Norma’s Eastern Mediterranean Cuisine
Barclay Farms Shopping Center, 145 Route 70 East
Hours: Mon-Thur, 11 am–9 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am–10 pm; Sun, noon–9 pm
Style: Sparkly garnet paint covers the walls and reflects off the polished laminate tables. Family-owned Norma’s draws a business crowd at lunch; families and medical students from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University at night.
Don’t Miss: The Maza combo covers the major staples (hummus, baba ganouj, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, marinated feta, and kibbi, which are cracked-wheat pockets stuffed with ground beef) and adds lamb, chicken and kafta kabobs over rice pilaf ($30). The platter easily satisfies two and provides tasty leftovers for one. There are always four soups on offer, including a creamy cold cucumber yogurt made with house-made yogurt, garlic and mint ($4 cup, $5.50 bowl). Lebanese falafel combines the main ingredients of Egyptian and Israeli versions (fava beans and chickpeas, respectively) and comes grilled or fried as a six-piece appetizer ($7.50), sandwich ($6.50), or in a vegetarian platter with stuffed grape leaves, hummus, tabouli and tahini ($14). Co-owner Elias Bitar labels gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan items on the menu and offers moussaka ($19) and shwarma ($16) in vegan as well as traditional meat versions. A kids’ menu offers burgers and fries, chicken nuggets, and the Lil’ Veggie, a platter of falafel, hummus, tahini and pita.
Heads Up: The Bitar family runs a diminutive market in back of the restaurant, where you can shop for oils, grape leaves, Middle Eastern desserts, candies, and an array of pomegranate jellies.
The Scoop: Lebanese immigrant Norma Bitar runs the restaurant with two of her three children. Their menu draws influences mainly from Lebanon and Morocco. The family also owns CousCous, a Moroccan dining room and hookah lounge next door that features popular items from Norma’s menu.Click here to leave a comment
What's a Quick Bite? Short takes on casual, affordable dining.
Cuisine Type:African - Middle Eastern - Moroccan