Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nate's Deli

Several years ago and each party since, the office has catered food from Nate's Deli, a restaurant that serves primarily Lebanese food, as well as deli sandwiches. We usually have several trays of shawarma, shish tawook, and falafel wraps, tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush, and fattoush.

Our office party is where I met and fell in love with fattoush, a refreshing blend of chopped lettuce, tomatoes, onions and parsley, tossed with oil, vinegar, and sumac, and served with toasted pita chips.

Nates Fattoush

Since the order is catered at work, the pita chips are delivered separately instead of mixed into the salad. Serving the chips separate is my preferred style of eating this, scooping the salad with the crisp toasted chips. The chips and the tart sumac take the edge off of the onions for me, a raw onion hater.

The heaping platter that you get at the restaurant is only $4.25. This and a side of stuffed grape leaves is probably all you need for a filling meal that won't feel like you ate bricks.

Nates ShishTawook
Shish tawook

Another dish I enjoy is shish tawook ($4.75), skewered marinated chicken. I've never had it as a platter, only served as a sandwich wrap in fresh pita with garlic mayonnaise and lettuce. It is traditionally served over rice.

Nates Pickles
Pickled turnip and peppers

I believe the pickled turnips came with the shish tawook. The turnips were crunchy and probably pickled in vinegar and something to make it pink, as I didn't detect any other flavor. The pickled peppers were a touch spicy and unexpectedly salty.

We also ordered a shawarma sandwich, beef strips sauteed with finely chopped onions. I forgot that it came with chopped onions, so Bug ate the whole sandwich.

Nates Stuffed Grape Leaves
Stuffed grape leaves and yogurt

The grape leaves were stuffed with rice and ground beef. The flavor of the leaves were atypically subtle unlike our numerous experiences at other [Greek] restaurants and at home. I wonder if it's the brand of grape leaves used or different preparation. They were well made and, for $7.50, the portion was generous.

Bug walked in not expecting to like it as much as he did. I'm glad that he likes this place, since their food is modestly priced and the people there seem happy to be there. Good food, good vibe, good prices.

- Cassaendra

Nate's Deli
1923 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-7529
*cash and check only, closed Sundays

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