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TheMatt

Marib Restaurant, Yemeni Cuisine in Hechinger Plaza - Springfield in the Former BBQ Delight Space

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Replacing the BBQ Delight outpost in Hechinger Plaza (next to Saigon Quan), is a new Yemeni restaurant: Marib Restaurant. I think it's been open a couple of months now.

After waiting for the Verizon tech to fix a screeching box in my closet, I decided to head on over and get some lunch. Seeing as my entire knowledge of Yemeni cuisine is saltah and chicken mandi, and I've had neither, I figured now is as good a time to try it! I picked saltah and paired it with a Vimto...mainly because I'd never actually tried Vimto as well.

I must say, it was quite good. The saltah was pretty much every vegetable in a roiling stew with some sahawiq (spicy condiment, it seems) and a very yummy fenugreek foam around the edge. Couple that with some just perfect bread for dipping and a great lunch was had. And, lucky me, I couldn't eat it all so I have some leftovers tonight/tomorrow.

I'm sure I'll be back to get some chicken mandi and, maybe someday when I'm with about 7 others, get the bint al-sahn. The picture of it on Yelp helps one understand why it's $40. Not a slice...the whole thing!

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My wife and I went to Marib for diner yesterday.  Not only was it my first time at Marib, it was my first time at a Yemeni restaurant. 

We ordered vegetable Sambousa, described on the menu as “Four pieces of fried pastry filled with a medley of vegetables.” For our main dishes we order Fahsa beef (“Shredded beef served with cooked vegetables and hilbeh, a fenugreek-based whipped condiment, served with warm pita bread”) and Chicken Mandi (“Traditional Arabian-seasoned rice made with roasted chicken and potatoes, served with sahawiq”).  The sambousa came with a small container of a spicy dip.  We both though it tasted very good, and was fine appetizer.  The fahsa was a very large serving of shredded beef, with a lot of vegetables and spices.  This dish was not my cup of tea; the mixture of spices just did not work for me. My wife, on the other hand, thought it was fine.

The chicken mandi I thought was very good.  It came on a large bed of rice.  The chicken was very tender and flavorful. The rice and potatoes were also good.

The portions were very generous, including the bread that came with the dishes.

The restaurant is nice looking, with paintings on the wall.  The tables all had white table cloths on them, and the chairs were very comfortable.  The servers were very nice, and happy to try to explain what was in various dishes.   

Their website includes a current version of their menu: Screenshot 2016-05-01 at 23.40.19.pngScreenshot 2016-05-01 at 23.40.28.pngScreenshot 2016-05-01 at 23.40.38.pngScreenshot 2016-05-01 at 23.40.43.png

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6 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

Anyone been here recently? Any "must gets"?

I just always get the saltah when I go because it's so good. I suppose I should branch out someday. :)

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3 hours ago, TheMatt said:

I just always get the saltah when I go because it's so good. I suppose I should branch out someday. :)

Saltah is often considered the "national dish of Yemen."

There are 197 countries in the world (give-or-take) - dare we attempt to name the "national dish" of each?

Until 1990, there was a North Yemen and a South Yemen - I wonder if each has their own "national dish."

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On 7/24/2017 at 9:54 PM, DonRocks said:

Saltah is often considered the "national dish of Yemen."

There are 197 countries in the world (give-or-take) - dare we attempt to name the "national dish" of each?

Until 1990, there was a North Yemen and a South Yemen - I wonder if each has their own "national dish."

North and South Yemen were political divisions, but in general, Turkish (Ottoman) cuisine influenced the north and Indian cuisine (Mughlai) influenced the south, so Saltah is from the Turkish influence. Oghdat stew, especially when made with fish, is a common Indian-influenced dish.

That said, every "national" dish has its regional variants, and so too does Saltah.

(And if you want to name the national dish of 197 countries, good luck. Start with the national dish of the USA, which is....?)

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59 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

(And if you want to name the national dish of 197 countries, good luck. Start with the national dish of the USA, which is....?)

I would say a Hamburger (think 4th of July cookout) followed by a Hot Dog, and I could see these being flipped (pun intended).

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