Temperatures continue to hang well below average, still dropping to the teens, overnight, piles of snow remaining where crocuses would typically be erupted. Fond reminisce to winters of youth can no longer be used to chaff the kiddos – now having the upper hand – can bemoan the bitterly cold and lingering winter of their present in mockery of the docile wintertides of yore. Easily one of the most consistently miserable seasons in memory, here in the smitten mitten– perhaps that, an ancient topographical, glacial warning to potential settlers – and it has led to greater embrace of spicy stews and hot soups.
A favorite is the lentil soup, served about ubiquitously – one of the great privileges of living in this area, is access to abundant, outstanding restaurants specializing in Middle Eastern food. While many of the old guards of yesteryear were RICO’d away, that opened the field for others, bringing wonderful variety and different levels of formality. With no shred of bias, it has been found that even raved-on venues in other parts of the country are far sub-par to the superior quality found around and in the Greater Detroit Metropolitan area. Like Mexican fare, it isn’t that hard – yet is often done so poorly!
Of course, food choices and persnickety-ness are the enterprise of great entitlement. As such appreciated, not taken for granted in the least is the luxury to choose dining destinations, and further, on the basis of perceived, particular chef d’ouvres. Any of the many are good, but, as examples, if seeking fantastic baked falafel, Ike’s has one of the best! Steve’s does something just a little bit different to their mujadarah, making it even more mouth-watering and they have tasty ablamas. More formally, there is long-time favorite Sahara, La Saj, what became of La Shish — Palm Palace.
When preferring more casual dining, Brigette’s, Fattoush — and the de facto default, Lebanese Grill: Their favorites include the wonderfully creamy Baba Gannouj that carries a marvelous smoky flavor, the super falafel pita, chicken shawarma (wrapped or otherwise), and the ridiculously good Ghallaba over hummus, made nicely spicy on request! Every meal is started with fresh baked pita and the calorically monumental yet equally delicious garlic spread — which serves as the base for their preposterously saporous, sauteed mushroom appetizer.
Many of the restaurants serve a version of this lentil soup, and it is an excellent defense against the cold — hearty and warm, sometimes with a little kick, sometimes with the addition of shredded chicken. The depth of flavors belie the simplicity of the soup, made with onion, garlic, lentils, broth, some spices and lemon juice. The ingredients combine for a creamy and rich, earthy, warm and slightly nutty flavor, with a bright kick of citrus from the lemon.