579. Lebon Sweets – September 10, 2022 – Dearborn, MI

Sweet Lebon Sweets! The Dearborn-based bakery sells kanafa, which I sampled during a stop on the Yalla Eat! food tour offered by the Arab American National Museum. Lebon’s iteration of the sweet-cheese dessert was rich and creamy.

The locally-owned Lebanese bakery also sells bread and other baked goods, including multiple varieties of baklava and maamoul cookies filled with date, pistachio, or walnut paste. Its sesame-studded bread stuffed with kanafa cheese and drizzled with sugar syrup is exquisite! Get yourself down to Lebon’s to try some – or order it online and get it shipped to you.

13743 W. Warren Ave.

Dearborn, MI 48126

(With an additional location in Dearborn Heights)

578. Hashems – September 10, 2022 – Dearborn, MI

Hashems is a delight for the senses! Neatly-ordered rows of fragrant coffee and spices and candy in every color of the rainbow greet guests entering this Dearborn-based shop.

I visited Hashems as part of a walking food tour offered by the Arab American National Museum. Hashems was the second of the tour’s three stops (to read about our first stop, click here!).

I debated including Hashems on the blog because it technically doesn’t fit 100 Places in the D criteria. It dictates that I highlight locally-owned businesses in the Metro-Detroit area (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties) that don’t have locations outside of the state. I made this rule to keep myself from highlighting nationally-sprawling chains. Well, Hashems has three locations in Michigan (two in Dearborn and one in Dearborn Heights) – and another in Bint Jbeil, Lebanon! But it is a family-owned establishment, and it’s not a corporate chain. According to Hashems’ website, Bint Jbeil is where Hashems originated, when Abu Ali Sheik Theeb opened the first store there in 1959. It’s the source of the goodness! And having a store outside of the state certainly doesn’t make Hashems some cookie-cutter conglomerate. So I’m allowing myself to bend the rules here, because Hashems is worth some rule-bending.

The Warren Avenue shop is an emporium of deliciousness, indeed! With its wide selection of fresh-roasted coffee and nuts, dried fruit, tea, hand-prepared spice blends, and candy (SO much candy!), shopping at Hashems is a special experience. During my visit with the Yalla Eat! food tour, I tried its tasty coffee, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, and Turkish delight. I’d never before had the jelly-like confection, of which Hashems sells numerous varieties. I liked it so much that I bought a Nutella-filled raspberry variety: slices of delight for the road!

13041 W. Warren Ave.

Dearborn, MI 48126

(With additional locations in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights)

577. Super Greenland Market – September 10, 2022 – Dearborn, MI

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite pastimes – especially when it culminates in a feast, as it did when I visited Super Greenland Market!

The Dearborn-based business is more than an Arabic grocery store with a halal meat counter, bakery, and array of fresh produce. It’s also a vendor of cell phones, hookah, and tea pots; a café that sells fresh-prepared foods; and more.

I was brought to Super Greenland Market via the Yalla Eat! walking tour offered by the Arab American National Museum of Dearborn. The guided tour had us sampling foods at three locally-owned Arabic businesses on Warren Avenue. Super Greenland was our first stop.

Our Yalla Eat! tour guide, Rafat, gave us a comprehensive tour of the market that highlighted staples of Arabic diets, including mloukhieh (a green commonly included in soups and stews), yogurt, tea, and lentils. We got to sample fresh dates, which surprised me with their tartness and how little they tasted like dried dates! But the real sampling came at the end of our visit, when we sat in Super Greenland’s café.

“Sampling” is an inaccurate word to describe the spread that awaited us. It was a veritable feast! We got to try eight of Super Greenland’s prepared foods, including its spinach pies, grape leaves, and falafel. All of them were excellent! My absolute favorite was a couscous dish richly flavored with cumin, bell pepper, and parsley. In contrast, the rice pudding infused with rose water and pistachio was subtle in flavor but just as delicious. Everything we tried at Super Greenland (and on the Yalla Eat! tour as a whole) was vegetarian.

To learn more about the Yalla Eat! walking tours, click here. And to learn more about Super Greenland Market, click the link to its Facebook page shown below. Or, better yet, plan an in-person visit!

12715 W. Warren Ave.

Dearborn, MI 48126

(With additional locations in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights)

550. Sahara Mediterranean Grill – March 20, 2022 – Shelby Township, MI

Sahara Mediterranean Grill: SO worthy of a revisit!

I want to dine in this Shelby Township restaurant’s gorgeous dining room, with its sleek neutrals (white walls, black marble, black leather banquettes, gleaming gold accents, honeycomb-tile mosaic of white, black, gray, and gold), its glitz and glam (chandeliers of interlocking crystal-and-gold squares) and pops of color (chairs upholstered in turquoise velvet). I want to order a glass of wine and joke with the friendly and funny owner. And the food! I want to savor all of it: the kabobs and the kafta, the shawarma and the eggplant salad and the garlic sauce – lots and LOTS of garlic sauce.

I didn’t dine in during this visit to Sahara. I ordered carryout after a busy afternoon of errands and picked it up and wished I were dining in. But once I got home, I was totally content to be there with my stash of delicious food. The hummus was decadently rich and creamy and came in a much larger portion than I’d expected (it filled a standard-sized to-go container). The fattoush salad was fresh and flavorful, with deliciously zesty dressing. I especially loved it with the shawarma chicken add-on. That chicken was SO good! It was perfectly seasoned and perfectly tender.

My home is much less elegant than Sahara’s dining room, but Sahara’s food elevated my environment that Sunday evening.

45199 Market St.

Shelby Twp., MI 48315

513. Lamir Mediterranean Cuisine – July 9, 2021 – Clinton Township, MI

Lamir Mediterranean Cuisine is serving up deliciously fresh fare!

The Clinton Township-based restaurant’s specialty is Persian cuisine. Its menu features dishes such as koobedeh (skewers of broiled, spice-infused ground beef), barg (marinated, thinly-sliced beef filet), and mahiche (slow-cooked lamb shank in a saffron tomato sauce). Other beloved Mediterranean fare from shawarma to falafel, tabbouli to grape leaves are also offered. I’ve gotten carryout twice from Lamir and have been impressed by the polite, friendly service, fresh ingredients, and ample portions.

The first time I ordered from Lamir, I had its Hummus with Gallaba entrée. It features sautéed beef and vegetables on a bed of hummus. Lamir’s entrées include a side plus soup or salad, so I also opted for rice and a fattoush (included with entrees for an upcharge).

From that one meal’s plentiful portions, I made three. The saffron rice and the fattoush each filled large carryout containers. My entrée abounded with creamy hummus topped with a hefty portion of beef and vegetables.

I loved the freshness of the fattoush salad, its zesty dressing tossed with onion, cucumber, tomato, romaine, and pita chips. The hummus was delicious slathered on the pieces of pita bread that accompanied it. And the gallaba’s beef was tender; both it and the sautéed vegetables were richly flavored. I was INTO it! So into it that I ordered it again a month later.

That time, I got the hummus and gallaba separate from each other so I could enjoy each component on its own. I also ordered six extra pieces of Lamir’s fresh-baked pita bread, which is SO good warmed and slathered in hummus. I can’t help but love that it’s shaped like little hearts. But then again, there are many things to love about Lamir and its food!

39890 Garfield Rd.

Clinton Twp., MI 48038

499. Street Sweets – February 6, 2021 – Sterling Heights, MI

Check out these beautiful treats from Street Sweets!

The Sterling Heights-based bakery and café sells all manner of sweets: from cakes to cupcakes, donuts to waffle pops, liquid nitrogen-crafted ice cream to build-your-own dessert pizza. Multiple varieties of baklava are offered, as are several other traditional Mediterranean treats. Gluten-free and vegan options are available, too. And the deliciousness doesn’t stop there: Street Sweets crafts coffee and espresso drinks from The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company‘s beans.

What a delight it was to browse Street Sweets’ array of pretty confections! With the help of a friendly employee, I narrowed my choices down to six items: a chocolate glazed donut, a pink-frosted chocolate cupcake, two Lady Fingers baklava, and two baklava stuffed with sweet cheese.

It was even more of a delight to get home and sample the treats! I enjoyed them all. The baklava were a tasty combination of flaky dough and not-overpowering sweetness, while the cupcake’s frosting was luscious and plentiful. The chocolate donut was sugar-kissed, cakey goodness.

Words don’t do these desserts justice; check out Street Sweets’ Instagram account, @streetsweetsdet, for photo upon drool-worthy photo of these flaky, frosted, rainbow-hued, honey-drizzled goodies. My favorites are the ones of the iced coffee/treat tower hybrids: coffee drinks whose super-long straws have been speared by a couple of donuts and a cupcake. Now THAT is a snack-on-the-go I can get behind!

2237 18 Mile Rd.

Sterling Heights, MI 48314

498. Fresheats Kabob Grill and Juice Bar – February 6, 2021 – Rochester Hills, MI

What a fantastic fattoush Fresheats Kabob Grill and Juice Bar makes!

In my quest to become a connoisseur of the fattoush salad (can that please be a thing???), I’ve eaten many a delicious one. But the fattoush I ordered from this Rochester Hills-based, fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant lives on in my memory because of the beef kafta I opted to add. It was perfectly cooked: chargrilled on the outside and pink, juicy, and tender on the inside. It was well-seasoned, flavorful, and oh-so-GOOD!

The salad itself was a tasty menagerie of romaine, red cabbage, parsley, tomato, cucumber, and fried pita chips. Everything in it was indeed as the restaurant’s moniker suggests: fresh!

In addition to the fattoush and other salads, Fresheats’ menu includes pita wraps; extensive raw juice and smoothie options; and a build-your-own-bowl meal, where you can choose from a variety of bases, proteins, toppings, and sauces. There’s also a Build Your Own Platter dish you can craft from a selection of Fresheats’ proteins and sides.

2591 S. Rochester Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48307

491. Sam’s Kebab House – December 27, 2020 – Clinton Township, MI

Mediterranean food is one of my great culinary loves. So it’s no surprise that I adored Sam’s Kebab House!

The Clinton Township-based restaurant serves up a mean chicken fattoush salad, as I learned back in December. This salad was everything you want a fattoush to be: fresh and flavorful, with zesty dressing, ample slices of tender grilled chicken, and plenty of fried pita chips (the pièce de résistance of the fattoush salad!).

My carryout order from Sam’s included an appetizer-sized portion of garlic sauce that would last me a week (much to my delight) accompanied by fresh pita bread. Delicious choices abounded on Sam’s menu, including classic dishes such as ghallaba, shish tawook, chicken shawarma, and falafel.

How lucky are we Metro-Detroiters to be in proximity to so many amazing Middle Eastern restaurants? I’m swooning just thinking about it. Thanks, Sam’s, for being one of those tantalizing choices!

43253 Garfield Rd.

Clinton Township, MI 48038

477. Leila’s Lebanese Kitchen – July 30, 2020 – Clinton Township, MI

After a three-and-a-half-month hiatus from the blog, I can’t help feeling like a kid returning to school after summer vacation. I’m here to regale you with tales of what I did this summer – including a new-place visit to Leila’s Lebanese Kitchen!

It was a weird summer for me – and that’s not even considering COVID! Long story short: I spent nearly six weeks in the throes of an intense health condition that had me weak, fatigued, mostly homebound, and greatly restricted in what I ate. THANK GOD I’ve recovered! But from Fourth of July to mid-August, exploring was mostly out of the question.

I did, however, make one new-place visit during that time: to Leila’s Lebanese Kitchen in Clinton Township. What a bright spot that jaunt was, a beacon of normalcy during a very strange, very discouraging time!

Desperate for a meal more jazzy than chicken-and-rice one afternoon in late July, I realized that lemon rice soup and chicken shawarma pita wrap should be fairly unobjectionable to my delicate constitution. So I excitedly phoned up Leila’s to put in a carryout order.

I’d been wanting to try the Mediterranean restaurant since it’d come onto my radar in the last year. After all of the anticipation, I was not disappointed! Leila’s lemon rice soup was thick with luscious lemony stock, white rice, and hearty chicken pieces, while the chicken shawarma pita was utterly delicious with its crunchy grilled bread, tender chicken, zesty pickles, and wonderfully garlicky sauce (garlic sauce = holder of the key to my heart!).

I’ve visited Leila’s several times after that initial visit. I’m impressed by the friendly staff, reasonable prices, and consistently awesome food. Besides its chicken shawarma pita and lemon rice soup, I’ve enjoyed its chicken shawarma entrée (its flavorful grilled chicken – served with rice pilaf, veggies, and garlic sauce – is so good, it just might make a poultry fanatic out of this red-meat devotee!) and its fattoush salad (addictively fresh and zesty and crunchy; the small-sized version with grilled chicken is so filling, I can’t finish it in one sitting). I even ordered a large container of its garlic sauce to jazz up my convalescence diet (it made otherwise banal dishes pure, swoon-worthy heaven!).

Leila’s menu contains other Lebanese staples besides these: hummus, kibbie, falafel, spinach pie, beef kafta, and crushed lentil soup, to name a few. I’m looking forward to trying the Chicken Ghallaba over Rice on one of my future visits – that is, if I can keep myself from re-ordering the delectable dishes I’ve already sampled. Leila’s is the kind of place where I’m compelled to choose from the same few offerings that are so good, I’m not tempted to stray!

I’m so grateful to be feeling better these days – and to be back here on 100 Places in the D! I have plenty of visits to share from the last two months, each one a testament to the fact that even during these challenging and scary times, we can still find joy and adventure – and do good with our dollars by supporting locally-owned businesses such as the lovely Leila’s!

40777 Garfield Rd.

Clinton Twp., MI 48038

475. Chickpea Kitchen – May 22, 2020 – Sterling Heights, MI

May2020ChickpeaKitchen1 (2)May2020ChickpeaKitchen2 (2)I’m relishing every bright spot I encounter these days, and visiting Chickpea Kitchen was a definite bright spot!

I hope all of you are staying safe, healthy, and as grounded as you can. It’s been such an intense time here in the U.S. with the coronavirus raging and the brutal murder of George Floyd by police and the aftermath of that. June has personally been a struggle for me as I attempt to keep my spirits up while normal life continues to elude us and division tears our country apart. I’m hopeful that someday we can be a more united country where systemic racism and hate is not a thing. I mean, come on, America! But in the present-day, it can feel awfully bleak.

So any positive experiences cropping up during this time – wow, have they been blessings! I haven’t tried many new places lately: only two in the last month and a half – which you know has me antsy. I have, however, re-experienced some delightful establishments (yeah Fattoush, Modern Cone, and Irish Tavern!). And I did successfully execute a visit to Chickpea Kitchen the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend.

I was super impressed by the Sterling Heights-based Mediterranean restaurant when I entered it to pick up my carryout. Masks were required to enter, and the place was sparkling clean. There were tables placed in front of the ordering counter to force social distance between patrons and employees, and all of the staff wore masks.

Chickpea Kitchen offers soups, salads, several varieties of house-made hummus, and other goodies such as French fries and desserts. But its featured menu items are its build-your-own pitas and bowls, where you get to choose the protein, hummus, vegetables, and sauce you’d like to include in your meal.

I love a good build-your-own option! I was excited to build a rice bowl with grilled steak, onions, cucumbers, chickpeas, pickled turnips, spinach, pickled cabbage, garlic sauce, and bell pepper hummus. I also ordered a small fattoush salad, because it’s hard for me to go to a Mediterranean place and not order one!

Arriving home with my food and digging in was a thrill. The fattoush salad was one of the best I’ve had; I loved its crunchy pita chips, zesty dresssing and finely chopped onion, cucumber, and tomato.

And the bowl: it was SOOO delectably tasty, packed full of flavor! I loved the combination of tender steak, vibrant veggies, and flavorful hummus and garlic sauce. It was so wonderful that I ate most of it – which was a stretch, considering that I’d also eaten the whole fattoush salad. But it was a very worthwhile indulgence – especially at under $14 for both items.

As of the writing of this post, Chickpea Kitchen appears to be offering carryout only. Check it out if you’re in need of a bright spot in your day!

39525 Mound Rd.

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

(Closed Sundays)