It was my first visit to Harissa in the Ravenna neighborhood, on NE 65th and 22nd NE. I went mainly to hear music, and was surprised at how much I liked the food.
The appetizers come with pita, but it isn't your usual bland, flabby pockets. Lightly seasoned and grilled crispy. The serving was very generous. Our appetizers were: Labneh, a home made cottage cheese with herbs, garlic and olive oil; and Lebanese salsa salad, with spicy pepper paste, tomatoes, onions, fresh parsley, walnuts, and of course olive oil. Both of these were strongly and distinctly flavored. Perfect with the crispy pitas. The two salads and pita were so filling that one main was sufficient for two of us.
The main courses on the menu are kebaps and stews, in the $17-20 range. Tonight there was a special lamb stew, with ground lamb meatballs. Again, intense and delicious flavors. It came with a seasoned white rice that was one of the best pilafs I can remember in a long time. Simply seasoned, yet I could have had a bowl of it plain and been happy. Mains also come with a generous (albeit boringly dressed, compared to the other dishes) green salad.
Many wines are available by the glass, starting with some decent $6 and $7 Yakima wines. With two appetizers, pita, lamb stew, rice, salad, and two glasses of house wine, the total before t&t was under $60. If we had ordered only one appetizer but a second main, it would have been $10 more and we would have had a doggie bag.
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