June 22, 2010 Slideshows

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South Grand's Al Waha is First Bedouin Restaurant in Midwest 

This is the first Bedouin restaurant in St. Louis. It claims to be the first Bedouin restaurant anywhere in the Midwest, which I'm inclined to believe, some (by no means exhaustive) Internet sleuthing having turned up only one other Bedouin restaurant in the entire United States, a place in Brooklyn, New York, that specializes (it seems) in pizzas made on pita bread. Continue reading Ian Froeb's review. Photos by Jennifer Silverberg.
Riyad Al Wadi, owner of Al Waha Restaurant & Hookah Lounge. Al Waha serves, as did its predecessor, Sameem, Afghan cuisine; but Al Waha also offers Bedouin fare.
The Bedouin Fish is Tilapia served with a side of tomato sauce that is made from garlic, ginger, onion, chili peppers and mint. And is served with Basmati rice mixed with raisins, mint, parsley and crushed almonds.
The Hummus B'lahmeh (which is also available as part of Al Waha's late-night menu) is its house-made hummus topped with seasoned ground beef and crushed almonds. It's served with pita bread.
Al Waha chef, Jamal Jadallah, moved to St. Louis from New York, to take the position at the restaurant.
Chef Jamal Jadallah making a beef kabob.
The Al Waha Combo Grill is one each of chicken, lamb and beef kabob. They come served with Basmati rice and a side salad.
The main dining room is non-smoking, while seating in the bar room remains the smoking side.
The beautifully adorned table that sits in the front window to welcome potential customers.
Sitting in one of the windows is a Rababah which is a musical instrument that has one string and is played with a bow.
An Afghan painting that adorns the wall.
Riyad Al Wadi, owner of Al Waha Restaurant & Hookah Lounge. Al Waha serves, as did its predecessor, Sameem, Afghan cuisine; but Al Waha also offers Bedouin fare.
The inviting table in the window sits near two dresses that belonged to the Alwadi's mother. The dresses are Bedouin dresses, this one is handmade -- it would have taken about a month to make it.
The beautiful ceiling at Al Waha.
The Bedouin coffee cups are not only beautiful, but an integral part of Bedouin culture. A small amount of coffee is offered to all, and distributed, always, with the right hand as a sign of respect.
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Riyad Al Wadi, owner of Al Waha Restaurant & Hookah Lounge. Al Waha serves, as did its predecessor, Sameem, Afghan cuisine; but Al Waha also offers Bedouin fare.
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