Manakeesh & More

One of the things that I love about Hertel Avenue these days is the ever-increasing diversity when it comes to ethnic cuisine. Whenever a new café or bakery or restaurant opens I’m usually just a few minutes behind, looking to try out the offerings in hopes to find new culinary discoveries or variations in traditional offerings. 

I knew that when I saw Manakeesh & More opening that they would have their own twists when it comes to Middle Eastern Cuisine. I always look to learn a couple of new traditions along the way. For example, when I asked for a cup of coffee, the gentleman behind the counter asked if I wanted American coffee. I answered that I would like to try the traditional coffee, and then he pondered whether I wanted that “now”? That’s when I remembered that the style of coffee that he was referring to was intended to be enjoyed after a meal, as a form of relaxation during conversation. So I changed my mind and ordered an American cup of coffee. It was not an awkward conversation, it was more the two of us reaching a point of common ground, and getting to the main reason that I was there… the food.
Today I was in the mood for the hummus plate and a falafel sandwich (wrap). I was told that the bread was all made in-house, which made me the decision even easier (even though I was very intrigued by the Halal pizza (create your own). The stuffed pie dough also sounded incredible. Since it was my first time at Manakeesh I decided to order the items that I was familiar with, so as to compare them to some other favorite places that I frequent. I’m happy to say that today I had the best falafel sandwich that I had ever had in my life – the falafel was prepared fresh to oder. I even witness the production as the falafel was fed through the hand grinder back in the kitchen. Once I had my bounty in front of me, I dipped the wrap into the hummus for the medley of tastes, not due to it being dry – the falafel was moist and flavorful, which is not always the standard. The olives were fresh, the olive oil was clean and bright, the bread was fresh and warm… I was in heaven. 
Without asking for it, General Manager Sami Amin brought out a lentil soup for me to try, which really hit the spot. He then followed that up with some sort of Middle Eastern dessert that resembled baklava – it melted in my mouth and rounded out the meal with its sweetness and unusual texture. When was the last time a restaurant manager ever brought out items for a customer to try [smiling and watching my reaction as I readily accepted]? Even after I broke a plate on the floor, I was handed the dessert and told, “What you don’t know is that is good luck!” 
Good luck indeed… I’m happy to have an eatery in North Buffalo that is family owned and operated, with homemade food,   friendly service, where I can break all the plates I want – just my luck!
Manakeesh and More
1150 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo NY 14216
716-348-7184
Mon-Thurs 9am-7pm
Fri-Sat 9am-8pm
Sun 10am-4pm

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

16 comments
whatever
whatever

Huh? T.O.'s key "isn't brought up ever"?

I just brought it up to mock it not long ago on here. I'm doing my part!

No matter how many more terms as mayor Byron wins, it will be difficult to top that one.

Trying to recover the key because 10-touchdowns and playoffs weren't met could be awesome - lol, I wonder if VH1 would make a new reality show for that, since they broadcast Byron's little speech about touchdowns and - um, low taxes or something....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnAQNfeRm4w

(btw - did the bigotry police ever weigh in on if saying 'Urkel' about the mayor is ok? Maybe it's one of those things whose offensiveness depends who's saying it, lol)

LouisTully
LouisTully

That's a fair point. So when is it appropriate to label a neighborhood? Are Chinatowns and Little Italy's in other cities still mostly Asian or Italian? Are those businesses still dominant in those districts in other cities?

While we're on the topic of Buffalo - under Mayor Brown, of course - doling out titles...

How is it that the T.O. Key To The City shit-show isn't brought up ever? How is it that Mr. Owens is given a key yet cats like Rocco Termini aren't? I mean, that should be up there with Top 10 stupidest, most embarrassing moments or decisions in Buffalo's history.

Did you ever take the key back for failing to meet your established criteria, Urkel?

cool
cool

Newell is there much seating in the Restaurant?

elmdog
elmdog

Yeah I know - its unreal to me that owners can hold whole city commercial district hostage - should be illegal

whatever
whatever

LT - if I'm not mistaken, the point of EB's comment is that the City's decision for branding of Hertel with specifically an Italian theme isn't a good idea at this point (&/or that it never was a good idea).

In the years since that branding first started, haven't the # of Italian-themed businesses on Hertel dropped while those of so many other nationalities grown?

cool
cool

@elmdog I agree it is so sad Elmwood has so many rentals. But you should know Mr. Chain owns 56 properties on Elmwood now and it's fine with him when someone goes belly up they still owe him the rent. It's a shame. It's ruining the neighborhood. He controls so many of the rents. They are too high for start up businesses.

ilyarose
ilyarose

Hey Newell! It was great seeing you out today at Manakeesh! You really are on the pulse of what's new in Buffalo! The food here is so delicious, you can taste the love! I am so glad you liked it and are helping spread the word!!

sbrof
sbrof

So excited! Let the Falafal and Hummus war begin! It will be great to have a place to get some fresh bread when Shish (current best in the city) runs out of Samoon.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Why? Isn't it designated by the City as Little Italy?

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

I'd love nothing more than to plant the hell out of Hertel.

elmdog
elmdog

I do know that he doesnt want to pay the ridiculous price on that corner where Ambrosia is and he owns the other buidling...Nektar is high end and Ambrosia will probably do better in a smaller owned location..If that is true..That spot where Ambrosia sits with the windows and size should be a quick turnover....But it wont....It will sit for a year or more because of the lease price and one more great corner location will sit stale in a neighborhood that people continue to say is thriving...

EB_Blue
EB_Blue

Can we now take down the "Little Italy" banners on all the light poles on Hertel?

Millz88
Millz88

I noticed a comment on this link saying Ambrosia will be moving into the location of Nektar. Is this true? Is Nektar closing?

I'm sorry for taking the focus off Manakeesh and More. Great to see more activity on Hertel and I wish them the best.

elmdog
elmdog

I sound like a broken record - In regards to Elmwood; For lease signs sit for months and years and are starting to add up again, why this is so...? The easy answers are the same as usual...HIGH leasing prices, ridiculous building codes and annoying neighbors.....Hertel has become a street for new ventures in small business, restaurants...It has been a place for antique stores, home stores etc.....What is elmwoods identity? and why cant elmwood attract basics that everyone would benefit from? Bakery, bagel shop, butcher shop...Some of the other amenities that dont seem to make it to Elmwood...A gym(which includes services like karate for kids etc..(dance studio etc.....

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