Powering up on Mid-East fare

A longstanding touchstone for health food off Park Avenue, the Power House Cafe has morphed into a hub for Middle Eastern cuisine. It's now a primary source in the area for delicacies like falafels and stuffed grape leaves.

Earthy salads stuffed with sprouts and sunflower seeds, and veggie sandwiches loaded with avocado and bulgar wheat are still on the menu. But new owner Milad Bassil loves to entice customers into trying the new menu items like his rendition of his mom's recipe for tabouli salad ($3.50). "Dip sampler" is another one of his specialties, featuring baba ghanoush, hummus and tabouli, with plenty of pita wedges for scooping ($5.50).

The cozy quarters are part of the charm, but there's more breathing room at the table on the sidewalk out front.