In Abu Dhabi, the western expat experience is usually packed with endless leisure and opportunities to explore all that the city has to offer. Since moving here in 2012, I’ve tried quite of few restaurants; from local Emirati to American. Initially, finding a restaurant to fit my style and tastes was a challenge. The city’s grid is complex so eyeing a marque can be a miss. After complaining to my friend about getting into a culinary rut and eating at the same restaurants over and again, she introduced me to Zomato.
Zomato was the answer to my culinary rut.
You see, Habibi and I, as well as my cousin J, had become favorites at Ponderosa and they knew us by name.
We vowed, well I vowed to not go there any time in 2015.
…but we’re getting better
OK, back to Zomato.
Zomato is an app, also available online, that allows for a search of restaurants by area or type. My friend Pam told me to search for hidden gems, that’s how she found our beloved The Living Room Cafe. I didn’t immediately start using Zomato, I still tried to wing it and came up short.
Then it happened; my frustration was met with light, and it was then that Zomato led Habibi and I to The Third Place.
The Third Place Cafe is located in Khalidiya area one block off the corniche in the same row as Al Hilal Bank but one block over. Ignore the Cheverolet Showroom landmark suggestions, it’s confusing. It’s across the side street from the ADNOC with the McDonald’s drive through. (Hope that clears that up).
There are on-street and lot spaces. Parking was plentiful Friday afternoon but may be a challenge during the week.
The Third Place gave off good vibes right away. The outside space will be perfect during the winters when the temperatures mimic early spring in most of the US. It was about 107 F that day, so outside seating, no way.
The Third Place offers open seating on counter ordering. The huge chalk-board menu highlights favorites and has a vast selection of sandwiches, entrees, sides, salads, small bites, and of course desserts. There is also a selection of fresh juices and coffee.
Based on their Instagram feed, I wanted to order breakfast with a side of pancakes. I ordered the big breakfast and forgot the pancakes. I paid dearly later because I became hungry again within a few hours. Habibi is a chicken fanatic, so he went with the grilled chicken and couscous .
The big breakfast included hashbrowns, baked beans (very European), eggs (cooked to order), beef sausage, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, with a cool side of cucumbers.
The grilled chicken with couscous with came with a side of grilled carrots and chilled yogurt.
Habibi and I enjoyed our dishes. The breakfast was a pretty standard European styled breakfast in taste and portion. I enjoyed pieces of Habibi’s chicken as it was succulent and flavorful.
The Third Place is a cafe that I’d definitely try again. I need to satisfy my curiosity about their pancakes.
Thanks Zomato for the hidden gem recommendation. We will be back when it cools off.
One note, the place is a bit quaint. Friday afternoon’s offered immediate seating. However, their social media sites recommend reservations. The place lends itself for lounging and prolonged table use because of the free wifi. Call first during busy times.