Sunday I had a late lunch at International Market & Deli in New Monterey. My first visit even though this market has been here since 1990. Gloria, the warm and welcoming Guamanian wife, and her Iraqi husband have been operating the market for about a year and a half. The prepared foods in the deli are made according to Lebanese recipes. The new owners introduced halal meats. Thought it's a small storefront, Persian goods, Greek, Russian, Indian, Arabic, Turkish and more imported food stuffs pack the shelves. A couple tables inside provide seating for eating on-site.
I broke my own rule of only ordering shawarma when I can see it sliced off the spit and would regret it. The beef tri-tip shawarma was well-seasoned but woefully hard and dried out. There's but one spit that alternates among chicken, beef, and beef/lamb gyro cone, so only order what's spinning that day.
Turkish coffee was very good and presented nicely on a tray. I enjoyed the syrupy brew with the pistachio baklava from Shatilah bakery in Michigan.
I left with a small tub of baba ghanouj, $5.50. It's excellent with mild smoky notes, bright acidity and a good dose of tahini.
Gloria has organized a MeetUp women's group to build community and promote cross-cultural friendship and provides the gathering place to share food and life.
International Market & Deli
580 Lighthouse Avenue
Monterey, CA 93940