Susan's Mediterranean Market on Burnet.
- hooliganyouth Mar 9, 2007 11:29 AM
They've been open for a couple of months now and I have to say that I'm very pleased by their food and their market. It's located next to the Saver's on Burnet & North Loop.
I've had their shwarma - I'm not an expert on shwarma in the least, not even sure if I'm spelling it right - and it's pretty tasty. That is to say I enjoyed eating it. The salads are tasty as well - just a standard Greek salad but tasty. Their roasted chicken is tasty as well but nothing particularly memorable - roasted chicken is so cheap and easy to make there's no point in buying one in my opinion.
It's really nice to have a market like this right next to my place not just for convenience but I enjoy just wandering around and browsing and the prices are cheap enough to experiment. Note: canned stuffed grape leaves are an acquired taste that I will never ever ever ever nuh uh no way acquire...maybe if Armageddon comes.
All in all it's a nice neighbourhood market/cafe that's pretty well stocked for your Mediterranean needs. No produce or fresh meat though.
I have no idea on either account. I will freely admit that I know next to nothing about Mediterranean cuisine.
Hmmm, I don't think they have falafel there. The shwarma is darn good, though. I tried both types, and I think the chicken was better. It is sort of salty though, so beware. It's served with good hummus, rice, and pita bread. They have a wide selection of drinks (cans or bottles of sodas, teas, and juices) that are 50-75 cents. All in all, it's a good value, and a great place to stop when you're out shopping on Burnet.
I also have to recommend the fruit leathers from Iran (sold with the snacks near the counter). In addition to being tasty, they have a hilarious set of directions on the side (last instruction: Brush your teeth).
I'm reviving this old thread because I recently tried Sarah's Mediterranean Market and Cafe and wanted others to have previous posters' opinions to compare to mine. I have tried to include enough details to help guide other 'hounds' choices. I had the chicken shawarma wrap (they spell it shawerma). It was very good, with flavorful, tender meat that was not dried out like such dishes often are. It was tangy and garlicky from the lemon juice, onions, and garlic it had obviously been marinated in. It was served with cucumbers and white onions with a tangy tahini sauce on the side. I also ordered a small side of tabbouleh, and this was prepared with the proper proportion of parsley to bulgur, about three to one. Many places make this dish with too much cracked wheat and not enough herbs, but they got this aspect right. I prefer my own homemade tabbouleh to Sarah's, though, because I like mine with more lemon juice and mint along with parsley. I could not detect any mint in Sarah's version, and it was not quite lemony enough for me.
They also serve kibbeh, which I haven't seen on another Austin menu. Unfortunately, I was unable to try it because they had sold out. I really want to like this place; it is much better than the nearby Phoenicia, which in my opinion has suffered a serious downhill slide over the past several years. And unlike the Burnet Phoenicia, Sarah's has six or so tables in a section that is separate from the market so you can eat on site if you want to and not feel like you are in the way of shoppers. I will go back to Sarah's to sample more of their offerings, especially the kibbeh and lamb kebabs.
To answer a previous poster's question, they do have falafel, and another vegetarian plate option includes stuffed grape leaves, hummus, baba ganoush, and the aforementioned tabbouleh. A sign in the window indicates that they are applying for a liquor license, and they have some relatively hard-to-find items in the grocery area such as labneh (yum). According to signs inside, their meat is halal-certified, should this be a concern of anyone reading.
I'll just end by saying that I am by no means an expert on Middle Eastern food. The knowledge I do have comes from both cooking with friends who have traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and cooking my way through Claudia Roden's brilliant _The New Book of Middle Eastern Food_.
I live close to Sarah's too and didn't know about it until I saw this post earlier today. So I checked it out this afternoon. I bought some great hummus, bag of raw almonds and dried fruit. I talked to the 2 brothers who were really nice guys. They said they were from Palestine and have been open for 7 months, were going to expand their prepared food and offer beer and wine. The only meat they have for sale is lamb, but will offer chicken and beef in the near future. I didn't try the shawerma on this trip but will go back in the next day or two.