This list in no way suggests they’re the best of the best. However, these “specials” were chosen either because they’re outstanding, unique or because they’re underrated.
Sayadiyeh at Olive Tree Restaurant
Many of us can’t wait for Thursdays (or Saturdays) for this fried fish special at Olive Tree known in Arabic as Sayadiyeh. It contains brown rice mixed with 22 different spices, cooked with fillet fish and served with a huge flavored tilapia fish that’s deep fried to perfection! Once you’re done eating, don’t forget to say “Teslam Edeik” to Abu Ahmad. Literally means “may your hands be protected.”
Musakhan at El Mahroosa Cafe
Loyal fans of Little Arabia have known or heard of Chef Um Alaa (the mother of Alaa) long before El Mahroosa was open. Any of you who tried her cooking knows that Musakhan isn’t the only dish you must try, but it does stand out because, arguably, no one seems to perfect it the way she does at El Mahroosa Cafe. Musakhan is a Palestinian dish composed of roasted chicken baked with onions, sumac, allspice, saffron, and fried pine nuts served over taboon bread.
Beef in Cherry Sauce at Aleppo’s Kitchen
It’s really difficult to pinpoint what exactly stands out at Aleppo’s Kitchen, because too many items in their menu aren’t served elsewhere. Not too many foodies know about the grilled beef balls with homemade cherry sauce and it’s definitely worth a try. However, make sure you call an hour in advance, because it’ll take an hour to prepare it.
Stuffed Zucchini and Grape leaves at Alwadee Bakery & Restaurant
Everyone loves stuffed zucchini and grape leaves and the ones done by the awesome ladies at Alwadee Restaurant are no less mouthwatering than your typical Arab mom’s “wara’ enab and mahshi.” Typically the zucchini and grape leaves are stuffed with rice and meat, and olive oil is used to moisten wraps. Available every Saturday.
Methlootha at Arabisc Restaurant
lMost Arabs haven’t even heard of Methlootha, a tasty dish popular in the Najd region of Saudi Arabia. Like most Saudi dishes, Methlootha contains rice and lamb, but what’s different about it is that it’s made of three layers: bread, oats, then rice and lamb (or chicken) and garnished with caramelized onions. Keep in mind that the Chef at Arabisc Restaurant has more than a decade of experience cooking at the Saudi Royal Court.