“This area has never tasted barbeque like this,” said Moussa, who lives in North Plainfield and was born in Egypt. “This is real Middle Eastern barbeque – beef, chicken, lamb, vegetables and seafood made to order on a charcoal grill.”
Moussa, and his partner, Soliman, also born in Egypt and living in North Plainfield, created Babaghanoush BBQ (1324 South Avenue, Plainfield, BabaghanoushBBQ.com)
“What we serve here is the food we like to eat,” said Soliman as he cooked chicken and beef kababs over the huge open grills. “We make everything from scratch. I even made this special bread for the sandwiches and fresh hummus.”
All the food is prepared under the halal tradition – which means pork products are prohibited and animals must be slaughtered under the most humane conditions with special supervision.
The new restaurant offers beef, lamb and chicken shish kabab, vegetarian entrees, falafel, seafood and Middle Eastern desserts.
A specialty item is the Baba Ghanoush Mega Sandwich: Which includes a choice of two meats (chicken kabab, beef kabab, lamb kabab, pulled chicken, pulled beef or kofta – minced ground meat and spices), a sauce (tahini, babaghanoush or cucumber sauce) and toppings (garden mix, tabouleh or grilled vegetables). The menu also includes several vegetarian items, soups, special appetizers and exotic beverages includes sugarcane juice, kharoub, tamarind and hibiscus. Catering is also available.
“This food is like culture for us,” Moussa said. “This is our way of teaching people about us. We are Middle Eastern. We are Arab. We are Muslim. But so many of our customers are Jewish. This is our way of making peace with food.”
Soliman has been a chef for 35 years in the Egypt and the United States.
“What makes us special? The seasonings, the virgin olive oil and everything is fresh. There is no frozen food here. Even the juice is made fresh.”
Also part of the team is Moussa’s wife, Salwa Aly, who specializes in traditional Middle Eastern desserts. Her rice pudding is very creamy and rich and uses rose water. Her favorite dessert is her bread pudding made with croissants, raisins, nuts, coconuts and a special Middle Eastern cream.
“It’s the richness that makes the bread pudding special,” she said.
The result is an international culinary adventure for start to finish.
“We feel we are doing something different,” said Moussa. “The food is fresh and tasty. It’s a chance for central New Jersey to experience something different from the Middle East.”
Photo by Babaghanoush BBQ
1324 South Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07062
(908) 444-4BBQ (4227)