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The New York Times has a nicely photographed, mouth-watering story about restaurants in Beirut, Lebanon (photo), but you have to go no further than Paterson to sample equally delicious maza and other food.
Aleppo Restaurant at Main and Thomas streets, Paterson, is a reliable choice for Syrian entrees and the small plates called maza or mezze, as The Times spells it. And there are Turkish restaurants, such as Hummus, across Main Street, with attractive menus of salads, meat-and-cheese pizzas, and other tidbits. After you try these two restaurants, I think you'll agree the author of The Times piece is wrong in saying the best Middle Eastern food is found in Lebanese restaurants.
Lebanese restaurants seem to come and go in the South Paterson neighborhood, but a sign on the old Al Assayad Restaurant on Crooks Avenue recently announced the opening soon of a Lebanese place.
Two great meals I had at Aleppo Restaurant are described in the following links:
The zing of Aleppo red pepper
Bountiful meal recalls my roots
Below is a link to the story on Beirut.