Best Middle-Eastern Restaurant - 2010
The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market
Middle-Eastern restaurants, like their brethren in most other cuisines, tend to become known for one dish. You go here for the falafel, there for the chicken shawarma and another place altogether for the meat shawarma. When a restaurant opens that is able to nail not just one or two but a variety of traditional favorites, it's a cause for celebration (and, yes, a welcome convenience). The Vine, which joined South Grand's multiethnic restaurant strip late last year, is such a place. Both the meat and the chicken shawarma are of the finest kind, the former so tender you would swear it had been braised were it not for the tasty bits of charred beef and lamb here and there. The falafel is crisp on the outside, tender, spicy and richly flavored on the inside. Vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike will find something to love, from tiny vegetable pies to stuffed grape leaves to enormous lamb chops served with delicious, tart fattoush dressing.