Eating while riding horseback was pioneered by the efficient Mongols, who also adjusted to reading, receiving haircuts, and filling out their taxes atop their four-legged mobiles. Enjoy the convenience of chairs and tables with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Middle Eastern and American fare at Fayrooz Cafe in Astoria.
Amid a pillow-lined lounge bathed in scarlet-infused light, Fayrooz Cafe forges flavors foreign and familiar while treating taste buds to diverse hookah varieties. In a flavorful and competitive courtship, the lovelorn vegetarian sampler pits rich hummus against creamy baba gannouj to win the hearts, minds, and delicious dippability of fresh pita bread and crispy falafel ($8). Providing meaty morsels for the protein-depleted, the shish kebab platter is stocked with the tastes of tender charcoal-grilled lamb alongside lettuce, tomato, and tahini sauce ($15). More indigenous aromas can be found in dishes such as the hearty philly-cheesesteak sandwich, topped with onions and peppers ($9), and the lightly sautéed crab cakes, served with rice and salad ($14). An array of hookah varieties creates an experience more luxurious than getting a pedicure from an off-duty limo driver, with aromas ranging from cappuccino or coconut ($12) to alcohol-inspired merlot or apple-martini essences ($35). The hookah-lounge atmosphere is complemented by a selection of beer (starting at $5), wine (starting at $8–$10), and weekends with live belly-dancing and DJ performances.