Ballaboosta is a Yiddish term for the perfect housewife – someone who’s a good homemaker and cook. The cafe was so-named to honour co-owner Naj Moubayed’s mother Betty, and the food lives up to the reference.
Sitting in the space today, you’d never guess it was originally an old laundromat. With concrete flooring, exposed brick walls and pendant Edison globe lighting, the fit-out is both rustic and modern.
Inspired by the flavours of Lebanon, Moubayed offers an attractive menu full of Lebanese favourites, with some Mediterranean dishes thrown into the mix.
There’s manoush, baba ganoush, kibbeh and sambousik (pastry pockets filled with minced beef and pine nuts). The wood oven sitting in the corner provides the Mediterranean element, pumping out house-made pita bread and pizzas. Watching the dough toss in the air and return from the oven as piping hot bread truly adds to the charm of this place.
Traditional house-made sweets such as baklava, shortbread biscuits and cakes are also on the menu. Ballaboosta offers coffee, tea and a small but carefully selected wine list to complement the food. Expect to find wines by the next generation of South Australian winemakers.