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Apr 23, 2010 07:38 AM

Chez Manelle in Arlington - Report

Another great option in NoVa eating has opened up - the very tiny Chez Manelle serving Tunisian specialties. Almost everything on the menu is a specific rendition of North African cuisine that you can't find anywhere else in the DC-Baltimore area.

I got take out that held up very, very well - which is a rarity. Omek Houria is a pureed carrot appetizer that tasted amazing cold the next day with an agressive olive flavor. This was an instant favorite. Brika is a crispy crepe stuffed with a fried egg - the yolk broke open cutting into it. Very delicious. The Kaftaji Merguez is a potato-intense, egg, and vegetable pan-fry topped with merguez sausage. This was simple and hearty.

For those looking to explore new and exciting options, this is a destination restaurant.

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  1. Awesome find Steve! I can't wait to fly home and go straight here.

    1. Thanks Steve -- great find. I think if I woke up one day and was told I could eat nothing but foods from countries that are on the Mediterranean, I'd be more than fine with that.

      1. Yeah, I saw this restaurant just popped up on Todd Kliman's "25 Places I'd Spend My Own Money" list last week. I was hoping another chowhound checked it out before I took the dive. Well done, Steve! I can't wait to try it.

        1. Wow, the menu looks awesome and CHEAP! I haven't had a Tunisian sandwich since Paris. This is very exciting, thanks for the tip!

          3 Replies
          1. re: hamster

            Just had a nice early dinner at Chez Manelle. DH and I shared the Omek Houri (hubby liked it better than I did), Brika (very good), and Sagara Boregi (phylo dough wrapped around feta cheese and parsley (delish). We also had a beef kabob, which came with two side salads (white bean and Tunisian salad) and nicely spiced and cooked rice. The beef is not top-quality, which is reflected in the price, but it was spiced nicely as well and was very good. Thanks for bringing this place to my attention, Steve. We'll definitely be back. Oh, the prices are amazing!

            1. re: cabster

              Glad you liked it. The carrot dish does get better and works extremely well the next day straight from the fridge.

              1. re: Steve

                I will try this week, I have seen that restaurant but I don't know why I didn't even bother to do research about it, I just thought it would be another bad joint, glad to read your report Steve!

          2. I see they do delivery. Nice.