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Jerusalem, Bailey's Crossroads


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There is a Palestinian place near Skyline in Alexandria that is close behind....the name escapes me....

"Jerusalem" I believe..it has really great Chicken Schwarma as well as the usual Levantine faves

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"Jerusalem" I believe..it has really great Chicken Schwarma as well as the usual Levantine faves

Ding-ding-ding! Winner!

I would rank #1-#2-#3 in northern Virginia, in any order, Lebanese Butcher, Mediterranean Gourmet Market and Jerusalem.

I would be interested in anyone's similar rankings for the District and Maryland.

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By the way, went back today to Mediterranean Gourmet Market, and gathered up some fresh zaatar bread for my dad for Father's Day. Also picked up some delectable spinach pies and meat pies, and consumed a few for lunch. This place never disappoints....but the point of the post is that the owner gets his meat for kibbee nayee (which happens to be my moniker) from Jerusalem. I asked him about Lebanese Butcher and he told me the best source of meat for kibbee nayee is Jerusalem. Now I'll have to go to Lebanese Butcher on Monday and ask them....

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Jerusalem is underrated, and a terrific value for the money. They have internet coupons on their website which I used last night to get a free order of Hummus with Meat (normally $7.95). The menu says "ground lamb," but it's so coarsely ground that it's in strips. I didn't care much for the hummus proper because it had an almost peanut-buttery taste and a very oily texture (presumably from too much tahini), but the puffy homemade bread is really good, and both entrees also came with a vinegary, minty salad that had greens worth eating.

The tomatoey Musakka ($11.95) is a large, homey rendition (remember that middle-eastern Musakka is a completely different dish than the Greek), served with a huge plate of rice on the side. As good as it was, I still preferred the Makluba ($12.50 with lamb), an upside-down rice plate with fresh lamb that actually tasted like lamb, also served with a little tub of yogurt. Both dishes were on the bland side and benefitted from a few shakes of salt. They were both large portions, and would carry out extremely well.

I can't remember Mirage up the street, but I used to go there all the time when it was Samedi Sweets Cafe. Jerusalem has an array of desserts (perhaps 10 or 15) that recalls in miniature what that big, fun restaurant used to be. The Baklawa ($2.00) was a hair better than the Kinafa ($2.00), and a metal pitcher of cardamom tea ($1.50) makes both better still.

Service is leisurely, but also genuinely friendly. Remember Jerusalem for carryout or a (non-alcoholic) dine-in option. Upgraded in the Dining Guide.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Met some friends for lunch here today and we made pigs of ourselves ordering the appetizer platter (falafel, baba ghanouj, hummus, dolmades, tabouli, foul meddamas and mudjarrah (?)) with fresh pita, the vegetable makluba, fettoush salad, spinach pies and pistachio baklava. All of it was excellent, although I wish I had thought to ask if they had some harissa -- I would have liked to add some kick to the makluba. Also had the cardamom tea with it. For four of us and more food than we could finish (and believe me, we tried very hard), $48 before tax. Service was very friendly, relaxed and responsive. We hoped to try the cheese pies or spinach and cheese, but we had gotten there too early and they hadn't been prepared yet, so just a note for the mid-day diners that a few things may or may not be available.

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I had a Groupon so Lady Kibbee and I stopped by for carry out. It turned out to be a good idea.

We ordered the chicken shwarma, the hummus bil laham (with meat) and the vegetarian appetizer sampler. Everything was very good, but I have to admit, I have NEVER eaten a better version of hummus bil laham in the Washington DC area. I would return again and again just for that dish. It was blow-me-away good.

The chicken shwarma was an excellent rendition of this typical crowd-pleaser, and the vegetarian sampler had no flaws -- filafel, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanouj, hummus, vegetarian makluba, foul and tabbouli, all very nice, for a tab of $16.95.

Alas, they do not serve kibbee nayee....nor alcohol....but that hummus bil laham was obscenely good.

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My sis was in town and loves middle eastern food (which she can't get in her area), so I took her to Jerusalem for dinner. We got hummus, dolmas, the ground beef kabob (name escapes me right now) and lamb makluba. All the food was very good, the service a bit slow and not very attentive -- no offers to refill our water, plates sitting on the table for a long time , and then after 20 minutes of trying to get someone's attention, we finally were able to ask for the check and then it never came. After another 10-15 minutes of waiting, we finally gave up, threw some money on the table and left. Such a shame that the poor service left such a bad impression when the food was so good.

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Stumbled on this thread this morning while perusing the Dining Guide looking for something new and close by. We're so happy to find this place! We tried the hummus with chicken, which blew me away. The chicken was nicely seasoned and deftly grilled, with good char, but not overcooked. The hummus was rich and smooth. We also ordered the feta cheese with cucumber slices and olives, ostensibly so that I could dip the cucumber in the hummus, but that dish stood well on its own--I happen to love those canned black olives. We also shared the makluba with chicken, which is that lovely rice dish with roasted veggies described above, topped with a delicious half of a roasted/grilled chicken. We wound up with plenty of leftovers to take home for tomorrow's lunch. I couldn't try the bread (gluten intolerant) but it looked and smelled really great and very fresh. The salad that came with the makluba was light and refreshing.

The down side: Google Maps directed us to take Columbia Pike north, turn left on Courtland and right on Payne, with the restaurant up the street on the right. No mention of having to cross 4 lanes of busy Route 7 with no traffic light to get there! Lesson learned! We won't go that way next time.

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The down side: Google Maps directed us to take Columbia Pike north, turn left on Courtland and right on Payne, with the restaurant up the street on the right. No mention of having to cross 4 lanes of busy Route 7 with no traffic light to get there! Lesson learned! We won't go that way next time.

Turn left at the next traffic light, and there's a cut-through in that shopping center between the Marshall's and Qdoba that will take you to Payne Street without risking your life getting across Rte. 7

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