Thanks to Melanie's mouthwatering post last October, I've visited Rihab's a several times, usually to buy some of her excellent middle-eastern bread, fresh out of the oven, lightly crisp on the bottom, blistered on top, and with that inimitable home-baked chewiness that makes me eat more bread than I thought possible.
Today, I managed to stop by for lunch, and I had the beef shawarma, thinking that this was one of the most likely places to get a really good version. I remembered a long-ago thread bemoaning the absence of sliced beef or lamb shawarma, as opposed to that gargantuan mound of rotating ground-up mystery meat that usually passes for gyros or shawarma. I was certainly not disappointed! While the meat was not sliced off any spit, my shawarma platter was composed of a genereous portion of marinated lean beef slices, grilled to order. Not very tender, but certainly tasty, nicely spiced and served with a small, but fresh, salad of romaine and tomato, a generous portion of homemade hummus, and a whole round of bread.
My husband had one of the lahmejeen (please excuse my spelling--bread with spiced ground meat and tomatoes), and an entire pint of baba ghanouj with another full loaf of Rihab's bread! You would understand if you tasted the baba ghanouj with chunks of fresh, sweet eggplant buried in the mix--richly flavored of grilled eggplant, and perfectly balanced between the creamy, garlicky, tart flavors that such dishes should have. It will only be under grave duress that I will eat baba ghanouj, shawarma, or hummus at anywhere else!
Rihab's is at 1504 El Camino Real in Belmont, wedged between a car dealership and a Mexican restaurant.