Dal: Afrah Pastries is good...
Yesterday evening, I was still recovering from a Sunday hangover so I decided to go to Afrah Pastries and hopefully take the cure. I had been in the mood for some Middle Eastern food for awhile and the only place I really like is Cafe Izmir but it's a little pricey and the service can be a little surly if you are not a regular.
Afrah Pastries is in an old Braum's location on Belt Line Rd in Richardson across from the Richardson Cop Shop. There were a few people eating outside but I went inside and sat down in the dining area. The place was clean and smelled great from all those exotic spices used in this type of cooking. The menu pretty much looked like what you'd expect in these kind of places with the obligatory baba ghanouj, taboouleh, hummus, falafal, schwarmas, and kebabs. I ordered the taboouleh and the lamb kebab with baba ghanouj, hummus, garlic sauce, and the usual salad that you get with these kinds of plates. It's the thing with the pickles and purple colored sticks.
The taboouleh was just okay and had way too much parsley in it for my taste. Next came the freshly baked pita which was the best I've ever had and the kebab plate. The kebab plate hit the spot. The lamb was cooked just right and the sides were all very tasty and plentiful. It hit the spot. Honestly, I could go back to this place and just eat the pita and a Mezze plate.
The service was spotty but not much different than you get in most of our ethnic Asian restos. And I knew my evening was complete when there was the a small spat between two servers in front of some customers. Ah, you never get the opportunity to see that in any chain formula restos.
314 E Main St
Richardson, TX 75081
Don't bother going to their web site, it's totally useless. Here's the DMN blurb that got me to try this place.
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As far as Shwarma (or gyro) is concerned, we think Shine's is better (Beltline and Preston). Both their beef and chicken Shwarma are really tasty (though their hummus is pretty lousy). http://www.shinesmarket.com/menu.htm
We like Afrah's backlava (haven't tried other pastries there). In fact, we were going to get some today after lunch. Jasmine's backlava is also homemade (just a couple of blocks west of Afrah).
In my house we absolutely love Shine. If the lady is cooking you MUST order the falafel. The shawarma salad is good as well, but I usually request the shawarma be served over a Greek salad instead.
Today I found a place called Selim's Doner Kebap on beltline near May Dragon and Benedict's. The have Doner Kebaps which are like shawarma. They are served as sandwiches in their delicious pita and your choice is either chicken or veal doner, I had veal and it was very tasty. It is kind of hidden away by Inwood, but it is worth trying to find.
I hit Afrah last week with a buddy. I had a combo plate with lamb shish-kabob, lamd sausage, salad, hummus and pita. Everything was outstanding. I disagree, however, on the cleanliness of the place. It's not dirty, but it's not pristine either. Lots of folks hanging outside in the patio smoking hookahs at night - that was pretty interesting. Definitely worth going if you're a fan of mediteranean food - but go for the food because the decor leaves a lot to be desired.