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'A labor of love': Hull takeout spot serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare
'A labor of love': Hull takeout spot serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare
'A labor of love': Hull takeout spot serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare

Published on: 06/07/2024

Description

HULL – More than two decades ago, Paula Cofman and Rafca Cardoos met through friends and shared something important in common: they both loved to cook.

Cofman said they immediately hit it off. Both had young children and careers in the food industry. Cofman was working at a personal chef, and Cardoos, who is originally from Lebanon, owned a cafe in Quincy.

"We loved to have each other over and we became like family and wanted to have a business together," said Cofman, who is Lebanese and Greek.

They settled on a small spot in Hull, where they both live, and in 2009 opened To Dine For, a small takeout restaurant near Nantasket Beach that serves Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties. The restaurant sells fresh meals like salads and rollups, and prepared, packaged foods, such as hummus, baba ghanouj and grape leaves.

The two women share responsibilities in the kitchen, though Cofman said Cardoos does more of the cooking.

"It's so authentic. She makes dishes that only your grandmother would make," Cofman said. "We're so picky about what we use. The food is fresh, and the flavors are so bright and real."

Cofman said they use a lot of Lebanese spices, including a mix called seven spice, which includes turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne and cumin.

"It's very authentic to Lebanese cooking and it just makes things warm and flavorful at the same time," she said, adding that they use a ton of lemon, fresh garlic and cilantro as well.

As for popular items on the menu, Cofman said customers love the "scrumptious" chicken kabob roll up, which has marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce, plus pickles, hot peppers and hummus if they want. The shop does have two tables for customers to sit in eat, but Cofman said most people take their food to go.

The prepared food also draws a lot of people into the shop as well. To Dine For sells its products wholesale at the Hingham farmers market and several local stores, but they also sell very well at the Hull location.

"The store gets busier and busier," Cofman said. "Once people taste the food, we’ll hear from them again."

She said they sell a delicious Bulgarian feta cheese marinated in a Lebanese dressing, about a dozen different flavors of hummus and prepared meals, including different soups and Arabic breads stuffed with meat and spinach.

"Our food is truly a labor of love," Cofman said. "Everything is made right here, and everything is so fresh."

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Location: 520 Nantasket Ave., Hull

Contact: 781-773-1678 or https://todinefor.net/

News Source : https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2024/06/06/hull-takeout-spot-serves-mediterranean-and-middle-eastern-fare/73718503007/

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