One night in Warren Michigan, what's not to be missed
Once again, we ate well, thanks to Chow.
jjspw was our inspiration.
Our first night was at Najeeb and we tried their dinner for two (from the back of the menu). Mr Shallots proclaimed it a feast and I was delighted to be able to try so many different entrees, after the two salads and the beans and then the potatoes. We also were awestruck by the bread they make there- the big broad pieces of yeast risen bread, obviously cooked in a really hot oven, great glutin development....and it was just grand.
The next day, we had lunch at Te Mergimtari. I had both the cheese and meat burek and the pastries were beautiful and light. Mr Shallots had the the three meat balls which came with chopped cabbage (he hates all things cabbage) and the meat balls were more like flattened sausages and he wasn't that pleased. I appreciated being able to try the dishes (and I wish I had their hand making light, flaky pastries.
I also visited Sahara Market. I was a kid in a candy store. (Yes, I can admit to trying almost all of the Shatila pastries that they had.) I was unprepared for the assorment of nuts and just don't cook with them often enough to order. I regret not getting pine nuts there. Then I got to the south end of the store. If you cook, you'd have laughed at me. Anything I had never seen before or had heard of but never seen ....I bought. From Almond Syrup to Date leather to some spices whose name I didn't even recognize. I am going to have such fun searching for recipes for my purchases.
We did spend a second night in Warren and debated going up to the Lebanese Restaurant, but Mr. Shallots so liked Najeeb, that we went back there and had the dinner for two a second time.
Had we spent a third night, I expect we would have been back at Najeeb, Mr Shallots was so very impressed by it.
Haha, glad to hear you enjoyed Najeeb so much! I admit I've never tried their dinner for two, so that might be what my significant other and I split the next time. Sounds great! Also glad you found everything--and more--that you were looking for at Sahara Market. Glad chowhounders could help you out!
the reliable jjspw dutifully gave you one warren restaurant and one warren market, then ske-dattled to sterling heights. i'm going to skip the preliminaries, and just go STRAIGHT to sterling heights---
La Saj Lebanese (mentioned several times elsewhere on this board...very, very solid)
13776 Southcover Dr
Sterling Heights, MI 48313 worth the 12 minute drive from warren!
as for a market, i'm going with---
2938 E Maple Rd
Troy, MI 48083-4496
there also are relatively decent vietnamese options, if that is your gig.
13776 Southcove Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Thank you both. I'll try to do both markets. (We lived in New Orleans for a decade so have done a lot of Vietnahmese, seafood version, because of the huge Viet community in east New Orleans.)
I have one very good Lebanese restaurant/grocery here in Knoxville who moved here from Detroit, so depending on time and location (and to get Mr Shallots more into their flavors) that might work as well.
A very convenient restaurant and market that are basically back-to-back at 14 Mile & Ryan:
Najeeb Kabob House
4076 E 14 Mile Rd
Warren, MI 48310
32836 Ryan Rd
Warren, MI 48092
Najeeb is a pretty good Iraqi restaurant--really unique Iraqi dishes, but many of the dishes are only made on one day of the week (typically on a Friday). It's annoying to have to run through 4-5 choices before you find something they *do* have that day, but the food is really good. Some of the excellent stand-bys that they always have are lamb shanks over yellow rice, chicken shawarma over yellow rice, and lamb tongue sandwich.
Sahara Market is one of the larger Middle Eastern markets in the area. Lots of produce, dairy, and dry goods. The big bonus here is that they have a HUGE selection of Shatila pastries (from the famous Shatila bakery in Dearborn).
Go a mile further north to 15 Mile & Ryan, and you'll find Hanna's Fruit Market, which does fresh-baked Iraqi bread in-store. Really delicious chewy stuff, only 20 cents each for football-sized loaves.
Hanna's Fruit Market
4115 15 Mile Rd
Sterling Heights, MI 48310
Across the street from Hanna's is Te Mergimtari Albanian Restaurant. Very unique eats--definitely recommended, as this cuisine is quite hard to find elsewhere. I'd recommend the cheese burek (very flaky pastry) and suxhuk (spiced sausage). I believe they're cash only, and they tend to close early (I've seen them closed by 7:00 p.m. some days).
4104 15 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48310
Went to Najeeb for lunch today (Wed). Very hilarious resto-theatre.. Reminded me of the old SNL Cheeburger skit. Whatever I asked for it was out but they had Shawarma. After four tries I said I would have the shawarma. Food quality was very similar to others in the region but the atmosphere is worth the drive. Very busy at noon and the parking is tight but worth the effort. I am going to figure out what day is lamb's tongue and go back. Thanks for the lead jjspw.
Yeah, I noticed Te Mergimtari closed a couple weeks ago. So unfortunate. I don't think they were even open a full year.
I had a feeling they were struggling, because the last time I was there, they had stopped baking their own bread and had just been buying the Iraqi bread from Hanna's Market across the street. It's great bread when you get it three seconds out of the oven at Hanna's, but it's pretty crappy when you get it cold four hours later, marked up 4 times at Te Mergimtari. :-\