Strong appetite but low on cash? For dishes that please the palette and the wallet, read between the lines

by Beacon Staff • September 13, 2006

However, by daring to venture off the high-priced path, you can find less pricey and fairly unknown dining delights, including Cafe Jaffa.,Strolling down Newbury Street, brand names such as Valentino and Burberry are matched by restaurants that are equally as expensive: Armani Cafe restaurant, Kashmere and Scoozi.

However, by daring to venture off the high-priced path, you can find less pricey and fairly unknown dining delights, including Cafe Jaffa.

Middle Eastern-American restaurant Cafe Jaffa, situated on 48 Gloucester Street, is somewhat hidden between Boylston and Newbury Streets.

During the day, this cafe blends in with its less aesthetically pleasing neighbors. However, when the sun sets Cafe Jaffa certainly stands out.

Strings of lights bedeck its entrance. It is intimate setting with low-hanging mosaic lights which go with the tiffany lamp-like candle holders on each table.

In the evenings, Cafe Jaffa seems to glow as the candle light reflects off the yellow sponged painted walls.

Upon entering, the restaurant immediately provides an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere which appropriately compliments the food it serves.

Like the restaurant itself, the food at Cafe Jaffa is anything but fancy. What the food lacks in artistic presentation, it makes up for in taste and quality.

Although this restaurant serves hamburgers and steak tips, choosing such items would mean missing out on other great dishes.

For those interested in indulging in exotic appetite, patrons can choose from dishes such as the falafel (ground chick-peas fried with sesame seeds) or the Lebanese schwarma (thinly sliced lamb, beef or chicken roasted an open rotisserie).

Although this menu is not expensive, there are still even cheaper alternatives from which to choose.

Instead of the more expensive but still reasonably priced falafel dinner plate ($9.50), getting the falafel sandwhich ($5.95) can save you a few bucks.

The dinner plates come with a greek salad, rice pilaf and sesame tahini dressing and pita bread on the side. Sandwiches are wrap-style and include lettuce, pickles, and cucumber with potato chips served on the side.

Cafe Jaffa's most expensive dinner options are still under $20 with its tuna kabobs and swordfish plate both priced at $17.95.

For those desiring spirits with their exotic food, wine and other alcoholic beverages are also served and moderately priced.

Beer varieties such as Sam Adams, Magic Hat #9 and Imported Israeli and Lebanese beers do not exceed $4.

Wine is served by the glass between $6 and $8, and by the bottle priced between $25 and $30. Sangria (a type of wine) is offered as well with options of red, white and mango.

Beverages for those under 21 include sodas and a variety of juices: mango, guava and even fresh carrot juice are available.

If you have room to spare, treat yourself to baklava ($2.75) with a Turkish coffee (2.75) for dessert. Espresso and Cappuccino are also available.

Although Cafe Jaffa has a small staff, which results in slower service on busy nights, it is worth waiting for the restaurant's comfortable atmosphere and deliciously discounted fare.

At Cafe Jaffa dining options include dine-in, carry out and delivery.

Delivery is made available through campufood.com, where students enter their school information and the website provides delivery options in the surrounding area.

The website menu is limited to the restaurant's dine-in menu and prices are higher as well.

Cafe Jaffa is open Monday-Thursday from 11 AM to 10:30 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to 11 PM and Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM.