Wednesday, February 8, 2017


495 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 599-1154

I had to do a quick trip to Brooklyn and knew I'd be in a part of Williamsburg that has a lot to offer with little mom 'n pop shops crammed into little row homes on almost every block. That's the kind of NY experience I can get behind.

I did some walking around and stumbled across this great little turquoise vestibule and thought, hey what the hell is "Samesa?" So I consulted the internet and discovered that not only do they serve up some of my all time favorite foods (Mediterranean) but it's also a spot run by celebrity chef-owners the Sussman brothers.

Brother Eli was in the kitchen that day, you can make out the back of his head here. It's a tiny spot, long and narrow with a kitchen run like a well-oiled machine. Shiny too. There was a Grub Street write up posted about their za'atar wings served with labneh ranch, and as much as I wanted to give them a try, I was in a rush to get back to Philly and was going to have to eat behind the wheel, so I had to skip. Sadly, also against the counter guy's recommendation.

That said, I was happy to have to order the chicken shawarma sandwich instead. They also had a great selection of pre-made salads, dips, spreads and sweets packaged to-go, more on that later.

Great little Gene Wilder meme. They were also playing "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" on a big flat screen which, while majorly hipster, was sort of fun. I mean, this is Brooklyn after all.

The chicken shawarma came on the house made pita with cucumber tomato salad, tahini buttermilk, green zhug (like an Israeli chimichurri with cilantro, parsley, hot peppers and garlic) and fresh mint.

The house made pita was paper thin but maintained just the right amount of chew. It was perfect.

The chicken was tender and there was a crispy bit of heavily seasoned shawarma in every bite. The fresh mint was a pleasant surprise and the combination of all of the other green ingredients was a flavor explosion. The cucumber salad had a bit of a quick-pickle happening that brightened the sandwich nicely.

This is one of the better chicken shawarma sandwiches I've ever had and at only $10, it was more than filling and did it's job for both lunch and afternoon snack on the NJ Turnpike.

I knew that I had to try some of their other offerings, so I brought home some of the aforementioned prepackaged goods to round out the day with a Mediterranean dinner.

The pumpernickel rye was fantastic. It was a hearty and flavorful vessel to scoop all of the goods.

Great rye flavor in there with the caraway seeds.

The Moroccan tomato and roasted pepper salad brought the heat and acidity that paired well with the roasted beet & tahini spread and labneh dip. There was not one bit of flavor missing from any of Samesa's food. I don't want to over describe it, so I'll just leave it at that.

Both the beet and labneh dips were incredibly smooth, whipped to perfection, and presented beautifully with their respective toppings, even in plastic.

Well worth the trip, but let's not forget that Philly is home to Dizengoff either...

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