77 South Union Street
Open: Lunch and dinner, daily
Price: $$ BYO
Style: A cozy yet vibrant Middle Eastern restaurant located along the scenic Delaware Canal. The dining area features exposed brick walls, hanging Moroccan lanterns, cool cement floors, copper-covered tables and golden accents.
The Scoop: Owners Karim Elsharabasi, an Egyptian native, and his wife, Tracey Branson, opened Marhaba, which means “hello” and “welcome” in Arabic, in 2009. An additional location is coming to Princeton.
The Menu: All dishes are certified Halal. Appetizers such as hummus, stuffed grape leaves, labne and babaganoush are classic, and the fresh baked pita that comes with them is a delight. Be sure to order a pitza (a pita-based pizza), such as the Lahmabajin, made with Lebanese-spiced ground lamb, onion, parsley and tomato, or the Sugok, the pita covered with well-seasoned Egyptian beef sausage, roasted red peppers and onions, and tomato sauce. For entrées, pick from kebabs and platters such as the falafel and hummus combo (left) or lamb shank tajine. Also noteworthy is the sweet and spicy ouzi, a filo-wrapped pie filled with rice, peas, carrots, almonds, raisins and your choice of veggie, chicken, beef, shrimp, lamb or a seafood mix. Finish with a square of the awesome baklava, flaky and rich.
Heads Up: Cash only. There are ATMs on Bridge Street, a short walk from Marhaba. A belly dancer performs on Friday evenings.Click here to leave a comment
What's a Quick Bite? Short takes on casual, affordable dining.