Babylon Café is the exact kind of place where we'd like to pass the time indulging in healthy, delicious food and smoking a hookah with some friends.Kelly Rafia and her husband opened Babylon Café for a great reason: love. The space is a culmination of their love for good food, their own culture and cuisine, and for one another. And stepping into the relaxed, cozy dining space off of Cheshire Bridge, that passion is readily apparent. It's the exact kind of place where we'd like to pass the time indulging in healthy, delicious food and smoking a hookah with some friends. The recipes here? They're tried and true – dating back all the way back to Ancient Mesopotamia. Their goal in opening Babylon Café was to represent a cuisine 6000 years in the making. (And boy, are we glad they're here.)
Their signature dish is an Iraqi specialty, Samak Masquf, a whole fish that's marinated and grilled over charcoal, which gives the fish a crisp, delightful crust and keeps the interior tremendously flaky and moist. For those less inclined to seafare, we'll bring your attention to their shawarma. Whether you're of the chicken or the beef persuasion, the meat is hand-cut and stacked on a rotisserie style spit in a standup broiler and slowly broiled into juicy, savory perfection. And of course, you can't leave Babylon Café without ending on a sweet note. Nothing is quite as refreshing as their knafa, two layers of shredded dough, sweet cheese and topped with orange and rose water. But for those with a more profound sweet tooth: look no further than the Baklava, the honeyed crisp delight that's served with ice-cream, date syrup and pistachios.
Samak Masquf, $20
Chicken Shawarma Sandwich, $9
Baklava with Ice Cream, $6
Sunday – Thursday, noon to 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, noon to 1 a.m.