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New Lunch Spot with Tony

Tony at RestaurantTony and I tried a new restaurant this Monday. It is mideastern, the folks who own it are from Nazareth. I thoroughly enjoyed it. For locals, it’s on Michigan Avenue across from Resurrection church/school, between Emils/Green Door/Gone Wired Cybercafe’ and Sparrow Hospital, other side of street from hospital. I’m guessing it’s about the 1900-2000 block or so.

Tony had hummous and a schwarma sandwich, and pronounced them both very good. I had something called smeed (like a rice pilaf but with bulgur wheat instead of rice) which was a little sweet and very tasty, and I asked them to make me fava bean dip (called Foul Mudammas… pronounced “fool” and it’s a crying shame that the name is so funky in English cuz it should be more popular here).

They made me the dip, with fresh garlic and cumin and probably a few other spices (cayenne?) in it. We ate this every day in Egypt, it’s sort of peasant breakfast I think. It was better here than in Egypt, though. Somehow most of the spots we went in Egypt had little flavoring. Altu went nuts craving spice for a week when we were there! Poor dear.

Tony at RestaurantI love Foul Dip and it seems to never be on a menu but I ask at any mideastern restaurant I frequent. Some places will make it for me if they aren’t busy, even if it’s off the menu. Some places just say no. It’s always worth asking!

Fava beans are very tasty, a meaty, fat bean that looks like a round pillow. My friend Marlene makes a great summer cold salad with these beans and tomatoes and olive oil and more veggies and spices. I’m lucky that we have a few groceries that sell mideastern foods and I can get these. At the super grocery (Meijer) they cost a lot, but at the mideast groceries they can be very affordable (they are beans, never as pricey as meat anyway).

You know, sometimes I put fava beans in red sauce for spaghetti. They are a very good flavor with the tomato, very satisfying.

Photos: 1)Tony under the umbrella on a hot Monday in Lansing, at the “new” restaurant.

(I didn’t take a pic of my food this week so here we get a flashback to my africa trip.) 2)A lunch we had in Cairo at the Khan el Khalili market. Starting bottom left: fresh pita bread, salad, hummous (chickpea dip), plate with veggies including eggplant and I think onions, french fries (no I’m not kidding… they came with so many meals I was shocked), platter with three falafel patties… these were fabulous, babaganoush (eggplant dip), olives and pickles, and center front is foul (fava bean) dip. Say it with me again… say FOOL dip. Yeah, even that word is odd for food, too, but doesn’t imply bad, as the English pronunciation of the word might. It’s SO good.

This last pic was from a restaurant our guide knew, and we went there twice that week. It was the best food we ate in Cairo.

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