There is both political and practical hesitation to label foods around the US as Middle Eastern (unless its called Israeli), but in New York, people are starting to get used to saffron and sesame in their cuisines. These foods are all over the streets in food carts, but they are creeping their way into fine dining. There are new awesome restaurants like Glasserie, Bar Bolonat and Zizi Limona but they don’t have basic falafel or hummus. In their place are the foods I grew up with like wood-smoked baba ghanouj (the smokier the better for me) with basil or feta. Tabbouleh tossed with cauliflower and yogurt are creatively mixed with pistachios. New twists turn up as well like chocolate falafel, which is better than you think. Especially when the crust is sesame! Read more at the New York Times and let your mouth water.