by Java Nooryani, Brooklyn dweller, vegan explorer.
I try not to judge restaurants by their websites but it’s exciting when a place lives up to its own online design and hype. This was the case with M.O.B or Maimonides Of Brooklyn, a vegan restaurant in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood. On M.O.B’s website, interested foodies can read all about their origin and food philosophy, as well as look through their detailed, pictured menu.
After repeatedly scanning their site, I finally went to eat at M.O.B. I immediately loved their décor and layout; it’s a very well-lit, open space that’s inviting and stylish. There’s a bar and garden but the front room is where you want to be for a winter meal—with its exposed brick, high ceilings, and communal tables (with drawers full of napkins and utensils!) you’ll feel comfy and only faintly trendy.
M.O.B hits all the aesthetics of Brooklyn restaurants without the pretention; the wait staff is friendly and ready to answer all your inquisitive questions about their seasonal, vegan menu.
The health-conscious, Brooklyn-loving Cyril Aouizerate is the creator behind M.O.B. Aouizerate was influenced by the Jewish philosopher and Rabbi Maimonides and his writings on healthy eating, as well as the revolutionary roots of old-school hip hop. As stated on M.O.B’s website, Aouizerate hopes to popularize healthy and delicious foods with the city’s masses by keeping the food affordable.
While the restaurant offers numerous scrumptiously innovative seasonal plates, I fell hard for their signature dish: the M.O.B. The self-titled offering is a unique flatbread, shaped like the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge. M.O.Bs come in 5 different concoctions, each wonderful with their various veggie toppings. All M.O.Bs come on a secret, house baked dough (with a gluten-free option) that’s soft and slightly sweet with a thin and crispy crust.
I decided to order one seemingly traditional pizza-like M.O.B and one more adventurous M.O.B: the Smiley and Warming Glow, respectively. The Smiley comes with a light cherry tomato marinara sauce topped with arugula and tofu marinated with picholine olives and oregano. The tofu reminded me of a soft, mild cheese, blending well with the saltiness from the olives and slight sweetness of the marinara sauce. As flatbreads, M.O.Bs don’t try hard to mimic traditional pizzas by using any fake vegan cheese.
The Smiley succeeds in utilizing non-meat and non-dairy produce so effectively that it didn’t make me miss conventional, non-veg pizza or flatbreads. As much as I enjoyed the light and complimentary fusion of The Smiley, I absolutely loved the combination of flavors on the Warming Glow.
Topped with fresh, oven-warmed guacamole, squash roasted with chocolate and chilies, and pickled radishes, the Warming Glow is one of the most inventive and surprisingly delicious flatbread I’ve ever eaten. Both the guacamole and squash have a perfectly soft texture and freshness that never makes the dough soggy (I had cold leftovers the next day and it was still amazing).
The chocolate and chilies on the squash are subtle, while the pickled radishes give the dish a great sour and crunchy kick. The Warming Glow, like the Smiley, filled me up while leaving me with a craving to try the other M.O.Bs. Each M.O.B makes for a solid meal for one person or an appetizer for two.
With its tasty and healthy food, great service, and cool ambiance, M.O.B is a dining experience I highly recommend to all New Yorkers.
Although they’re secretive about their flatbread dough recipe, M.O.B is very open to sharing its ingredients. On their website, you can find all the ingredients and allergy warnings of their menu items (some dishes change based on season).
All photos courtesy of M.O. B. Thank you!
Below, you’ll find an easy recipe for thin-crust pizza from Leah Schapira, Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking . I included the toppings list found on the Warming Glow, from M.O.B’s current menu, to help you invent your own unique and healthy flatbread.
M.O.B. Brooklyn is at 525 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn, NY 11217
M.O.B. Paris is at 32, rue Charlot
75 003 Paris
01 42 77 51 05
From Leah Schapira's Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking: "This is my quick version of pizza dough, for days when you're not about to make dough in bulk and there's none left in your freezer. The trick to a good pizza is leaving the dough slightly sticky. If the dough is too heavy with flour, the crust will be dense, distracting from the flavor and texture of the final product. If you find the dough hard to handle, coat it with a light dusting of flour instead of incorporating more flour into the dough. You may also prepare this dough by hand, using a wooden spoon."
- 3 cups flour, packed
- 1 cup water
- 2 1/4 t dry yeast
- 1 t salt
- 1 t sugar
- 1 T oil
- cornmeal for dusting
- combine the flour, water, dry yeast, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. You may need to add 1-2 T of water or flour if the dough is too wet or too dry, but don't add more than that.
- Add the oil and incorporate well into the dough.
- Dust dough with flour and place into a bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, combine ingredients for your topping.
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust each sheet with cornmeal.
- Divide dough into 4 parts. Using a rolling pin, roll out each part to an 8-inch circle, as thin as possible.
- Transfer 2 circles of dough onto each prepared baking sheet. Ladle with sauce and toppings of choice.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes or until ready.
Use your favorite tomato sauce (or not) and top with good quality cheese (or not) and seasonal veggies.
Or consider M.O.B.'s toppings used on their Warming Glow flatbread:
Guacamole: avocado which has been mashed with basil, mint, lime, scallion, and sea salt. Delicata squash roasted in chocolate and chili powders. Red radishes that have been pickled in lime juice, prickly pear juice. Top with cilantro.