Cheap Eats 2011: Figs Fine Foods

This garden-level cafe has the feel of a friend’s cluttered apartment. At the entrance is a collection of books and games, eccentric paintings decorate the green walls, and tomato-red stools sit next to banquettes with striped pillows. While lots of customers come for takeout, the free wi-fi and coffeehouse vibe make lingering easy.

A glass deli case is crowded with bean salads and Mediterranean spreads such as hummus and baba ghanoush. Many simple-looking dishes have a surprising depth of flavor–a bulgur-wheat-and-tomato salad, flavored with cumin, is cooked like risotto for more than an hour. There are also more substantial entrées including a lemon-spiked chicken tagine and great turkey meatballs. Sandwiches–ham and cheese, tuna salad, and egg salad–skew more American.

Also good: Chickpea salad with cilantro-lemon dressing; chicken bastilla, a Moroccan pastry with a cardamom-spiced filling; Lebanese yogurt known as labne; sandwich of Brie, pear, and fig jam.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner (until 8).

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