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One night in Warren Michigan, what's not to be missed

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shallots Sep 22, 2010 07:07 PM

Early next week, Mr Shallots and I will be in Warren.
We are very willing to try middle eastern.
(And if you care to recommend a Middle Eastern Grocery Store, it would be langniappe.)
Many thanks.

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  1. jjspw RE: shallots Sep 22, 2010 07:33 PM

    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
    (586) 274-0500

    Sahara Market
    32836 Ryan Rd
    Warren, MI 48092
    (586) 274-0700

    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
    (586) 264-6805

    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).

    Te Mergimtari
    4104 15 Mile Road
    Sterling Heights, MI 48310
    (586) 365-4702

    4 Replies
    1. re: jjspw
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      goatgolfer RE: jjspw Dec 1, 2010 09:53 AM

      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.

      1. re: goatgolfer
        jjspw RE: goatgolfer Dec 1, 2010 01:57 PM

        So even the lamb tongue isn't available every day?!?! WTF is with that place?!?! It's like the restaurant I love to hate, y'know. ;-) I love their food and I love the theatre, but the unavailability of food is just so annoying.

        1. re: jjspw
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          vtombrown RE: jjspw Dec 1, 2010 04:49 PM

          PS-- jjspw, as you may now have seen, Te Mergimtari appears to be dissolved. I was driving fast at the time, but the appearance from a fleeting glance was unmistakeable. :-(

          1. re: vtombrown
            jjspw RE: vtombrown Dec 1, 2010 05:18 PM

            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. :-\

    2. v
      vtombrown RE: shallots Sep 23, 2010 07:26 PM

      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!
      (586) 566-6600

      as for a market, i'm going with---
      Polish Market
      2938 E Maple Rd
      Troy, MI 48083-4496
      (248) 577-5334

      there also are relatively decent vietnamese options, if that is your gig.

      -----
      La Saj
      13776 Southcove Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

      6 Replies
      1. re: vtombrown
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        shallots RE: vtombrown Sep 23, 2010 07:39 PM

        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.

        1. re: shallots
          v
          vtombrown RE: shallots Sep 23, 2010 07:49 PM

          there is a wonderful casual brew pub in warren named Kuhnhenn, at Mound Rd, just north of 13Mile Rd ! wow, can they brew strong flavors and ABVs.

          1. re: vtombrown
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            AmyIM RE: vtombrown Sep 23, 2010 08:21 PM

            We just made our first trip to Kuhnnenn Bros. with friends who LOVE IT. Great place, although the service was poky (they were slammed, though). We will be back!

          2. re: shallots
            jjspw RE: shallots Sep 23, 2010 09:47 PM

            shallots, the Knoxville Lebanese restaurant/grocery is Holy Land Market, no? I travel to Knoxville several times a year on business, and have tried Holy Land. Compared to them, I think you'll be much more impressed with Sahara, Hanna's, and Polish Market.

            1. re: jjspw
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              shallots RE: jjspw Sep 24, 2010 08:09 AM

              Right about HolyLand. Their summer salads have been grand this year when the heat here has been 90+ seemingly from midMay. (And I've had my first dates drying in my kitchen window thanks to them.) Have you tried Ali Baba on Kingston Pike near Walker Springs exit of I-40?

              1. re: shallots
                jjspw RE: shallots Sep 24, 2010 09:07 AM

                Hmm, Ali Baba is that "Timeout Deli" place? Have not yet tried them, but have been curious... of course, I should be posting this in the Knoxville/South US board. ;-)

        2. s
          shallots RE: shallots Oct 7, 2010 08:19 AM

          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.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shallots
            jjspw RE: shallots Oct 7, 2010 01:06 PM

            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!

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