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Manhattan Hole in the Wall

Mid-Eastern hole in the wall: Sahara grill

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Mid-Eastern hole in the wall: Sahara grill

Caitlin McGrath | Jun 7, 2004 03:15 PM

Looking for a quick dinner one night recently that wasn't part of the chain hell dominating 42nd St in Times Square, I walked a couple of blocks down 7th Ave (to 39th or 40th) and found myself in front of a corner store with color photos of kebabs and the like on the exterior wall. I decided, what the hell, and walked into Sahara Grill. It's a sliver of a oorner store/takeout shop selling cigarettes, soda, gum, bagels, and a reasonably full menu of Turkish kebabs, felafel, etc. There's a narrow aisle next to the counter/kitchen, a large beverage cooler, and four or five stools wedged in the corner for waiting and eating in.

The vegetarian combo plate had a generous assortment of the usual salads (tabouli, hummus, baba ganoush, a chunky eggplant salad), which weren't outstanding, but were all good and fresh tasting, plus four each stuffed grape leaves and felafel (fried fresh when I ordered), and a bit of salad. On a second visit, I got a chicken doner sandwich. Instead of kebabs of spiced chopped meat, it was griddled shreds of tasty marinated, spiced chicken with salad and the usual white and hot sauces. Pita is commerical, but fresh.

Prices aren't super-low; chicken or lamb doner in pita is $5.95, chicken kebabs and lamb shwarma sandwiches are $6.96 IIRC, and combo plate is $8.95 (but hefty). It's definitely better suited to take-out (the seating is cramped and the atmosphere is, well, lacking), but definitely worthy stop if you're in the neighborhood and looking for a tasty bite. Also helpful: it's open 24 hours.

Sahara Grill
558 7th Ave
New York NY 10018
(212) 391-6555

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