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Middle Eastern Restaurants?

CatalinaCupcake Dec 16, 2006 11:15 PM

Anyone know where to get good authentic middle eastern food in the area? Am curious about everywhere but would prefer the brighton, brookline, or back bay area. thanks!

  1. l
    lexpatti Dec 28, 2006 01:08 PM

    Only been once but I really liked the Red Fez on Washington St. (south end).

    1. c
      cheesehead in recovery Dec 22, 2006 02:00 AM

      I second Cafe Jaffe. Good food, fair prices, can't go wrong on the felafel. Its great when you want a cheap bite on Newbury (not many cheap places left down there)

      We also get take out from the the markets in watertown...Sevan's especially has great salads, and I LOVE the bagelach filled with olive paste (there's another arabic name, but i don't know it-in Bagelach is hebrew!) The stuffed grape leaves, and mudjarrah are wonderful! The borekas (borek) at Sevan are also REALLY good....

      Its been a while, but we had a great meal at Oleana in Cambridge. Its upscale, elegant but very good food.

      Helmand is also great option for more formal diningroom

      Karoun.. food was ok, rather overpriced. Go for the belly dancing...its fun in big groups.

      BTW -- Where did Samia go to? i remember it on RT 1, just beyond home depot.

      I do wish there was an Israeli restaurant -- that served more than just felafel...there are some foods, like the classic dairy Yotvah casaroles, salads, veggies, that are classic Israeli - different from Persian, Iranian, etc... odd foods like borekas with mushroom soup sauce... Many classic yemenite foods are now "Israeli"...like melawach...YUM!

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheesehead in recovery
        sallyt Dec 27, 2006 11:50 PM

        Samia's is on Centre St. in West Roxbury by the corner of Hastings. If you were coming from Home Depot on the VFW (on your right), take a left onto Spring, bear right onto Centre, and Samia's is on your right.

        She makes WONDERFUL falafel and hummos sandwiches.

      2. t
        tomaneng Dec 21, 2006 10:42 PM

        Rami's, Shwarma King and Family Restaurant all in Brookline, others that posters mentioned. I don't love Sabra but I do love their baba ganoujh...Oh and what's the place across from MGH on Cambridge Street. I've had some nice experiences there. And another senior moment here, the name of the place on Centre Street in West Rox. Mostly take out but a few tables too. great dolma and fattoush.

        There used to be a little hole in the wall in Brookline Village called King Tut's run by a man named George. Anyone know what happened to it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: tomaneng
          bostonhound Dec 21, 2006 11:39 PM

          Samia's in West Roxbury?

          1. re: bostonhound
            tomaneng Dec 22, 2006 01:02 AM

            Yes, that's the one.

          2. re: tomaneng
            Joanie Dec 22, 2006 12:22 PM

            The place by MGH is Phoenicia I think. And King Tut's is now Cafe Kookoo or something like that. I think it still has falafel nd stuff but there are a few seats now.

          3. b
            bostonhound Dec 21, 2006 06:40 PM

            Cafe Apollonia in Roslindale:


            Albanian food at great prices. Service is slow but friendly.

            1. m
              mwk Dec 20, 2006 03:59 PM

              I'm surprised nobody mentioned Cafe Jaffa, on Gloucester St. in the Back Bay. I've always enjoyed my meals there, and it's very reasonable for the amount of food you get. The schwarma is especially good.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mwk
                hiddenboston Dec 20, 2006 04:09 PM

                That's probably because no one else knows about Cafe Jaffa. :-) I know maybe 2 or 3 people who have been there.

                I went once and I really liked it. Been meaning to get back there, but always end up someplace else for Middle Eastern food, perhaps because they are more convenient for me.

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  cmd Dec 20, 2006 04:14 PM

                  I've been a few times, and liked it :). I was even going to post it, but then I would have sworn someone already had...but re-reading apparently I was mistaken. Anyway, I've had schwarma and some appetizers (hummus I remember, something else I don't) and liked it all.

                  1. re: hiddenboston
                    kobuta Dec 28, 2006 01:01 PM

                    You can bump that up to 4. When I worked in the Back Bay, it was a place I enjoyed going to for lunch. Actually a number of people in my office frequented the place. I enjoyed their food quite a bit too, especially their chicken kabob wrap, and the pickles they tucked inside.

                2. Maxinella Dec 20, 2006 03:40 PM

                  There's Sabra in Newton Centre; anyone tried it?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Maxinella
                    Robbie711 Dec 21, 2006 07:15 AM

                    Yes, one too many times. It's gone from bad to worse. Really quite undistinguished in any way except for it's blandness.

                    1. re: Robbie711
                      Blumie Dec 22, 2006 01:55 AM

                      How does Sabra stay in business? Once in a blue moon I'll eat there to satisfy a craving when I'm too lazy to go elsewhere, and it's always empty. The only thing I can imagine is that they must do a good weekday lunch business; I don't know how else they can survive. (And they've been there for over 25 years.)

                      1. re: Blumie
                        Robbie711 Dec 22, 2006 05:31 AM

                        You're probably right--they must do a bang-up lunch business, because when I've gone there, as well, it's dead. Although, it's a bit strange b/c so many better restaurants can't make a go of it--hard to know why Sabra survives.

                  2. g
                    greengage Dec 19, 2006 02:14 PM

                    oh--and Sultan's Kitchen downtown on Broad Street is excellent for Turkish food.

                    1. a
                      amatto Dec 18, 2006 08:34 PM

                      If you consider Turkish food Middle Eastern, then maybe you
                      consider Persian food, too? In which case I'd say Lala Rokh
                      (Beacon Hill), Molana (Watertown Square), or Kolbe of Kabob
                      (outskirts of Inman Square, Cambridge). None are quite in your
                      radius of Brookline, Brighton, Back Bay, but not so far away,
                      and I don't claim to be a connoisseur of Persian foods, but
                      enjoy all three.

                      For a nice, simple falafel sandwich, you have Rami's in
                      Coolidge Corner. I do like Reef Cafe, too, in Allston/Brighton.
                      But both (like Schwarma King, which is also good, on Beacon
                      around Coolidge Corner) are more casual places, just fyi.

                      1. CocoDan Dec 18, 2006 05:29 PM

                        I second Karoun. Delicious food; good entertainment. Bring money! Enjoy!

                        1. g
                          greengage Dec 18, 2006 02:44 PM

                          Reef Cafe is lovely--the vegetarian kibbe sandwich with pickled turnips is my favorite, though they do good stuffed peppers and other homey Lebanese food.

                          1. limster Dec 17, 2006 02:35 AM

                            Would Karoun in Newtonville be too far for Armenian food?

                            Brookline Family Turkish Restaurant is a very nice place for Turkish.

                            Haven't been to reef in a long while and want to go back soon.

                            1. rose water Dec 16, 2006 11:39 PM

                              my recommendations are really dated, but back when i was eating in boston all the time, my favorites were:

                              1. moby dick (scruffy fast-ish food iranian with excellent ground meat kabob and surprisingly good rice for a scruffy fast-ish food place).

                              2. schwarma king. haloumi sandwich. mmm.

                              3. helmand

                              4. fresh, excellent iranian cookies at tabrizi bakery in watertown http://www.tabrizibakery.com/
                              (sorry, not a restaurant, but i'm on a middle eastern food reminiscing extravaganza


                              i'd love to know if these places are still good, or what's better

                              1. o
                                organicgirl Dec 16, 2006 11:30 PM

                                The best middle eastern style food for my money is at the Helmand if you want a nice sit-down place (Cambridgeside galleria). It's Afgahn food if that's close enough. For quick snack you should try Reef in Brighton or Sabra Grill in Harvard Sq.

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