Update: no longer open.
Walking briskly down Washington towards the Broad St. Septa line with free tickets in hand to the Sixer's game on Halloween, we made a quick detour to stop in the recently opened Mazag Cafe, a coffee shop on the corner of 10th and Carpenter specializing in Egyptian and Mediterranean bites. The small interior is definitely coffee shop-esque (Meal Ticket has some interior shots), and they do serve up coffee and a full range of drinks, but you can cobble together quite a nice meal from Mazag's small deli case.The spinach pie I ordered was my favorite item of the evening with spinach and mushrooms scented with cumin between two layers of flaky dough. Grab this to go, or have the very gracious owner warm it up for you in the microwave and enjoy with a fork and some decorum. I also ordered a small side of couscous salad studded with a melange of vegetables, olives, almonds, and goat cheese. While perfectly tasty, this dish reminded me of something I might throw together at home, so did not win any oohs and ahhs.
My partner ordered a larger side of an Egyptian specialty (not pictured) consisting of fried rice, tuna, and green peppers , but, even though he is a fish lover, found something a little off putting about the dish. A little less than fresh, maybe?This eggplant salad doesn't look like much, but it packs intense flavor and garlic, and would definitely be ordered again. The stuffed grape leaves with yogurt sauce are also great. I usually pass on stuffed grape leaves packed in oil, so appreciated Mazag's non-oily grape leaf packages.
I usually don't think of eating lunch or dinner in coffee shops because I really dread the ubiquitous veggie offering of mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich, but standard fare is not what Mazag is dishing out. Get a coffee at Mazag, but be sure to also get a bite to eat.
1001 S. 10th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19147