Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Melting Pot Month- Week #2: Damascus

449 N. 2nd St
Allentown, PA
Hours: T-Sat 10a-8p
Spoon Rate: 

Damascus:  one of those restaurants that has left its memorable impression since our visit on a snowy night this winter.  We were curious after the recommendation of a few different friends.  Family-owned and operated by Syrian natives, authentic cuisine & friendly service are part of the experience. (Their slogan on their t-shirts and menu says it all:  "Food so good you'll think we stole your mother!")  In an unassuming house in this Allentown neighborhood, it has modest yet hospitable decor.  Its large tables promote communal eating with a vast
grape leaves & babaghannouj
menu of Middle Eastern dishes.  

We sampled 3 of their appetizers:  stuffed grape leaves (vegetarian & meat, 12 for $6),hummus ($4.50) and babaghannouj (smoked eggplant dip with lemon, garlic & sesame paste $4.50) with pitas.  Wow. 

The smoky taste of the "baba" made it superior to others we've tasted.  The expansive appetizer menu left many more to be explored upon another visit--including some unfamiliar to me (ie. spiced labnie; shankleesh, foul moudammas are sure to give me an educational adventure!)
The dinner specialties include a salad (which can be upgraded to $1.50 for greek, fatoush or tabouli).  I chose my favorite, falafel ,with a fatoush salad (includes toasted pita and their "secret" dressing.)  The falafel was delectable.  The lamb gyro is always a classic--and compared well to others we have had.

A definite highlight was the dessert.  Not only was it the best baklava I've experienced, they have a "choclava", otherwise known as chocolate-infiltrated baklava.  Wow.  Totally memorable and I wouldn't put it past us to drive there just for dessert sometime.

An overall charming experience and a definite recommend to the Lehigh Valley.
Damascus Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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