Middle Eastern Food
Left: Shish kabob; Top right: Hummus; Bottom right: Kibbeh. (iStock)

Cedars of Lebanon Lounge customers will never forget the potpourri of Middle East food that was so exotic.

Folks used to love going to Cedars of Lebanon Lounge on Columbia, Detroit … Customers will never forget the potpourri of Middle East food that was so exotic … as well as the wonderful native dancing that brought many stomping feet.

The food brought out always tickled the tongue with an odor of pleasing excellence … Like the hummus with tahini …a dish that consisted of mashed chickpeas and sesame seed butter … lightly dusted with paprika … Dipping the unleavened Lebanese bread in this marvelous tasting spread made a perfect beginning for what followed.

I remember having an entrée and several side dishes, including baked kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage and stuffed squash … The entrée itself, cooked as it was on a skewer with chunks of green pepper, tomato and onion was a succulent treat.

The highly spirited native dances, we were told, dated back to the days of Solomon and Sheba, and had changed very little over the thousands of years that had passed.

ONE OF THE reasons Detroit had so many fine restaurants was the polyglot and typically American makeup of its people … Wherever a large and varied number of ethnic groups live side-by-side, restaurants would spring up serving exotic food prepared in the fashion of the “old country” … Another such restaurant was the Sheik, dining in the very best fashion of old Arabia … It took but one trip to see that the food was superb … The eggplant a la Sheik was delicious, consisting of eggplant, rice, ground meat and tomato sauce.

I recall writing down the entrée, shish kabob, tender chunks of lamb cooked on a skewer but served on a platter … These chunks of lamb became even more tasty when dipped in sour cream or the hummus.

A really wondrous side dish, I wrote down, was the kibbeh, a ground lamb and wheat baked in an oven … the result was a cake-like goody, not sweet, but distinctive.

DOES HE KNOW SOMETHING …or somebody higher up? … Many restaurant owners are kept busy just holding their own paying bills or whatever … And Joe Vicari keeps adding to his entourage of dining spots … Many other eateries are busy with take-out or carryout or delivery service … as is Joe, but the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group also continues to work on future new eatery openings.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … A visitor to Israel attended a concert at the Moscovitz Auditorium … He was quite impressed with the architecture and the acoustics … He inquired of the tour guide, “Is this magnificent auditorium named after Chaim Moscovitz, the famous Talmudic scholar?”

“No,” replied the guide. “It is named after Sam Moscovitz, the writer.”

“I never heard of him. What did he write?”

“A check,” replied the guide.

CONGRATS … To Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum on his birthday … To Janet Sloan on her birthday.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

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