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They changed the menu once again. I think it's been different ever time I've dined there, which is more times than I've actually documented here. Now "gourmet wraps" and hamburgers are prominently featured on the front. Clearly, they're trying to rope in customers who aren't in the mood for Middle Eastern fare, but why you'd go to Waterfalls for a burger is beyond me. And they changed the sandwiches, and not for the better. I swear you used to get hummus or baba ganooj, but that might've been a $1 supplement, which I don't see offered anymore. Now you choose your meat, I went for shish tawook, grilled chicken, and it comes cubed in a pita with a shitload of dressed lettuce and a drizzle of tahini. The meat to roughage ratio is about 40/60. It felt super healthy, but kind of blah. It needed some serious jazzing up. I would've liked to have crammed some of those fuchsia pickled turnips into the mix, but that's just because I apparently have a minor fixation with them. (11/12/05)

The menu has changed. The dishes aren't glaringly different, but they've revamped the categories into things like "mom's homemade specials," "healthy food diet & salad" and "gourmet wraps". If they start adding pannini I might balk.  I had a combo dinner with shish tawook (chicken), kafta square and baba ganooj. It was all good, but I missed the pickled turnips. I guess they don't use the relishes anymore. (2/11/05)

Lately they've ended up serving as an unintentional brunch venue. At night it never occurs to me to visit, but early weekend afternoons while doing neighborhood errands it makes sense. I invariably get the chicken sandwich while James does the kebab version. The only difference this visit was a shared bowl of thick, rich lentil soup served with pita. Interestingly, there is always a white male/Asian female (duh, like it's ever the other way around) couple with a stroller inside. Not the same couple, mind you, just the Cobble Hill archetype, I suppose. (12/2/04)

It wasn't the brunch I had expected, but perhaps better. I don't know if it should be a source of concern, but in the month since James has moved into the new neighborhood, it seems that restaurants are closing shop right and left. Max Court shut and was reborn as Fragole, Harvest turned into Lobo, Latin Grill just plain closed, and the same is true for Red Rail, which we thought we'd try for brunch since it's so near. No such luck, but I'd been meaning to try Waterfalls for ages and this was a ripe opportunity.

I went for the simple and ordered the chicken shawarma with baba ghanooj. What I really go nuts for are those pink pickled turnips. At least I think they're turnips. Even though they are neon fuschia, I think they're just colored with beet juice, not actually beets. I've heard that Waterfalls isn't what it used to be, but compared to the mediocrity I've experienced in Carroll Gardens and environs so far, this meal was more than welcome. (11/16/03)

Waterfalls Restaurant * 144 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn,NY

Bar Tabac

I felt like we were ordering more food than the people around us, but that
was probably just because it was past prime dining time. James and I split a
reasonably priced bottle of wine, a plate of grilled sardines, and I had a
charcuterie and cheese plate with little olives, cornichons and onions. Not
a bad place, it'll be one to add to the open-when-I feel-like-dining
restaurants in the new neighborhood. After 10pm, you're pretty screwed.

Weeknight, after 10pm dining in the neighborhood has always been a bit
tricky. Even more so when a vegetarian tows along. After a cheap seat
showing of Sideways (which I'd already seen, but Life Aquatic was a mob
scene) we were ravenous for food and wine. By process of elimination we
ended up at Bar Tabac, me with a duck salad, Jessica and I sharing mussels,
fries and a bottle of something red that slips my mind but definitely wasn't
merlot. I always forget about Bar Tabac, not that its forgettable or
anything. (12/28/04)

There's nothing terribly compelling about Bar Tabac, and there's
something bizarre about their name post-smoking ban, but it is one of the
few late night dining options nearby. The food is what youd expect from a
bistro and reasonably priced—I cant complain about my $12.50 moules
frites. (10/8/05)

Bar Tabac * 128 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY



I totally became sick to my stomach mere minutes after eating a Faan, but I
can't say for sure if it was their fault or not. The kung pao spaghetti
seemed enticing in a creepy way (I don't generally recommend Asian sauces
coupled with parmesan) but I opted for the oddball Hawaiian papaya beef
instead. I thought I liked papaya, maybe I was expecting green papaya, but
it was the sweet, ripe orange stuff and it tasted an awful lot like melon,
which threw me off. I can't eat melon. Rather, I just flat out refuse. It's
not a matter of allergy, it's a simple aversion. There's no medical reason
why my body would reject papaya/melon, but I almost instantly became queasy
after leaving the restaurant and wondered if it were a coincidence or if the
fruit was genuinely wreaking havoc on my gastrointestinal tract. With all
that said, I'd probably give Faan another go. If only because it's one of
the few late night dining spots in the new early-to-bed, family-friendly
neighborhood. (11/6/03)

Faan is Faan. There's totally nothing special about it. But it's not
expensive, it's open late, and vegetarian house guests don't complain when
you take them there. The kung pao spaghetti still fascinates me, but not
enough to order it yet.(4/27/04)

Faan* 209 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY


The family favorite for winter holidays and once-in-a-lifetime events like
high school graduation and deflowerments (ha, joking). We'd order "The
Feast," a multi-course barrage of sauerbraten, schnitzel and strudel. I
couldn't tell you how authentic the food is, but I will say that it's not
terribly similar at all to the offerings at Zum Stammtisch and that none of
the Queens German
I recently checked out serve fondue. Fondue is Rheinlander's
raison d'etre. Or maybe it's just my raison d'etre.

Rheinlander* 5035 NE Sandy
Blvd., Portland, OR