I have searched high and low, near and far, and all around for a Lebanese restaurant in the Seattle area that can become my new go-to for all Lebanese deliciousness. And where do I find it but literally only a walk down the hill from me (or about two streets over from Bryan’s apartment…which he is moving out of this weekend). Sweet success. I have fallen in love.
After a pretty crummy Monday I needed a pick-me-up and Bryan and I wanted to go for a walk and eat outside in the nice weather. I finally remembered hearing word of a Middleeastern place opening a few months ago that I have failed to check out yet. We left to check it out but once there there was no question in mind what was for dinner. Although we ordered our food to go (with outdoor picnic in mind) I loved the inside. It was small, so you had your typical hole-in-the-wall Middleeastern criteria set, but the inside decor was really nice! The aromas coming from the kitchen were amazing and most of the tables inside were taken (always a good sign). The staff was super friendly and accommodating and the menu and prices were just right.
After about 15 minutes, in which we walked to 7-Eleven for Big Gulps, we walked away with two giant takeaway bags that weighed a ton. We set up our picnic at the fountain at the Seattle Center. It was amazing and abundant. Everything was as it should be (well minus the gyro bread they use as pita…I hate that thick kind of pita). We ordered the mixed kabob and combination veggie dinner to share. It was perfect. Both meals come with salad and soup and the salad had the most amazing garlicky dressing with fresh lettuce and tomatoes and the lentil soup was really good with distinct tastes of cinnamon that Bryan said remind him of Christmas.
The kabobs were all cooked really well and seasoned just right. The mixed kabob comes with beef kafta, chicken tawouk, and lamb. Bryan actually favored the beef kafta while I chowed down on the chicken and lamb. The kabobs also come on so much rice you could feed China and roasted tomatoes and onions that were seasoned with cinnamon and tasted like candy and a side of hummus. The veggie combo may have been even more perfect. The falafels were each superb…perhaps the best I have ever had. They were neither too dry or too oily and topped with tahini sauce and parsley. The cauliflower (which is easily becoming my guilty pleasure…aside from it being it cauliflower it is fried and then soaked in tahini sauce) called Zahra was soooooooooo good. The cauliflower was soft but still crunchy and full of the tahini that it soaked up. This plate also came on top of a mound of rice with those bright pink pickles that I love, tomatoes, and cucumbers. These I used to dip into the hummus and babaghanoush that also come with the meal. Both the hummus and baba were spot on and the meal came with a great portion of it to save for leftovers.
I seriously dream about this food sometimes and now that I know that there is very good Lebanese food happening a roll down the hill from me you can expect to me be back often. Yah!!!