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New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Restaurant Review
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Carmel Haifa

A hole-in-the-wall, grab-and-go kebab joint that makes up for its lack of seating with aromatic, high-quality food.

Reviewed by Christina Colizza   
Posted February 3, 2014

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Carmel Haifa
682 Speedwell Avenue
Morris Plains
862-242-8918


Hours: Mon–Sat, 10 am–9 pm; Sunday, 10 am-7 pm

Price: $

Style: A hole-in-the-wall kebab joint covered with Mediterranean seascape posters. Step inside and savor the aroma of charcoal-grilled meats and robust spices.

Don’t Miss: The lamb shish kebab on pita ($7.49) is a classic. Falafel starts at $5.49 for the traditional version, but you can add cauliflower and eggplant for 50 cents. Shawarmas—rotisserie-roasted meats—come as sandwiches ($6.49-$7.49) or as platters with salad, marina (a grilled bread stuffed with onions) and rice or french fries ($10.49-$13.49). All sandwiches let you ladle on onions, diced tomatoes and greens. Your server adds tahini, garlic sauce or hot sauce. The staff is friendly and can make recommendations: Tahini goes great with lamb, for example; garlic sauce does wonders for chicken. Marina, by the way, is perfect for scooping up sides of hummus or baba ghanoush (both $5.49). Don’t overlook the soups—lentil ($3.49) and cream of wild mushroom ($4.49). Both are pleasing.

Heads Up: Carmel Haifa is great for grab-and-go, but it also puts together complete meals in trays to feed groups of 10 to 30 people, with everything from soup to the nutty Middle Eastern pastry, baklava.

The Scoop: With only three small tables, Carmel Haifa is not about comfortable sit-down dining. The food, though, makes up in quality what the space lacks in atmosphere.

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