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Celaborelle - FW

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The full name of this place is Celaborelle Phoenician Buffet. Google Celaborelle and you'll find their website. I don't know why they say "Phoenician" when the food is Lebanese, but that's their business.

Saw rave reviews on Tripadvisor and went to try it out two weeks ago. It's in a converted, dumpy house on Hemphill. There's no parking in front (you have to go up the block to the corner and park on the side street.) Don't let that scare you off. Also, don't worry if they don't answer your knock on the door at 5:30 on a Thursday, even though they are supposed to open at 5. We called the restaurant's number and the owner answered and said "there are people in there, I'll get them to open the door."

Once inside the surroundings were just OK, but that's not the point. We were told "the buffet isn't out yet, so we'll just bring you everything as we're making it, and if we don't bring you something you want just tell us and we'll make it." With that they gave us the takeout menu (which is on the website, of course).

After a dozen or so courses (shared by four of us) that ranged from very good to excellent (I particularly liked the vegetarian kibbe), I asked for one of the eggplant dishes, spelled msaqaa on the menu, and for lamb kabob. The kabob was utterly incredible; I brought it home to my wife, who doesn't even like lamb, and she raved. The eggplant dish was nearly as good, in both her opinion and mine.

I feared that these extras would drive up the bill, but fear not. You get everything you can eat in this place for $8.95. I can't imagine how they survive at this price. It will run you a bit more if you take out the food, but the takeout menu prices are still an incredible bargain.

Run, don't walk.

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  1. Oh yeh, Celabotelle has great food and is a real bargain. Although I've only been once, I'm anxious to go back.