2016-10-12 / Restaurant of the Week

Tut’s Hub

carrot cake, coconut cake and creamy rice pudding with chopped pistachio nuts. Flaky baklava, dripping with honey and walnuts will end carrot cake, coconut cake and creamy rice pudding with chopped pistachio nuts. Flaky baklava, dripping with honey and walnuts will end The new “Tut’s Hub” is fit for a king. Tut’s Hub is the newest addition to the international dining scene on Steinway Street, at the heart of Astoria. You can’t miss the impressive, larger-than-life statues of Pharaohs from the street in this spacious, 3-floor restaurant.

The concept at Tut’s Hub is ‘sit-down fast food’ served hot and fresh from the open kitchen, based on traditional Egyptian recipes from the land of the Pharaohs. Owner Khaled Abdelhaleen has years of experience in the restaurant business and couldn’t be nicer, more friendly or gracious as he and manager Ahmed greets you and makes you feel so welcome in this casual eatery. Just behind the counter, a small “museum” of sorts displays Egyptian art and artifacts including absolutely beautiful paintings made on traditional papyrus that are for sale. I was fortunate enough to receive some as gifts for which I am grateful.

From there, you can view the hot buffet, boasting pasta and salad bars, fresh hot soup, and lavishly prepared Egyptian cuisine. Create your own salad with your choice of more than a dozen toppings for just $8.95, a great meal for lunch or dinner. We started with a steaming cup of the soup of the day which was chicken chowder, loaded with chunks of white meat chicken, cubed potatoes and vegetables, that warmed us up nicely. Next, the very hospitable Ahmed brought us an enormous salad platter full of cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro and an assortment of flavorful dips to spread on the hot bread fresh from the flaming brick oven. We tore into this irresistible bread to scoop up homemade hummus, babaganoush (eggplant salad) and yogurt dip that was just wonderful. Spread these on hawawshi, a traditional Egyptian-style ‘pizza’ made with a light, hand-tossed crust, filled with minced meat, mild spices, onions, peppers and parsley. I could eat this savory treat every day, and I urge you to try it. Our appetizers also included delectable falafel, which are chick pea fritters gently fried and served with sauces. The difference at Tut’s Hub is that these tasty morsels are coated in nutty sesame seeds for extra crunch and flavor. Falafel can also be eaten in a sandwich or as a platter. Next, we were awestruck by an impressive platter containing a mixed grill of Tut’s Hub specialties, cooked just for us. We feasted on tender chicken kebabs, chicken breast, nicely seasoned lamb kebabs, skewered steak, juicy lamb chops and kofta, which are handmade meatballs of minced meat and mild seasonings. Of course you can order any one of these grill items separately, either on a platter served with rice, salad, or French fries ($6.95) or piled into a sandwich on lighter-than-air pita bread for just $5.95.

Middle Eastern food is not only delicious, but also healthy, due to its natural ingredients, vegetables, garlic, and good olive oil. The grilled eggplant is fantastic, prepared simply with a smattering of tomato and herbs. We tried kushari for the first time; a delicious mixture of rice, macaroni, tiny lentils, onion, tomato sauce, and cumin for a side dish I’ll be coming back for.

The brick oven renders fabulous pizza and I enjoyed watching the baker stretch and toss the dough in the air just in front of the brick oven. Choose your favorite toppings such as Kalamata olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli for a satisfying 12” individual pie, to stay or to go. Rotisserie chicken is another great “order in” item where you’ll get a half chicken for just $8.95 with two side dishes, or a whole chicken for $14.95. Call in your order for fast, free delivery, or pick it up on your way home. Better still, you can eat in at Tut’s Hub on one of the two dining floors prepared for you. Simply place your order and display your table number at one of the tables you choose. Your friendly server will bring your tray to you and take away the plates after you’re finished.

Tut’s Hub has party spaces available on the third floor where you can plan your child’s party with games and toys while the adults dine just downstairs. The Kids’ menu will keep them full and happy with burgers, chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks, plus music and games. Adults can party too with a karaoke room for up to 60 people and the menu of your choice.

For dessert, Tut’s Hub has tantalizing cakes such as chocolate, your meal nicely. There are soft drinks and fruit juices, some imported from Egypt, to enjoy along with your delicious meal.

For a unique dining experience, a friendly atmosphere, and delectable food fit for a king, visit Tut’s Hub and say hello to Khaled and Ahmed. Best of all, the prices are so affordable you can visit often and bring the kids. You’ll be treated like a king, whether you’re King Tut or not.

30-91 Steinway Street, Astoria


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