Babylon Rising

The South Grand strip takes on yet another cuisine

No liquor is served, nor is a liquor license immediately anticipated, so we stuck with the pulverized, boiled Arabic coffee. It's something of an acquired taste, dark and served in the customary long-handled pot that goes under the various identities of dalla, raqwa, ibrik and cezve and probably a few others. We wimped out and sweetened it quite a bit; the main problem was that when the coffee was poured in bits into a demitasse, the contents of the multinamed vessel cooled more quickly than we could finish the whole thing. (Nonetheless, we had a strong urge to do a full lap around Tower Grove Park when we were finished.)

The rehabbed storefront has been neatly finished in clay tones with a chessboard floor and a small, eclectic selection of Eastern and Western art. On one visit, the authenticity of the atmosphere was enhanced by pulsating, plaintive Middle Eastern music; on a weekend, the level of audio spice had been reduced a bit to Zamfir's Pan-flute stylings of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. If you're unfamiliar with the various dishes on the menu, by the way, be sure to ask your server to take you for the cook's tour through the display case at the rear of the dining room.

Abbas Alatbi, owner of Babylon International, stocks his menu with items that represent cuisines from a wide sphere of influence.
Jennifer Silverberg
Abbas Alatbi, owner of Babylon International, stocks his menu with items that represent cuisines from a wide sphere of influence.

Location Info

Map

Wei Hong Bakery & Restaurant

3175 S. Grand
St. Louis, MO 63118

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: St. Louis - South Grand

Jay International Food Co.

3172 S. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63118

Category: Retail

Region: St. Louis - South Grand

Details

Falafel $3.95
Baba ghanouj $3.95
Kibbi $4.95
King appetizer platter $9.95
Chicken gyros sandwich $2.95
Lamb biryani $9.95
Beef shish kebab $10.45
T-bone steak $12.95

314-771-7878; hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.; noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-8:30 p.m. Sunday.

3171 S. Grand

Add a few more colors to the ethnic kaleidoscope that makes South Grand one of St. Louis' premier restaurant districts.

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