Mos Best Eatery is more Northeast than North Texas, which may be the very reason some people are making the place a habit.
The first time we dined at the tiny, mostly takeout joint, a couple coming in interrupted our conversation with the chatty Mo Zaben to say theyd read about the restaurant on Yelp. When we returned the next night, we laid a sheepish Were back on Mo.
So are they, replied Mo, pointing to the couple from the previous night, who were seated in the corner, tucking into burgers.
Big burgers are big business these days, and wed heard that Mos big burger is juicy. Well, juicy doesnt begin to describe this six-napkin job. Mo is proud of the blend of meats New York strip, brisket and two other cuts that goes into his grind. He also grinds in fat and a mix of spices for flavor and tops the cooking patty with butter for even more flavor now were beginning to understand the ooziness.
Our 1/3-pound, single-patty burger ($6) was cooked exactly medium, as wed requested, and served on a toasted bun that had been brushed with, yes, more herbed butter. It was served with fairly tame fixins shredded lettuce, tomato, grilled onion and American cheese but with all that seasoning and flavor, we had no quibbles with the product. Customers can also order double and triple patties, but Im not sure how youd get your mouth around a triple.
Mos burger is good, but it was the piled-high pastrami that made us return the second night. Mo hails from Connecticut, but thats close enough to New York City that he knows from pastrami. Hell proudly tell you that he makes it himself, smoking it, then steaming it, then air-drying it, then cooking it again and, finally, drying it one more time. The whole process takes about three weeks.
Well done, Mo. Well done. He serves his pastrami grinder ($8 for a half-pound sandwich, $15 for the 1-pound version) on a crusty roll with shredded lettuce, tomato and your choice of mustard or mayo. (Please, please, choose mustard.) If Mo sizes you up and asks you if youd prefer rye bread to his grinder roll, stick with the roll. Its more substantial and holds up better to that mass of meat.
We also liked the appetizer of baba ghanoush ($4.50), prepared by Mos mom. Unlike most baba ghanoush, it hadnt been completely blenderized but, rather, had discernible chunks of roasted eggplant, and a nice, lemony zip.
If you order pizza, do not expect a bendable Big Apple-style slice. His Northeast Style is a crispy-round-the-edges, floppy-in-the-center creation with a nice balance of sauce and cheese. Mo makes his own pizza-topper sausage from the same blend of meats that goes into his burgers. Order it topped with just veggies and youve got yourself a light-ish meal.
Our only letdown during our visits was the eggplant Parmesan ($8.99). Rather than getting a gooey casserole, we were served three, egg-shaped, lengthwise slices of eggplant that had been battered and fried. These were then topped with a splash of sauce and cheese. Disappointing.
Mos is so small, the dining area offers just a half-dozen two-seater tables, one of them pressed up against the cash-register area. Ambience consists of Mo himself. You can watch him work, and hell be happy to chat.