It can be tough to ignore a Middle Eastern food craving. Once you get that mouth-watering image of a chicken shawarma wrap with garlic sauce in your head, you’re almost destined for a drive to your favorite spot.
If you’re looking for a new restaurant when the mood strikes, Wow Mediterranean Cuisine Express in Royal Oak is a fast, delicious option. Simply walk up to the counter, and Bryan Ama and his family will be happy to take your order. There’s no seating, but they offer a seamless take-away and carry-out business.
Bryan learned to prepare authentic Middle Eastern dishes at a young age from his mother, Anna. Along with her husband, Kenny, the pair are often at the restaurant helping with food prep or manning the cash register.
While Wow Mediterranean became an instant hit, the Ama family had their work cut out for them after a drunk driver crashed into the building soon after it opened.
After six long months of repairs, they were elated to have the restaurant back up and running. Located at Campbell and Gardenia Avenue, Wow Mediterranean now has a solid reputation. The Ama family makes everything fresh daily, including their beloved garlic spread.
Curious to see what this little spot had to offer, I strolled in on a chilly Saturday evening. My stomach began rumbling the moment I stepped inside, my nostrils filling with the irresistible scent of garlic and spices. The tiny restaurant was packed with hungry diners grabbing large paper bags filled with their carry-out orders or customizing their meal on the spot.
While I had placed my order ahead of time for pickup, I couldn’t help but add an order of their hummus at the last minute. After taking a bite, I knew I had made the right call.
The tender chicken shawarma is their most popular dish, which comes with heaps of savory rice and plenty of pickled radishes and cabbage.
Like at most Middle Eastern restaurants in town, diners can choose between a cup of zesty crushed lentil soup or a fattoush salad when ordering an entree.
For those craving a slightly smaller portion, the customizable bowls are the perfect size. Essentially a deconstructed version of their pita wraps, they’re filled with rice, meat or vegetarian options like falafel or grape leaves. Diners can add pickles, grilled veggies and plenty of garlic on top.
Restaurants don’t always live up to their names, but after meeting the Ama family and tasting their homemade cuisine, I am certain this unassuming spot will continue to maintain that “Wow” factor.
1015 N. Campbell Road, Royal Oak
Mon.- Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sun. noon-7 p.m.