La Goulette

La Goulette Williamsburg

Even though there are plenty of vegetarian options at La Goulette, meat-lovers can still get their taste of lamb merguez sausage, shown here

Middle Eastern food has been a consistent choice for vegetarians, thanks to its emphasis on grains, legumes and yogurt.  Out in Williamsburg, a new Middle Eastern spot has emerged that offers a new perspective on this unique cuisine.  While most Middle Eastern restaurants are more Levant-focused (Lebanese, Syrian, etc), La Goulette is a takeout spot with a Tunisian twist.  As a North African country, Tunisia isn’t strictly in the Middle East, but it’s still part of the same culture, and is offering a new perspective to New York’s dime-a-dozen casual falafel and shawarma joints.

However, the menu is a bit uneven, so it’s important to choose dishes carefully.  The Tunisian carrot salad comes with shreds of raw carrots and vinaigrette, along with soft and oily fries.  Yet there are some more standout items on the menu, such as the roasted cauliflower and artichokes, spooned over a rich and tangy yogurt called “labneh”.  The well-browned vegetables underneath this yogurt are tender and well-seasoned, dressed with tahini and strewn with fresh herbs that add the extra kick of flavor.  This small dish is a great example of the high points of Middle Eastern cuisine.

The falafel is exceptionally crisp, and loaded with fresh herbs that offer an all-around bright green color, standing out among New York’s often-mediocre falafel.  There are also a series of smoothies and juices that can wash everything down you get from La Goulette.  The house shake is a unique blend of bananas, dates and milk that combine together to create a cool, creamy and not-overpowering concoction.

If you’d like to learn more, you can click here, where I read about La Goulette, or visit their site, here!