Ba'al Café And Falafel By Chef Abraham Mimi - N.Y.C.

The freshest spices on the newest flatbreads

There's nothing quite like a care package from Mom.

At Soho's new Ba'al Café and Falafel, Abraham Mimi's vivid dishes hinge on a regular shipment of spices blended in Jordan by his mother, Afaf Rome.

We mean no slight to Ba'al's namesake chickpea fritters, but our favorite items at this miniscule take-out spot are its similarly diminutive flatbreads.

There are three kinds of flatbreads ($3 each) on offer; each is baked to order in a brick oven and boasts the knockout flavors of a pie five times its size.

Take the za'atar flatbread: Rome toasts sesame seeds, air-dries the eponymous herb and grinds tart sumac berries, assembling a condiment that glows with flavor. Moistened with olive oil and pressed into a ring of multigrain dough, it compresses the heady aromas of a spice market in one bite.

Nearly as traditional as the za'atar version, the egg incarnation binds together mozzarella, Parmesan and flecks of caraway. Completely New World, the feta option shocks culinary clichés like basil pesto and Greek feta into well-behaved submission, readying them for reentry into civilized society.

Mom sends her son her best, and New Yorkers are the lucky beneficiaries.

Ba'al Café and Falafel, 71 Sullivan St. (at Broome St.); 646-368-9957