Monday, December 21, 2015

Dearborn Michigan Food

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

- Exploring the Nations Hub for Arab-Americans

Dearborn Michigan sits on the edge of Detroit sharing the same county. It's the home to two notable things with the first being Ford Motor Company as it's the city Henry Ford was born in. Its also the home to one of the country's largest Arab-American populations. The city of around 100,000 people has almost half of an Arab-American population. These are normal upstanding citizens with jobs at places like Ford and businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants. Driving thru the town down the main strip of Warren avenue reveals countless businesses catering to the community. In the first of a series of posts I'll shed a little bit of light on some of the spots I've checked out while in town. 

Iraqi Kabob

First off we're nearing the end of another fantastic year of food. So many wonderful meals were had and many of them will be featured in the annual Best of post at the end of the month. But you get a sneak peek of one item off off it from this low key kabob shop on Warren avenue. I first tried it last winter when I wanted something new and some convincing yelp reviews got me to go in. The menu is small but there's still only one thing I've tried and those are the Iraqi Kabob which are the first things listed, in both English and Arabic. There's always a couple guys doing the cooking and a nice lady that takes the orders. There's only maybe four or five tables inside, usually one is open.

Pita and Salad to Start

Your meal comes with some excellent baked bread and a bland salad to start. Not long after that the main event comes to the table demanding your attention with it's heavenly smells. An order of Iraqi Kabobs yields you four charcoal grilled logs of beef spiced graciously with the house rub. Alongside that comes a bowl of charcoal grilled tomatoes that compliment the melt in your mouth kabobs perfectly. The beef sure isn't lean but it wouldn't have the beautiful charred spots without some fat dripping out. The beef gets formed just enough to stay intact but is so loose and tender it breaks at the touch of a fork. So potent you're sure to taste them the rest of the day. I've heard if you order it go it doesn't come with the tomatoes which are every bit as good especially when eaten with some meat and raw onion on the fresh bread that comes with it. One of my must stops in Detroit from here on in.

Iraqi Kabobs at Iraqi Kabob House

Zaatar W Zeit

Next up we have a Lebanese bakery specializing in homestyle pies topped with the popular herb mix in their name. Za'atar is the given name to a combination of Middle Eastern herbs used in many different recipes. It includes thyme and sumac and is usually mixed with olive oil. It's commonly eaten spread out on round flat bread with cheese or other things such as veggies mixed in. They also had some specialty pies that looked really good. The bread is baked fresh right there and this is really what sets Dearborn Middle Eastern food away from the rest of the stuff out there. While everything is better foodwise, the breads and baked goods found around these parts are top shelf for sure.

a peek inside

I got a Zaatar extra which I guess included a little bit of everything because I was served what started out as a nice sized pizza that was then rolled for which I assume was to keep everything in there together. Everything was a ton of different sauteed veggies atop the fresh baked flatbread spread with Za'atar. For something like $3.50 this was a ton of food that could've fed two no problem. The Za'atar was potent but very flavorful with notes of pine nut and herbs galore. The bread was just money.

Za'atar Everything

Rafic's Falafel

One day while riding by here I decided I had to try some of their namesake dish. The guys inside were really welcoming and the place was squeaky clean. Despite a menu featuring a ton of different options it was the falafel I was there for and I was happy to see it freshly scooped and then fried fresh upon ordering. The insides of these were a little lighter on the herbs than my favorites, almost a greenish yellow color rather than dark green but they were still really good. The best part about the order is everything that comes with it including the housemade pickles.

Six Piece Falafel

Anana's Cafe

When driving around off of Warren avenue you'll pass a bunch of different strip malls many of them with food stops. I just stopped into this cafe on a whim one day when I wanted a sandwich. Lots of spots around here sell subs with shawarma meat inside. This sandwich was a good one for sure. The sesame studded bread being the key. The beef shawarma was cut thin just the way I like it and the topping options included banana peppers which go great with just about everything.

Beef Shawarma Sub Sandwich

Tuhama's - The spot for late night grub in Dearborn. The most popular item by far is the chicken shawarma on French bread which I believe they bake there. They layer your choice of chicken or beef on a crunchy roll and dress it traditionally with pickles, onions, and sauce. This is a great after hours sandwich.

Iraqi Kabob aka Arab Kabob
13650 W Warren Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 945-9400

Zaatar W Zeit
10303 W Warren Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 945-1200

Rafic's Falafel
6905 Schaefer Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 551-5046

Anana's Cafe
6831 Schaefer Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 584-4900

10613 W Warren Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 581-0714


Anonymous said...

Your detroit posts have been awesome.

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