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Best current Detroit-area Lebanese?

I miss the old, original Highland Park location of Phoenicia...which gave way to the terrific Byblos...I then became a La Shish convert...with some side trips to Al Berdouni. And now I'm lost!!! What's the best as of June 2009?

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  1. I know most people are going to point you towards Al-Ameer and there is nothing wrong with that. Hell...that was last nights dinner.

    As for a newer place that I swear by and am absolutely in love with is....

    http://amanilebaneserestaurant.com

    They both have one thing they do better than the other but having both of those places as options is better than one.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JanPrimus

      Thanks, JanPrimus. And what is it that each does better than the other?

      1. re: mrfinewine

        I like Al-Ameer's meats a hair better and the salads and sides at Amani's a hair better.

        Honestly the differences are so minor I don't use them as my deciding factor. My main deciding factor is geography. I live about 3 miles from Al-Ameer and 6 from Amani's, but I am always driving in and out of Dearborn on Michigan Ave.

        ...although if you twisted my arm I would say go with Amani's.

        1. re: JanPrimus

          Thanks for the report. In the future, please refrain from using the word "hair" in the same sentence as "meats" and "salads"!

          1. re: mrfinewine

            HAHA good idea!

      2. re: JanPrimus

        Being from Dearborn, I never thought I'd recommend a place in Birmingham but I am a big fan of Pita Cafe. They have THE BEST lemonade ever (fresh lemon and orange juices mixed with crushed ice). But chicken shwarma is superlative.

      3. How does Mezza compare to La Shish, to anyone who has tried both?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fibber McGee

          I was disappointed with Mezza - I had high hopes since, as far as I know, it's owners are former employees of La Shish. Mezza was my first try at replacing La Shish and it just didn't pass. They've dressed up the menu (and what's up with $8 hommous at all of these places now?) but on first bite, it just fell flat. I was a little more satisfied with my take-out sandwich from La Marsa (also former La Shish employees), but haven't tried anything else so far. I've heard Palm Palace has done well at keeping the quality intact, but haven't made it there yet. I must admit, I had a lot of love for La Shish, so you know... you have a favorite and nothing ever lives up to it!

        2. I just got back from Amani's after not being there for awhile....

          I am sad to say but the food quality has dropped quite a bit. It bugs me because I pushed it on a lot of people for awhile.

          I went in with my whole family and got the Feast dinner. The Fatoush had no punch to it at all, the Meats were all dry and the Raw Kibbie did not have a good consistency to it at all. I sadly am taking Amani's off of the recommended list.

          I am sorry if anyone went out there on my word and got the level of food that I got tonight.

          Again I apologize.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JanPrimus

            Dang, man...that's too bad. Are you sure they weren't just having an off night? Guess it's La Pita for us next time, eh? :)

            1. re: boagman

              I do not think it was a off night. The meats were dry as in that I have been reheated manner, the Fatoush was just not the same by a mile and everything else just lacked that punch on freshness.

              They also did not have pickled Turnips or Peppers like they used to...

              1. re: JanPrimus

                I give a big shout out for The Cedarlands, on Warren Av (just west of Shaeffer) in Dearborn. Have alway enjoyed the chicken tawook, fattoush, kibbee, and home-style specials such as stuffed squash or lamb and eggplant stew. Food is consistently good and I enjoy the people-watching here as well.

                I have also had some very fresh tasty food at The Sheikh in Canton (on Ford Rd). The menu here is more basic, but I loved the fattoush and the falafel was unique and wonderful.
                http://www.thesheikhrestaurant.com/

                1. re: trapani

                  Cedarland was the first place I ever had middle eastern food at. This was back when they were in their old location, '93 or so. Good food plus a drive-through.
                  One place I think is especially good is Chef's Restaurant on Plymouth Rd. in Livonia. They do a really great job and everything I've had from there has been excellent.

          2. Le George Mediterranean Bistro in Northville filled the gap in the northwestern suburbs left by LaShish. A little more expensive and upscale than LaShish, but well worth the $$. Great Falafel appetizer, great salmon and lamb. Added bonus, George, the owner always seems to be on hand overseeing every detail.