Top Restaurants for Middle Eastern Food in Metro Phoenix

Top Restaurants for Middle Eastern Food in Metro Phoenix

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The Valley offers a magic-carpet opportunity to explore the Middle East’s culinary range, from Moroccan couscous and Lebanese sausages to Persian rice platters and Israeli shawarma. Let the journey begin.

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    Among the knockouts are a sumptuous b’stilla; brilliant cod tagine; and made-from-scratch couscous heaped with stewed lamb and vegetables. Finish up with kunafa (above), a dense, creamy pastry soaked in sweet syrup and mint tea.
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    The attractions include grilled kebabs, rich stews and polos (rice dishes). Don’t forget to ask for tah dik, the prized crusty rice scrapings from the bottom of the pot.
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    Try the crispy, potato-filled pancake called bolanee. Uzbak pulao, the national lamb-and-rice dish, is a standout. And the gorgeous meat dumplings — mantoo (above) — are simply not to be missed.
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    Along with the usual menu suspects, this longtime Valley favorite cooks up hard-to-find regional specialties like soujok (Armenian beef sausage); lamb-tongue sandwich; and kibbe nayeh, lusciously seasoned lamb tartare mixed with bulgur wheat.
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    The kitchen turns out impeccably prepared standards, including babaghanouj (eggplant dip), lentil soup, kebabs, gyros, lamb shank and a vegetarian combo put together with a vegetable patty, falafel and stuffed grape leaves.
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    Go off the beaten path with dishes like ghallaba, lamb sauteed with tomatoes, onions and peppers; or quzi, lamb shank over rice in a flavorful vegetable sauce. This is also one of the few local spots offering couscous — vegetarian, chicken and lamb.
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    Try the zesty tabouli salad, spinach pie, meat-stuffed grape leaves, assorted kebabs and fragrantly spiced kofta, a ground-beef specialty. Strong Turkish coffee sends you bouncing home.
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    Look for exotically spiced merza farangee, a mix of grilled eggplant and feta cheese; a “burger” fashioned out spinach and parsley (above); and a falafel dolmeh duo served with white and brown basmati rice.
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