Lemon Tree Cafe


The only tree within 100 yards of this place is a urine-soaked, dog-fertilized, scraggly, barren thing that looks as if it was thrust into the pavement like a giant toothpick by some gap-toothed Gorgon. It’s not as if anybody expects an oasis here on 9th Avenue, but it just struck me as funny that this Mediterranean joint tries to put on such a sunny facade. Unfortunately, once inside, it’s apparent that this is just another dreary, narrow Hell’s Kitchen space with poor lighting, crowded tables and a rusty ceiling. Also, like many of the restaurants in the neighborhood, the joint is staffed by only a couple employees, who are–how do I put this–less than swift. The food itself is a mixture of Middle Eastern and Greek, featuring your typical falafel, shish kebab, moussaka, etc. The chicken is relatively tasty and plentiful. The humus is nothing to write home about, but it’s serviceable and goes well with the pita and everything else–and at these prices, we consider it a bargain. [MF]

769 9th Ave.