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Jan 22, 2018
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘shawarma’

Eat This: Original Palestine at Medina Grill

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

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St. Louis is filled with shawarma, but only the beef Original Palestine from Medina Grill has our hearts. The shawarma is spit roasted and shaved to order, seared with spicy chile-tomato-vinegar sauce to add gusto, then folded into a soft pita along with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, a garlicky tahini sauce and a dusting of bitter sumac. It’s an addictive handheld lunch that keeps us coming back over and over again.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Medina Mediterranean Grill serves up shawarma and more downtown today

Monday, April 6th, 2015

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Serving Palestinian riffs on shawarma sandwiches, Medina Mediterranean Grill opened its doors today at 1327 Washington Ave.

As reported by Feast Magazine, the owner is Ibrahim Ead, whose family used to own Salam Market in West County. Customers missed the Ead family’s cooking after they sold the place, Ead said, so he decided to open a new restaurant downtown closer to where he lives. He’ll share cooking responsibilities with his brother, Sharif Ead.

“We’re bringing our same kind of food back by popular demand,” Ibrahim Ead said.

The space used to house Gelateria Tavolini, which lacked a kitchen, so opening Medina Mediterranean Grill required some renovation. Ead said he chose the location because of how popular the gelateria was.

The fast-casual restaurant features wraps, sandwiches and salads for less than $7. Ead hopes it will serve as a “fun, happy, lighthearted” alternative to more formal, table-service Middle Eastern restaurants in the area.

Another difference: a focus on the flavors of Palestine, where Ead’s family is from. He said sumac is a key spice in that region’s cuisine.

Medina Mediterranean Grill is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant seats about 24 people inside and also will have outdoor seating. It does not serve alcohol.

 

 

The Scoop: Kaslik Restaurant serving up authentic eastern Mediterranean eats in Florissant

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Those looking for an authentic taste of the Middle East might consider heading to Florissant. Kaslik Restaurant opened its doors last Friday at 8141 N. Lindbergh Blvd., at the intersection of Manresa Lane. The restaurant is a project by chef-owner Wesam Hamed (pictured below).

Hamed’s menu features more than 20 cold and hot appetizers. Build-your-own mezes are available with such offerings as: hummus (served in the tradition of Hamed’s native Jerusalem with a garnish of olive oil, a spoonful of whole chickpeas and a sprinkle of sumac), labneh (thick Arabic yogurt drizzled with olive oil and garnished with mint), warek inab (rice-stuffed grape leaves), kabis (pickled vegetables), makdous (baby eggplant stuffed with walnuts and garlic), and foul moudames (a stew of fava beans, tomatoes, garlic and spices).

Among the 10 entrees, diners will find chicken, lamb, beef and shrimp dishes. The mixed grill plate of shish tawuk (chicken marinated in garlic, lemon juice and spices), beef kefta and shrimp is a nice way to sample multiple dishes, as is a veggie platter that holds a chef’s selection of five meze items. All entrees are served with a side salad and the majority come with Basmati rice. The lunch crowd will find a handful of easy grab-and-go items such as beef shawarma (pictured) or falafel wrapped in pita. Beverages include Arabic coffee, hot mint tea, fresh orange juice, carrot juice, lemon juice, as well as soft drinks.



The dining area is tiny – there are just five two-top tables – but the tight quarters make for easy conversation with Hamed and his friendly staff of two behind the counter. (If language is another sign of authenticity, note that English is not the predominant language spoken by the majority of Kaslik clientele.) The restaurant is open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. A website (kaslikstl.com) and Facebook page are expected to launch by mid-February.

Cheap Date: Mediterranean Tuesdays at Venice and Vine

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Once upon a time, the patio at The Venice Café was the place to be in the up-and-coming Benton Park neighborhood just west of Anheuser-Busch. Hot summer nights swelled with throngs of regulars and first-timers who sipped tall rum and cokes and frosty bottles of Red Stripe while pondering the mismatched, Xanadu-esque décor that transported them out of the Midwest for a few hours. Some came for the eats: massive plates of beef kabobs and jerk chicken pasta. Others arrived to watch the bartenders drop live mice into the snake terrarium behind the upstairs bar. But most came for the live music – and still do. Beginning at 9 p.m., regular groups of local talent – bluegrass, rock and folk bands – let loose on the downstairs main stage. No cover. No credit cards, either, in this wacky paradise, so bring some actual dollars.

To wash down all that free music you’ll be snapping to, take advantage of Venice’s sweet weekday deals. (You know CheapDate loves weekday deals.) When the sun goes down on Tuesdays, Venice treats patrons to an all-night happy hour with obscenely low prices: $1.50 cans, $2.25 A-B beers, $2.50 rail cocktails and $2 shots. No doubt Venice has begun to show her age – crowds have thinned out and the food is but a distant memory. But with stellar specials and psychedelic scenery, St. Louis’ most eclectic hipster hideout remains an underrated nightlife gem.




Though Venice’s kitchen has closed, the good news is the diverse and über-cheap fare of the South Grand strip is within striking distance. Before grabbing a spot at the bar, swing by The Vine Mediterranean Café and Market to partake in traditional Lebanese finger food. The romantic little venue with a bargain basement menu has earned serious street cred among discerning falafel fiends. Shared plates are always a plus. This place is flush with them.




Start out with the Hummus Deluxe for $6, topped with your choice of chicken or beef. Follow with a pair of grilled, pita-wrapped kabob sandwiches. Two standouts are the Sujok ($6), a spicy Lebanese-style burger composed of peppery ground beef, lamb, onions, peppers, tomatoes and pickles, and the Beef and Chicken Shawarma ($6), which pairs slices of marinated chicken and beef with tomatoes, pickles, and tahini or garlic sauce.

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