Thursday, December 1, 2011

Saad's Halal Restaurant

4500 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 222-7223
Website


Saad's, across the street from Manakeesh, is a staple in West Philly. Offering Halal food, I was excited to try the falafel, which I heard was tasty, as well as the incredibly popular chicken shish tawook maroosh way (chicken maroosh for short). You walk in, order at the counter and await the disembodied announcement on the intercom system.


Although I was only eating with one other person, I decided it was completely necessary to order a sandwich, two wraps, hummus and baba ghanoush. Which makes total sense, if you are eating with a group.


I, however was not, which is just gross. Not really, I mean I just lack portion control, right?


The chicken maroosh consists of grilled chicken, sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato, parsley, pickles and garlic sauce on a toasted hoagie roll. This was one hell of a sandwich. Crunchy bread, tender chicken, fresh veggies, and an abundance of super garlicy, mayo-ish/aoili-ish sauce. Oh that sauce.


Tender & juicy pieces of chicken breast filled the roll – no chewy mystery bits. If I based my review on this sandwich alone, Saad's may have received 4 cheesesteaks...


The hummus and baba were good, but no Dmitri's. They actually tasted way too similar for being completely different entities. A bit heavy on the tahini, I surmise. Likewise, the pita was fine, but hardly memorable.



On to the wraps. One lamb shwarma and one falafel with feta.



The lamb shawarma was not what I was expecting. Mostly because I was expecting this (delightfully shaved from the drippingly juicy spit), and instead I got large gristly chunks of lamb. I was literally spitting them out because they were so large, weird and chewy. The only thing that kept me going here was my request for extra garlic sauce - I kept hoping that the next bite would provide an edible piece. But alas, nada one. It was a poor showing to say the least. Apparently they don't adhere to the international definition of shawarma. Disappointing all around.


The falafel was another swing and miss. The spheres themselves were so heavy they could have doubled as flattened out range balls and seasoning was nearly non-existent. Again, the garlic sauce rendered this one edible, but just barely.



The search continues for an excellent shawarma in the city, and if for some unexplained reason I forgo Manakeesh (right across the street) for the less inviting Saad's, I will certainly stick to the chicken maroosh. That sandwich was absolutely delicious, but nothing puts me off more than large, gristly, chewy pieces of lamb in my shawarma. Except maybe golf ball falafel.

9 comments:

Chris S said...

I love the Saharah Grill for Middle Eastern food. Start with the spicy lentil soup.

22nd and Philly said...

Went here recently on a tip from a friend. He highly suggested ordering the chicken shish tawoosh lebanese style. Very good sandwich. Check it out sometimes.

Anonymous said...

pretty sure Saad's is not at all owned by the same people as Manakeesh - where did you get that idea?

Philly Phoodie said...

Anonymous, I believe you are correct. I was told that by a Lebanese friend. Thanks for keeping me honest!

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24 Hour Restaurant said...

Went here recently on a tip from a friend. He highly suggested ordering the chicken shish tawoosh lebanese style. Very good sandwich. Check it out sometimes.
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halal food Philadelphia said...

I love the Saharah Grill for Middle Eastern food. Start with the spicy lentil soup.
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Best Dining Bars Restaurants Singapore said...

I liked this restaurant. Thanks for putting the details here.