Whenever we study a specific culture or country, I try to find a place where we can eat something with the particular spices or preparations from that place.
Finding Egyptian food wasn’t exactly easy, but we found a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Raleigh called Shish Kabob. Since Egypt is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, we thought they might have something Egyptian-like to offer – and at the very least, it would be a new food experience for us.
We weren’t mistaken.
We chose to order two different dishes and share them among us. (I didn’t think to take pictures until after I had divided the dishes. The original portions were much larger.)
Our marinated and flame-grilled beef kabobs came served with spiced rice, a sauce, and warm pita.
A falafel was a very new dish to me. It was served in a long hoagie-style roll with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.
While the basic ingredients weren’t too foreign to us, we weren’t sure exactly what spices were in things or what the sauces might be like, and so we had lots of questions. The man at the counter was very patient with us and answered all of our questions. He even gave us a stuffed grape leaf for free so that we could try it! We appreciated his kindness – and the opportunity to try something we might not have otherwise.
Shish Kabob is a carry-out restaurant at the downtown Raleigh location, but the weather was beautiful and there are lots of tables just outside, so we enjoyed a picnic dinner with friends. I divided our food among us and we dug in.
The kids loved the kebobs. It was straight-up delicious meat, tender and flavorful. They loved it.
They thought the rice was okay. I thought it was rather exotic. We were all curious to know what spices it contained, as it had a very unique flavor, but when we asked, we were told “seven.” I guess it’s their secret blend!
I particularly enjoyed the falafel. Rather like a vegetarian meatball, it was crunchy on the outside but warm and soft on the inside. It had a surprising kick of spice to it, which I liked a lot – but the kids didn’t. It was too much for them.
Their favorite item was the pita. It was soft and warm, and both kids wanted extra. It was definitely an exciting find.
We don’t have a Shish Kabob location near us, so it isn’t a place we’ll be able to visit too often. Our dinner was so yummy, though, that we’ll definitely be back.
Have you ever eaten Egyptian food?