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Tag Archives: astoria

New York Dispatch: Tasting Rafiq’s Lamb

This is where Rafiq worked when he first arrived in New York from Afghanistan, before he started driving a yellow cab.

Balkh Shish Kebab House is where Rafiq worked during his first six months in New York, after emigrating from Afghanistan, before he started driving a cab. He says it's the best Afghan restaurant in New York City...

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New York Dispatch: Romance & Roti

roti boti exterior

If you've ever been in a long distance relationship, this story is for you. I heard it on Valentine's Day in the back seat of a yellow cab going from Tribeca to Union Square

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Tasting Hossam’s Ritual

little morocco menu

I was a little alarmed when I walked into Little Morocco on Friday and saw that every single chair was empty. Wasn’t this cabbie Hossam’s go-to spot for couscous? Hadn’t he told me to make sure I got there early in case they ran out?

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Emigration, Recession, Couscous

Cracking a smile at 59th & Lex.

About halfway through my ride with Hossam from Spanish Harlem to Midtown, I asked him what inspired him to leave Egypt. "I hate it," he said. "What do you hate about it?" I said. "Why is that important?" he said, "What does that have to do with Taxi Gourmet?"

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Tagine Dream, Halal Burger Reality

tangawi ext

Cabbie Mohammed's favorite spot for tagine turned out to be less restaurant, more sandwich counter and all men. Every one of them glanced at me with a look that suggested I was in the wrong place before shifting their attention back to plates of halal burgers and fries...

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A Tagine Lead and an Airport Ritual

Mohammed on 7th Avenue

For Mohammed – who was born in Rabat, has been driving a cab six days a week for the past ten years and spends summers with his wife and kids in Morocco – the trip to JFK is a ritual he never misses when he's on duty. Besides eating his lunch there, he prays...

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To Little Egypt with the Hungry Cabbie: Part 2

Not only did Ali El Sayed grow up surrounded by great cooks…the chef from Alexandria is also cognizant of the history, the geography, and the suffering at the root of his dishes. Ali's gift goes beyond understanding the synergies of spices. His food wields ancestral force.

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To Little Egypt with the Hungry Cabbie: Part 1

While I’ve devoted the last three years to asking taxi drivers to deliver me to their favorite places to eat, Dave Freedenberg (alias Famous Fat Dave) has spent the past seven doing restaurant reconnaissance from the front seat of a New York cab. “Every time I drop off a fare, ...

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