M at Fresh Pond Rd.
Woodbine St. to Metropolitan Ave., Traffic Ave. to Grandview Ave.
This venue is closed.
While Ridgewood is better known for its Central and Eastern European delis and bakeries, it’s also home to Pharoh Cafe, a laid-back hookah lounge and restaurant. There’s no mistaking the Egyptian theme here, with nearly life-sized hieroglyphic depictions of pharaohs painted on the walls. Red fabric-covered couches and low lighting by an antique chandelier contribute to an opium den feel. Apple, peach, chocolate and raspberry aromas waft through the air—though not from the kitchen: They’re the most popular scents of hookah tobacco. The usual assortment of Middle Eastern dips, salads, and grilled dishes are largely humdrum; better are the specialties from Egypt. The Alexandria foul is a delicious ode to the fava bean. Its tomato-based sauce is amped up with hints of cucumber, green pepper and tahini. A staple since Pharaonic times, the molokhayia soup is made from vegetable stock seasoned with coriander, garlic and replete with earthy, chopped mallow leaves that suggest okra in taste and texture.Recommended Dishes
Alexandria foul, $6; bechamel, $6