Shakshuka – A Love Story

So the wife & I were staying at the SoHo Grand in New York one random time.
We went out for a breakfast/brunch with no specific destination in mind, except that we wanted to walk around, explore and end up at somewhere dope.
That can be a pretty rough way to find a spot, but in NY it’s one of, if not the best.
We stopped by a few ‘regular’ looking brunch spots
a couple hipster spots
a mexican spot my college roommate/BFF recommended.
Nothing looked ‘perfect’
An hour into this jaunt we were getting a little hungry (and snippy)
We were at the point where it’s like ‘if there’s a fucking Applebee’s around the corner, I’m fucking going. You can come in with me or not, I literally do not care.”
Lo and behold, we stumble upon a spot called 12 Chairs Cafe.
‘This looks cute,” my wife said.
(‘this looks cute’ is basically her code for ‘we’re going here’)
I’m like, “hmm humm oh umm let me look at the menu”
She walks right in and grabs a table
two of the 12 chairs, if you will.
There was one other couple there, it was a weekday.
The server comes up, welcomes us, tells us it’s Mediterranean
kebobs, hummus, lamb, “no seriously the best hummus”
and i was kinda like, “man i love this food but i really felt like a brunch type thing”
the server must have read my mind, literally says
“have you ever tried Shakshuka”
“umm, no.”
he explains that it’s tomatoes cooked down to spicy, sauce, with two egg cracked on top, which actually poach within the dish
i was like, “hmmm, sounds interesting but”
“it’s our speciality. it’s an Israeli speciality.”
i was like “let’s do it”
He comes out in a cast iron skillet with two perfectly orange egg yolks on top, cracked into this paprika-infused, bubbling tomato medley with an Israeli salad and pita on the side.
I abso freaking lutely fell in love with the dish.
photo courtesy of
Amazing. I still haven’t tried to make it, and i don’t know why, really
as i get it nearly every time i see it on a menu – breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner
ultimately my point is,
I saw this Eater piece today
and was like ‘Reseda, eh. . .Aroma Cafe, eh. . .let’s do it!!!!’

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