4126 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA
This location is one of four sites (which probably means it must be pretty good right?) Mona’s is known to be THE place for cheap and fast Middle Eastern food.
My friends’ ordered quite a few dishes starting with the Mona’s special appetizer for $14.95 (for two) which includes: hummus, baba ganuj, grape leaves, tabouli, falafel, kibby and lebna.
The hummus dip is chickpeas puree with Tahini (sesame seed paste) and lemon. It was your usual hummus dip.
The lebna is a thick yogurt mixed with mint, sumac and olive oil. This was by far my favorite of the 3 dips that came with this appetizer sampler.
The baba ganuj is smashed eggplant dip with Tahini paste, lemon and mint. The eggplant flavor was a bit bitter.
Tabouli is a salad made of bulgar (wheat), chopped parsley and mint, tomato, onion, seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Stuffed grape leaves containing a mix of meat and veggies. Falafels is fried ground chick pea with spices, onion, and parsley. Kibby is made with cracked wheat, ground beef crust and stuffed with spiced ground lamb, onions and pine nuts.
My friends also ordered 2 dishes in addition to the appetizer sampler. The safeiha is a mini pizza with ground lamb and beef, tomato, parsley, onion and spices baked on a pita bread.
The spinach pie is a stuffed spinach triangle with onion and sumac spice.
The gyro plate is ground lamb and beef with tahini sauce. I compared it to the gyro plate I had at Lebanon’s and I liked this one better. The meat was more tender and flavored better compared to Lebanon’s version (although I think the dips and sauces are much better at Lebanon’s). I noticed that they had brought out my food without tzatziki sauce which is one of my favorites! I asked the waittress to bring out a little bit for me and she did bring it out in one of those tiny sampler dishes. I was surprised that they had charged me an extra $1 for this tiny little sample.
Some things I didn’t like: I was confused when I was looking at my bill for $11 gyro + $1 sauce and it somehow came out to more than $14…. I was thinking maybe they charged me for my ice water? Because even with 10% sales tax, that’s not even $14… And also, while we were eating the waittresses were hanging out on the other side of this wall, so every time we wanted something, we had to get up and walk around the restaurant to get someone’s attn.