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Best Middle Eastern food in Dearborn area?

We've got friends coming to visit at the last minute. They love Middle Eastern chow. I know there have been other posts about this topic. I'm seeking the best of the best-willing to eat diffferent dishes at different places if that's what it takes. Looking forward to your recs. Thanks in advance.

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  1. My favorite is La Pita, but perhaps my opinion is suspect because I *hated* La Shish, and most people in this area swore that La Shish was heaven on earth. I couldn't disagree any more strongly than I do. La Pita, though, made me smile from ear to ear.

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    La Pita
    22681 Newman St, Dearborn, MI 48124

    5 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      I will second La Pita and offer a second. Al-Ameer. I love them both for different reasons. I think the meats are Al-Ameer are better, but I like the veggies (especially the rice) better at La Pita.

      http://www.lapitadearborn.com/

      http://www.alameerrestaurant.com/

      1. re: boagman

        I retried La Pita based on recs from this board, and I found it bland. To be fair, I didn't order my usual baseline dish, chicken shawarma. I got a veggie rice dish, and it was bland. They do have great bread. My all time favorite is still Al Ameer.

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        Ameer
        222 E Market St Ste 33, Indianapolis, IN 46204

        La Pita
        22681 Newman St, Dearborn, MI 48124

        1. re: momskitchen

          So it's neck & neck for La Pita & Al Ameer. Ranisux, Berkleybabe & other "regulars"-what do you think? As always, thanks.

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          Ameer
          222 E Market St Ste 33, Indianapolis, IN 46204

          La Pita
          22681 Newman St, Dearborn, MI 48124

          1. re: momskitchen

            Another visit to LaPita left me disappointed yet again. Half the restaurant reeked of tobacco smoke. Hubby got chicken shawarma - it was dull. I got something called Spicy Chicken Man-Ushi which was a rolled up sandwich that looked like chicken shawarma on steroids. Unfortunately, it tasted like cardboard. I had to get a side of the garlic sauce to make it even palatable. Even their garlic sauce is boring. Everything's overpriced, too. Can't say I'll give them another shot. Wish there were some other West Dearborn options

            1. re: momskitchen

              That's how I felt about Pita Cafe. No taste, undercooked, overcooked. Just the whole vibe was wrong. All the people that worked there gathered around a table in the back and smoked and whatever. Never even checked on how everything was. This was over a month ago. Sorry. Just venting. This was the Pita Cafe in Birmingham. And then there's LaMarsa in Farmington Hills. YUM!

        2. La Pita and Al-Ameer are both good choices. For French/Lebanese desserts there is the incomparable Shatila Bakery & Cafe, which is just a few blocks west of Al-Ameer on Warren Ave. The pistachio ice cream is excellent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dearborn barkis

            They found more space than ice cream is supposed to have, to allow for more butter fat and this is a very good thing.

          2. My Lebanese wife's relatives assert that Hamido on Warren has the best chicken in Dearborn. It's less formal and cozier than either La Pita or Al-Ameer, however..

            1. I would have to say Al-Ameer, like JanPrimus has said the meats at Al-Ameer are indeed better. It is one of the few places where I will get Lamb kibbie.

              1. I'll toss Cedarland into the rotation. Haven't yet had a meal at La Pita.

                For dessert; Shatila. Don't skip their ice cream.

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                La Pita
                22681 Newman St, Dearborn, MI 48124

                4 Replies
                1. re: rainsux

                  A warning....ever since Rainsux told me about Shatila....I have gained 20 pounds.

                  DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!! :)

                  1. re: rainsux

                    Ok, so what makes Cedarland a contender? Rainsux you have yet to steer me wrong! How is their baba ghanoush? I had planned to hit Shatila for the pistachio ice cream-it rocks. JanPrimus-what are you eating there?

                    1. re: schaf1

                      At Shatila....purely and simply the ice cream. Pistachio and Mango flavors for me.

                      1. re: JanPrimus

                        I like Shatila's kashta (rosewater ice cream). ....Oh brother, I gotta kick my 'roid cycles up a notch.

                        Anyway, speaking of Shatila, right up W. Warren Ave. from there, is New Yasmeen Bakery. I don't crave bread or pastries, but their "deli" or food counter is great. Stop by, see what others are ordering (the menu boards are unhelpful and very incomplete), and grab a few $2 savory snacks. It's great fun!! There are lots of tables, which is good because there are lots of customers. Come on, for 15 minutes and $6, you have everything to gain, when the 3pm munchies hit. www.yasmeenbakery.com

                        I used to be a big Al Ameer promoter. I still like it, but to my surprise I now actually like La Saj* (Schoenherr, just South of Hall Rd in Sterling Hts. www.lasaj.com) slightly more. We'll have to have that debate some time. *thanks to CH's "sixelagogo" and "firestalker" ---yes, very far from Dearborn

                        Cederland is a no-frills institution of sorts in the Dearborn Warren Ave strip. But, I think their best attributes are portion quantities and nostalgia. If that's what you're looking for, then you're good. I ordered raw kibbie last year and was presented with a plate bearing probably three pounds of raw meat...accompanied by a big plastic bottle of cheap olive oil. A mess just waiting to happen.

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                        La Saj
                        13776 Southcove Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48313