We FINALLY Have An Answer To, “Where Can I Find Algerian-Tunisian / North African Food in Boston?”
Where this Boston foodie goes when she returns home: Baraka Cafe in Boston’s Porter Square
Originally from Boston and a foodie, it can be expected that returning home comes with the tough decision of what and where to eat when my trip from NYC consists of only 48 hours of beantown exposure. But, I do have my place: Baraka Cafe.
Currently located in Porter Square, this small, maybe eight-table brick interior restaurant welcomes you with warmth and the sense of a deep family cooking tradition. Their speciality: Algerian-Tunisian cuisine.
Transport yourself to Baraka Cafe
As I walk in, the atmosphere of film-noir takes over. The geometric tapestries and Arabic designs dance in the shadows on the soft lit walls while your senses become attuned to fragrant spices.
#1: Cherbet, Dates and Labne
Your first order of business should be to order the carafe of cherbet – a house-made lemonade infused with rose water and cinnamon – and savor the refreshing lemony-rose aroma. Next, review the printed paper specials for the day. If the dates & labne appetizer is available, it’s time to get serious.
#2: Tagines, Lamb and Bastilla
For vegetarian dwellers, the eggplant tangine is delicious. And the M’Katef lamb chops are not to miss. If you know your show time in advance, be sure to order the classical Bastilla ahead of time. This dish is cooked over two days and combines meaty savory with spicy sweet. Yes, I said sweet: dusted powered sugar and cinnamon with the explosion of flavor is unlike any other.
#3: If luck is with you, meet royalty
If you have a chance to meet Alia Radjeb Meddeb, one of the co-owner chefs, treat it like a royalty moment. Meddeb was raised in Paris by Tunisian immigrant parents, and is also a pastry chef and restaurant veteran. “My first job in this country was as a dishwasher at the Algiers Café, in Harvard Square, in 1976,” she says. “I had to work my way up. It wasn’t easy!”
Her presence brings the establishment to life. It is not uncommon to find her sitting in the corner near the kitchen speaking with neighborhood regulars.
May your food adventures begin!
1728 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Logan, while originally from Boston, spent a few years in Philadelphia so also presents you this handy one-day foodie guide to everything Philly.