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Kibbee Nayee

Fettoosh, Lebanese and Moroccan on Wilson Blvd in Ballston, Expanding into the Union Halal Butcher Space

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I happened to be in the neighborhood and I noticed that the windows of the Union Halal Butcher at 5102 Wilson were papered over. This butcher shop is directly next door to Pupatella at 5104 Wilson, and it's where Sam would get his meat to make kibbee nayeh whenever I give him advance notice that I'm coming to Layalina. But also papered over, on the other side from Pupatella at 5100 Wilson was a sign for Fettoosh, promising Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine, and opening "soon"....

Coupla thoughts....don't know what happened to the Union Butcher, but it appears to be folded into the new Fettoosh operation....not likely to be serving alcohol if it's still halal....Lebanese and Moroccan may be compatible but certainly not identical, so the kitchen staff may have dual heritage....but yes, another representative of a fine family of cuisines is coming to North Arlington!

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I think this place was already Fetoosh and maybe just being renovated into one place. There was definitely some kind of restaurant operation there.

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I think this place was already Fetoosh and maybe just being renovated into one place. There was definitely some kind of restaurant operation there.

Fettoush has been there for awhile (it's "that place" you overlook when walking into Pupatella), but there is precious little information on it - here is a Washingtonian review from last year. Before it was Fettoush, it was Chez Mo Pizza and Subs.

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When it was Chez Mo, it was Moroccan. This iteration of Fettoush was by one of the former employees who bought, in some fashion, the restaurant name from the former owner of the one in Georgetown. Spoke with him when he first opened - went to Pupatella tonight and there were two guys sitting on a bench outside Pupatella working on what seemed like plans for the space.

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Fettoosh is the place you disregard when going into Pupatella. I went in for a quick dinner tonight on my to another meeting. The menu is split down the middle, with Lebanese on one side and Moroccan on the other side. I ordered the lamb and prune tagine and I'm happy to report a high degree of satisfaction.

The place itself is rather spartan. Order at the counter and sit at one of a few tables. There was no air conditioning this evening, so the comfort level gets overall low marks. And there is also no alcohol.

The first thing that landed on the table was a basket if six chunks of thick but airy and very fresh Moroccan bread. I don't normally attack the bread basket, but I couldn't resist. I ended up devouring four of them. Also up front was a refreshing fresh salad of diced cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and parsley in a light lemony dressing. Then came the tagine, and it was very good. Fall off the bone tender chunks of lamb shank swimming in a saffron sauce with stewed prunes, slivered almonds and sesame seeds. I would have enjoyed it even more on a chilly autumn evening, but it was very good.

I'll admit, for every ten times I find myself in the parking area out front, a good eight of those will find me going into Pupatella. But I wouldn't totally disregard Fettoosh. For what it is and what it does, it's not bad.

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