Friendship often breeds a desire to go into business together, as evidenced by the lucrative kinships btw Ben & Jerry, Nantucket Nectars' Tom & Tom, and Macho Man's longtime friend Jim, a tub of Grade F beef. The result of a more appetizing collab, Zebda
Started by the onetime chef at Mundial Cocina Mestiza and a longtime friend who worked with her decades ago at the Ritz, Zebda's a bright storefront deli stocked with hulking glass cases serving up cuisine that reflects the former's fine dining sensibilities and the latter's Algerian heritage, an old-school meets new-school approach that surprisingly doesn't have a hip urban soundtrack. The menu's focused around flatbread sandwiches served up on housemade kasra (like a pita bread/English muffin hybrid) in options like curry chicken salad with medjool dates topped with Brie cheese, and lamb brochette (mini kebab) with eggplant, roasted peppers, and mint-garlic spread; they're also doing sammies panini-style (grilled tilapia w/Jerusalem salad, feta and green goddess dressing, merguez lamb sausage with peppers and tomato confit dijon), and are even accommodating enough to hook up a totally Anglo corned beef and cheddar on white, for those dipping a tentative toe into the sandwiches-that-aren't-Fluffernutters. Less carbed action ranges from dishes like grilled salmon (pomegranate mustard glaze, grilled fennel) and pistachio-crusted crab cakes, to sides like braised artichokes with fennel, mushrooms in preserved lemon, and baked sweet potatoes with cardamom honey butter that's been whipped, and is no longer fun to go drinking with. A constant highlight will be an ever-rotating selection of tagines (North African braised stews), as well as housemade yogurts and flans in flavors like cinnamon, honey, and coconut, plus traditional Algerian cakes and cookies, which will team up to imbue you with a desire for bigger pants.