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Orkeed: A lunch special is the perfect excuse to start a Meatless Monday routine

December 10th 04:12pm, 2012

When strolling down South Grand, don’t let the sidewalk tables with hookah pipes fool you: Orkeed Restaurant doesn’t just tout flavored tobacco, it has an extensive Middle Eastern menu. When I saw Orkeed’s sidewalk sign proudly promoting a $5 lunch menu, I immediately charged past the hookahs, knowing I had to grab myself a steal of a meatless meal.

While I could have easily filled up on a sampling of the appetizers, like hummus drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, spicy sambosa with a cilantro chutney or stuffed eggplant with chunky walnuts and roasted peppers, I couldn’t resist such an affordable and unique lunch menu. My lunch selection, the Veggie Makni, was worth every penny (plus some). A creamy tomato sauce, spiced by chilies and made richer by velvety butter, is studded with stewed carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and snap peas. Ladled next to a hearty portion of Basmati rice, the contents of the plate are just screaming to be mixed up by your fork. And when you do, that warm sauce paints each and every grain of rice and making it ready for devouring.

South Grand can always use another neighborly Middle Eastern restaurant with an eclectic menu. And at the $5 price point, there really is no excuse to not start your Meatless Monday routine this week.

By Emily Luten

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