African and Middle Eastern Food and Cooking

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    What is Halal Meat, and Why Should You Care?

    "These things alone he has forbidden to you: What is already dead, blood, the flesh of swine, what has been offered up to other than Allah." Al-Anam 6:145 While driving around Houston, you've probably noticed signs for Halal meat markets or Halal delis. You've probably read labels touting that a c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    Dish of the Week: Turkish Shish Kebab

    From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post. This week, we're sharing a recipe for a Turkish classic: shish kebab. The word kebab literally means "roast meat." Though there ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2013

    Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in the Galleria

    We've been rounding up our favorite budget lunch spots in different neighborhoods around town. So far, we've covered Montrose, River Oaks, Midtown, Upper Kirby, EaDo, Rice Village, and the East End. But we're not done yet. This week, it's the upscale Galleria neighborhood that gets a closer look. H ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    Dazzling Displays At the Four Seasons Inaugural Eid Al-Fitr Celebration

    It's hard to wish others a hearty (and intelligible) "Eid Mubarak" with a mouthful of food. I came to this realization several times this past Friday during the Eid al-Fitr dinner at the Four Seasons as I sat at my table and consumed plate after plate of the most outstanding Middle Eastern food I'v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    Hummus For Breakfast? Yep, And Even In Mashed Potatoes

    For many of you, hummus is probably not on your list of favorite things to eat, but it should be. Hummus is a healthy, tasty and satisfying food you should incorporate into your diet. I have been a huge fan of hummus for many years; I love dipping carrots, pita chips, crackers and other veggies int ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 23, 2013

    The 10 Best Downtown Restaurants

    More than tunnels and tourist traps.

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2013

    Here, Eat This: A Beginner's Guide to Ethiopian Cuisine

    People unfamiliar with African cuisines often tend to lump them all in together: East African, West African, North African...what's the difference? We don't lump French and Spanish food together simply because they share a border, however, nor do we regard Indian and Chinese as the same because they ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 2, 2013

    Lucy: Making Ethiopian Food Look Good

    One of the complaints I've always heard leveled against Ethiopian food is that it isn't "pretty," or that it doesn't photograph well. The latter may often be true, because the texture and consistency of many Ethiopian dishes has a tendency to get lost in translation when photographed. A lovely, well ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2012

    Muddled Mediterranean at La Fendee

    I keep a list pinned up in my office of places Houston Press commenters suggest I try -- and it's a long one, because you guys are opinionated! I love it, though, because it usually leads me to excellent foods at restaurants I have yet to try. Needing a place to go for Fast Times, but looking for a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2012

    What's Cooking This Week? Seared Skirt Steak, Sweet Potato Skins & More

    I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredients I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    What's Cooking This Week? Seared Scallops, Israeli Couscous & More

    I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredients I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2012

    The Avengers: Rise of the Shawarma

    Anyone who has ever watched a movie based on a Marvel comic knows you've got to stay put until after the final credits roll. There's always a clip that alludes to the sequel, prequel or a spin-off -- but no one would have imagined that the post credits scene from The Avengers would spark a major sha ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 5, 2012

    Birds of Bethlehem

    New Palestinian restaurant Al Aseel is turning out some wonderful roasted chicken.

  • Dining

    December 22, 2011

    Finger Licking Good

    If you like Cajun and Southern food, try this West African restaurant.

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Of Fufu and Roux: A Nigerian-American Love Story

    Photo by Troy FieldsA plate of doughy fufu and thick egusi soup at Finger Licking Bukateria.​Last Friday morning, I was rushing around my nine-by-six kitchen and tearing out the contents of the cupboards like a poltergeist. I was running late for our holiday luncheon at work and still needed t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2011

    What's Cooking This Week?

    Photo by srqpixSpice it up for flavor without the fat.​Last week at my house, we dined on luscious Shrimp Bisque and some Squash, Manchego & Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheeses. Damn those were good. Not to pat myself on the back, but I have to pat myself on the back. Just kidding...but not really. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2011

    Discount Dining: La Fendee Grill

    Beef Kabob Entree​I live close to La Fendee Grill, and I love Mediterranean food, but I hadn't been to La Fendee in more than three years. And even when I did go to La Fendee, I don't think I ever ate there. The few times I visited were spent on the patio overlooking Westheimer, taking advant ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 8, 2011

    Desert Couscous

    Casablanca worth a visit in a city with so little Moroccan food.

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    Gimme My Hummus

    Anamaris Cousins PriceHummus​Not long ago, someone wrote to the editors at EOW asking for the best hummus recipe and we got right to work. Hummus has long been one of those things that make me think of the cute guy across the bar. He's hot and nice to look at and talk to, but he'd be way too m ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 21, 2011

    Bread Lines

    Beyond just the baked goods, Cedars Bakery draws crowds with its authentic,beyond-the-mainstream Mediterranean food.

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2011

    Ingredient of the Week: Chickpeas

    Photo by John SuhChickpeas in their raw form​What is it? Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are part of the legume family. They are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in existence and are mostly used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.

  • Dining

    May 5, 2011

    Shisha and Chardonnay

    At Skewers, you can smoke, drink and eat classic Lebanese food.

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants

    Fadi's.​These places may go by many names - Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Lebanese, Persian - and though it is clearly not possible for all of these titles to be correct, in Houston we usually have a general sense of what the person is talking about when they mention any of the above cuisine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2011

    Breakfast in the Park at Niko Niko's Market Square

    ​In an ideal world, the breakfast pitas that Niko Niko's (301 Milam, 713-224-4976) serves would become as omnipresent as breakfast tacos -- Mexican and Greek breakfast wraps taking over Houston one pita and one tortilla at a time. Until that happens, though, I encourage you to do your part in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2011

    Abu Omar: Houston's Only Halal Taco Truck

    ​I scanned the short menu on the side of Abu Omar, a silver-sided taco truck on Hillcroft at Pagewood. It wasn't very forthcoming about the kinds of meats it served, just listing items like tacos and tortas. "Do you have chicharron?" I asked the smiling young man, Roberto, inside. "No," he re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2011

    The Seven Seas Platter at Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine

    ToastforbrekkieHummus. ​I don't usually think of ordering seafood at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean restaurants. Lamb and chicken are usually the house specialties, maybe chickpeas in the form of falafel. After eating red meat seven days in a row, however, I was in the mood for something whit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2010

    5 Houston Alternatives to a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

    A cold Thanksgiving day calls for hot pot, the ultimate communal meal.​Sometimes you don't want to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes you destroy the turkey and all of your side dishes turn out to taste like broiled roadkill. And sometimes you just want to start a new tradition o ... More >>

  • Dining

    November 18, 2010

    "Exotic" Ethiopian

    You eat it with your fingers, yes. But the vibrant cuisine at Sheba Cafe isn't so unfamiliar.

  • Dining

    November 11, 2010
  • Dining

    September 30, 2010

    Planet Houston

    The world's great cuisines converge here.

  • Dining

    September 23, 2010
  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Arpi's Deli and Coffee Shop: A New Frontier for Phoenicia

    Build your own meze platter at Arpi's from the cafeteria-style line.​"Did you just pick that flavor at random?" the smiling man behind the counter asked, head cocked, after I'd asked for a cup of cardamom Turkish coffee-flavored gelato. "Yes..." I responded hesitantly. "Why?" "That's my favo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2010

    Mixed Shawarma Plate at Yildizlar Restaurant

    ​Ever since I got over my irrational prejudice against strip mall restaurants (probably sometime in my teenage years), I have been eager to give a second glance to those establishments that suffer from bland concrete exteriors and generic signage. This is how I came to appreciate Yildizlar, an ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 2, 2010
  • Dining

    September 2, 2010

    Rumor to Rest

    Who says Houston has bad shawarma?

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2010

    Mediterraneo's Market & Café: Mediterranean Food Tapas Style

    ​We'd been hearing how good Mediterraneo's Market and Café (18033 Upper Bay Road) was for quite some time. But it wasn't until two things happened that we finally got the impetus to drive all the way down to Nassau Bay to try it out. First, there was a big sample menu in the Menu of Menus ins ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2010

    Food Fight: Battle Falafel

    Al's Quick Stop.​Falafel is a Middle Eastern staple made with spiced chickpeas or fava beans which are ground into a paste, formed into balls, and then fried. The resulting patties are sometimes served alone, but most often rolled up in a flatbread and topped with a tangy tahini sauce... Sort ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2010

    Picnic, Phoenicia-Style

    ​Every trip I take to Phoenicia (12141 Westheimer) for basic grocery shopping somehow culminates in a giant picnic at my house afterwards, owing to the bounty of ready-to-eat food in Phoenicia's deli section (which is getting ready to move out of the store itself and into its own, adjoining sp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2010

    Celestial Sandwiches - Day Three

    Breakfast sandwich from La Guadalupana. ​This week we're offering up 25 of our favorite sandwiches. Below is today's list. And if you haven't seen them yet, here's Monday's and Tuesday's. Breakfast sandwich at La Guadalupana - The breakfast sandwich, in general, is much less popular than the ... More >>

  • Dining

    March 11, 2010
  • Blogs

    February 1, 2010

    $7 at Canary Café and Grill

    ​Where: Canary Cafe and Grill, 3511 Elgin St., 77004, 713-658-0088 What $7 gets you: A pretty hefty Greek salad with gyro meat or a sandwich combo (falafel, kabobs, shawarma, or gyros) with fries and a drink. The first time we tried Canary Café and Grill, it was at the end of last semester ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2009

    $13 at Kojak's Timberbrook Café

    ​ Where: Kojak's Timberbrook Café, 1912 West 18th Street, 713-426-1800 What $13 gets you: At lunch, your money goes a little further at Kojak's (on average the lunch prices are about $1 less per entrée than the dinner prices). Lunch is from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the lineup features ho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2009

    Gyro Sandwich at Al's Quick Stop

    Photo by J.C. Reid​Al's Quick Stop is a nondescript convenience store on a nondescript stretch of Waugh Drive in a nondescript area of Montrose. There's not even a sign -- Hurricane Ike blew that away last September and it has yet to be replaced. When I describe it to people, I always say " ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 2, 2009
  • Blogs

    June 30, 2009

    Taste-Testing Cheap Eats at Whole Foods

    There's a reason that Whole Foods has earned the nickname "Whole Paycheck" over the years. The grocery store, which emphasizes health foods and organic produce, tends to land squarely on the pricey side of the grocery store spectrum (hey, down there, Kroger! you're cheap, but dirty!). Even with ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 23, 2009
  • Dining

    April 16, 2009

    Super Pita Bakery & Deli

    Slow food with a Jewish soul

  • Dining

    January 22, 2009
  • Dining

    January 22, 2009
  • Blogs

    January 5, 2009

    Baba Ghanoush at Cafe Rita

    George Sarikhanian, the Armenian-Lebanese owner of Cafe Rita (along with his eponymous wife, Rita), doesn't act remotely surprised when I tell him that his baba ghanoush is the best I've ever had.  "Of course it is," he exclaims good-naturedly in his thick Lebanese accent.  "Why ... More >>

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