Best Middle Eastern Grocery (2001)
Meandering the aisles of Droubi's with Arabic music in the air, one can imagine wandering through a Lebanese open market, only with air-conditioning. The aroma of constantly baking bread that is sold still warm, a myriad of bulk herbs and spices sold by the pound and the daily lunch specials of Lebanese food sold in the grocery's small dining area keep the nose twitching and the mouth watering. The expansive family-owned grocery is a mystery tour for Anglo customers who know neither the language nor the alphabet and can only hope for a picture of the product on the label, but "tourist shoppers" eventually find what they're looking for. The deli is easier -- you just need to know how to point -- but the vast selection of feta, olives and pickled vegetables (including eggplant) requires at least some agonizing. Fresh hummus and baba ghanoush, so popular they must be made several times a day, are inexpensive and tasty, as are the kibbe, cabbage rolls and stuffed grape leaves. While the prospect of visiting the war-torn Middle East might be a little unnerving, taste buds can still take a vacation here.