Vegetarian, Local + Oh-So Good: Maimonides Of Brooklyn (M.O.B)
What’s better than a place that serves up organic, locally sourced and affordable food? I’ll tell you what: a place that serves up organic, locally sourced and affordable food that also has dairy-free and gluten-free options to boot! Welcome to M.O.B. (Maimonides of Brooklyn): an unpretentious, communal-style joint situated on Atlantic Avenue that features long wooden tables, a mish-mash of chairs, an open kitchen, an old Atari port (with free Pac-Man on it!) and a menu so drool-worthy you’ll be tempted to order everything on it.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I’ll disclose one thing right off the bat: this is a vegetarian restaurant. It’s quasi-vegan as well. There’s no meat. None. Nada. Nyet. There’s no little piggies running around back. No cattle laid to rest. There’s also no dairy in the kitchen. No cheese. No milk. Nope, no butter either.
Just veggies and fruit. Carbs and sweet endings. Alcoholic drinks and freshly squeezed ones.
Named after a medieval philosopher Maimonides, the mission statement of M.O.B. is to “erase the sad, often depressing or even sectarian image of vegetarian cooking. M.O.B. proves, even to those who cannot imagine a life without meat, one can find pleasure with vegetables, fruits, spices, natural and local products, a glass of wine or beer, and most of all, the genius minds of the chefs.” Abiding by these principles the chefs are indeed inventive and highly creative, and they’ve come up with a menu that lists three appetizers, four mains, a handful of sides and several killer desserts to choose from.
Aside from specialties like the Baked Artichoke Macaroni, the Creamy Corn Soup (with popcorn in it!) and the chickpea “MOB dog”, the most popular item on the menu is a one-word moniker: the “MOB.” It’s a flatbread pizza/open faced sandwich that comes smothered with a variety of vegetables, fruits and spices, and it is made in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge arches.
I’m sure you can already guess, but yes, of course that’s what I ordered.
I requested a Summer Glow MOB with a gluten-free crust (for $1 extra you can get a chickpea flour crust instead of wheat) and also requested a side of fries. My dining companion decided to give into his love for mushrooms and opted for the MOB Burger Deluxe (a burger made with cremini mushrooms).
The food arrived relatively swiftly and – to cut to the chase – it was really good. The burger was moist in texture and smoky in flavour, while my MOB was filling without being at all dense (avoiding the hell of a dense bread/crust that’s as heavy as a brick is a challenge when working with chickpea flour) and the topping, made up of a savoury avocado spread, heirloom tomatoes, olives, corn and a drizzling of balsamic, was delicious. We were quick to finish everything off our plates with the exception of the fries roasted in olive oil, simply because we were already full.
Aside from the food, I enjoyed the atmosphere, the friendly and attentive service and got a kick out of small quirks scattered throughout the restaurant and menu. Things like the decorative American flag on the wall made up of individual cards with fun drawings on them. Or the fact that under the “Soft Drink” section of the menu your options are freshly squeezed orange/lemonade juice, freshly brewed tea, freshly made ginger soda, coffee or almond milk.
It’s the kind of modest menu that speaks to my tolerance for quality food and drink options.
And given how you can eat for under $20, M.O.B. caters to my sensibilities as well.
525 Atlantic Avenue
Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 – 23:00
Friday: 12:00 – 00:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 00:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 23:00