Here it comes, another food post. We often feel foolish reaching for our cameras before reaching for our forks, but we hope you enjoy the results. This post is a little different than the rest; it’s organized by restaurant.
Quarter Moon Shawarma
Our first meal in Jordan was between Queen Alia Airport and our friends’ apartment.
Can’t beat shawarma for a great late night fast food option.
Hashem Restaurant, a dive-y place downtown that is famous for serving delicious cheap Middle Eastern food. Sit on their grungy plastic chairs and have a personal revelation.
Matabel, some sort of creamy eggplant wonderfulness.
Fuul - tangy, spicy beans swimming in olive oil and herbs.
More falafel… this time stuffed with roasted onions and rolled in toasted sesame seeds.
Hot tea with sugar and fresh mint.
Al Quds was where our friends decided to take us for some mansaf, Jordan’s national dish.
Mansaf is staple at weddings, celebrations, and for honoring important guests. If I had to draw a parallel between this and an American dish, it would be Grandma’s perfect Sunday pot roast. Not at all similar in flavor, but in sentiment.
Wikipedia describes mansaf: ”The lamb is cooked in a broth made with a fermented then dried yogurt-like product called jameed, and served on a large platter with a layer of flatbread (markook or shrak) topped with rice and then meat, garnished with almonds and pine nuts, and then sauce poured over all.”
Mahashi takeout from Ali’s Mahashi-Al Mashi.
The little aluminum boxes aren’t the most photogenic, but there was no way we would skip over this.
Mahashi is eggplant, zucchini, cabbage… all stuffed with minced meat and rice and vegetables, stewed in spicy tomato and yogurt sauces. Sides: piles of rice and flatbread and an avalanche of pickled vegetables. Ali is generous with his portions.
Mawwal Restaurant – a nice sit-down place with waiters who will be very concerned for the state of your mental health if you don’t order enough meat.
Fire roasted tomatoes and chiles. Super spicy.
Fattoush salad – greens and vegetables topped with fried flatbread and a vinaigrette dressing.
Kebbeh maklieh – deep fried cracked bulgur wheat stuffed with minced lamb and herbs.
Tabbouleh – loads of parsley with mint, tomato, lemon juice and bulgur.
Baba ghanoush- roasted eggplant, vegetables and chilis, tahini and garlic, topped with vinaigrette.
Galayet Bandora - stewed lamb, tomatoes and onions.
Kofta Bi Tahini - ground lamb and herb patties in a velvety sesame sauce.
Habibeh pastry shop.
Habibeh (literally, “beloved”) will provide for you na’ama kunefe. This kunefe is finely chopped pastry dough, topped with soft white cheese, topped with more pastry, drenched in syrup and garnished with pistachios and orange food coloring.
Best eaten hot, on a styrofoam plate in Habibeh’s alley.
Bubble tea and complimentary peanut butter waffles. Ok, maybe it’s not so traditional, but Amman is a modern city, and that’s what we all had that night.