Last night we had dinner at Salaam, mostly our favorite middle-eastern place. I'm especially keen on their house made schwarma's, the pink pickled turnips served gratis and their fine dice of jalepeno and garlic that serves as the perfect foil to the meats. Yet, last night may have been the last straw.
I always go into Salaam expecting poor treatment and clouds of cigarette smoke. Yesterday, a smoker actually voluntarily moved himself, feeling guilty about being so close to a kid, but the service was worse than ever. Four forks for five people. Lack of knives to cut the meats. Hell, it was problem just to get some plates. Every thing we needed, the fifth water glass, the re-filled glasses, the hot sauce, the check, only came after we asked, and everything came with extreme skeptisism from our server. No schwarma and hot sauce is really worth that.
So where? Here's a laundry list based on some other places of my ideal middle-eastern resturant:
- a wood burning oven like this place in Washingon DC that turned out an amazing chicken with garlic sauce (also fresh pita bread).
- A big platter of fresh vegetables dropped off at your table like the places along Bayswater Road in London.
- The olives and turnips like Salaam
- The multiple hot sauces and condiments like Falafal King in Westwood, (Los Angeles)
- Any place that fries their falfal too order--say Pita Plus in the suburbs
- The huge bowls of pickles on the table and great fresh fries from another Pita Plus, this one in Aventura, Florida
- All the salads, spreads, sauces, and veggies that will fit in the pita like any falafal stand in Israel
- Schwarma not gyros
Anything else missing from the ideal Middle-Eastern place, and more importaningly where can I fint it?
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