take a trip back to try them. Ultimately, we’d only visit the café again if we were already in the area.
Sahadi’s has a few kinks to work out in its new concept—for one, it forgot our falafel order—but if the iconic spot’s long history is any indication, time should do the trick.