Tuesday, January 27, 2015

African, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern Restaurants ~ Las Vegas!

     Habib's Persian Cuisine
     The outside of the building at Habib's Persian Cuisine is plain looking and there are many flowering desert plants.  One cannot judge a book by its cover in this case, because after stepping through the doors, a luxurious refined dining room setting will be found.  The decor of the dining room at Habib's is tastefully decorated with classic paintings in gold leaf frames, marble floors and fine furnishings.  Classical music is played at a tasteful volume that inspires a mood for fine Persian cuisine.
     Classic Persian entrées that one would expect are offered on a special du jour menu.  Items like tah-chin, jeweled rice, kefta, stuffed eggplant and stuffed peppers are on the special menu.  Filet mignon is offered in a variety Persian cooking styles that include kebabs and grill cookery.  A kabob of beef tenderloin is always guaranteed to be tender, lean and delicious.
     There are plenty of Persian chicken and fish entrees to chose from on Habib's main menu.  Regional Mediterranean favorites, like Shrimp Scampi are offered too.  Habib's offers a nice selection of Persian salads and appetizers to start a long evening of dining the night away.  The dessert menu includes many Mediterranean favorites, like Persian Ice Cream and Baklava.
     Iced tea was my choice for an afternoon drink while doing lunch at Habib's.  Habib's house tea is pleasantly spiced.  The tea was flavored with rose petal, mint and lemon!  Those who enjoy wine or cocktails with dinner will not be disappointed at this restaurant.  Habib's does offer a fine wine list and a full bar is located in the dining room.
     Items I ordered:
     • Tabuli
     • Borani
     • Spiced Iced Tea
     Habib's Persian Cuisine and Mediterranean market is located at 2575 South Decatur, about one half block south of Sahara in Las Vegas.  This central valley location is fairly close to the Las Vegas Strip.

    The Jerusalem Grill
    The Jerusalem Grill is a premier restaurant that features Glatt Kosher Mediterranean and Israeli Cuisine.  I was very impressed with how nice the Jerusalem Grille was during my visit.  This restaurant is spotlessly clean from top to bottom.  The food production is well organized and the chefs are highly skilled.  The waitstaff was attentive and they offer informative assistance when questions are asked.  The servers offer good menu suggestions.  In fact their suggestive sales techniques are pretty good, because I ended up doing a tasty full course meal for lunch!
     Overall, the dining experience at the Jerusalem Grill was one of the best that I have had in Las Vegas.  The modern food presentations were appealing and the level of food quality was very high.  Compared to the food that other restaurants offer for the same price, the Jerusalem Grill offers great value.  No shortcuts are taken and the food is handcrafted the old fashioned way.
     Many customers that were dining while I was there were doing the same thing that I did.  Everybody seemed to be ordering one course after another in an unhurried relaxed pace.  This added to the pleasant atmosphere.  
     Speaking of Glatt Kosher cuisine, the Jerusalem Grill offers an extensive traditional Friday Night Shabbat menu for a set price.  Since great care is taken in preparing the food as fresh as possible, customers that are interested in the Shabbat meal are encouraged to call ahead of time to place their orders.   
     Items I ordered:
     • Limonada
     • Matzo Ball Soup
     • Moroccan Potato Cigars 
     • Baklava
     • Double Expresso 
     The Jerusalem Grill is centrally located in the Las Vegas valley at the intersection of Flamingo and Decatur.  The address is 4825 Flamingo Road and the restaurant can be found in the plaza on the southeast corner of the intersection.  The Jerusalem Grill is very close to the Las Vegas Strip and they do offer local delivery service.

     The Mad Greek Café
     The original Mad Greek Café has been around for many years and this place is now a landmark restaurant that has a loyal clientele base.  I was looking for an old fashioned ice cream shop while cruising down West Sahara, but old fashioned ice cream shops are kind of scarce these days outside of downtown main street areas.  While doing the mountainside downhill run on Sahara, somehow I caught a glimpse of the Mad Greek Café out of the corner of my eye.  A glimpse was all it took to remind me of the huge milkshakes that I used to get at the shop at the Rainbow Boulevard location that recently closed.  I figured that the old original Mad Greek Café probably offered good milkshakes too, so I decided to check this restaurant out.
      I was not hungry for food when I visited the Mad Greek Café, because I was strictly on a milkshake mission, so there is no food examples to write about in today's article.  The Mad Greek Café offers a vast menu of Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.  Everything is traditional and hand crafted.  This restaurant is busy at night and it is a favorite dining destination of residents in west Las Vegas.
     The Mad Greek Café bar and lounge area is a glorious sight indeed!  Every imaginable exotic Greek and Mediterranean liquor is stocked at this classic European style bar.  It has been a long time since I have sipped on good Grecian Ouzo, Sour Cherry Liquor or Metaxa.  The temptation was present, but sticking to the milkshake game plan was more important.
     The old fashioned chocolate milkshake was topped off with whipped cream and a teeny little cocktail umbrella!  If there is one thing that pleases me more than anything else, it is tiny cocktail umbrellas.  "The Blues Brothers" insisted upon teeny cocktail umbrellas in one of their sketches and this image is one that is permanently etched in the canyons of my mind.  Nowadays, cocktail umbrellas are a nostalgic commodity and they are rarely stocked at bars.  This is a shame, because a tacky little cocktail umbrella has an amusing way of putting a smile on a customer's face.  
     A teeny cocktail umbrella does add a nice touch to the lazy Saturday afternoon milkshake experience.  The waitress that made the chocolate milkshake at Mad Greek Café certainly pulled out all the stops and created a top notch milkshake presentation.  It seems like the very best milkshakes are always made by a waitress that has a flair for entertaining guests.  
     The Mad Greek Café offers indoor and patio dining.  This restaurant offers wedding, banquet and catering services.  Musical entertainment is booked on busy nights and occasionally they host special event parties.  "Gourmet Food At Fast Food Prices" is one of the advertising slogans at the Mad Greek Café website.  The Mad Greek Café is one of the best dining bargains in Las Vegas.
     Items I ordered:
     • Chocolate Milkshake with a teeny cocktail umbrella!
     The Mad Greek Café is located at 8565 West Sahara at the intersection of Durango.  This location is a few miles away from the Las Vegas Strip, but there are many golf courses nearby that cater to casino resort guests, so this café is a 19th hole option.  The closest major casino resort is the Red Rock Casino on Charleston near the 215 Beltway.

     Marrakech Mediterranean Restaurant
     Marrakech has been a Las Vegas landmark restaurant since 1979.  I cannot count how many times that I have driven past this restaurant and then ended up saying to myself that I must give this place a try.  On a recent visit home in Las Vegas, I passed by the Marrakech once again on my way back to my job in Arizona.  This time I said that experiencing Marrakesh is long overdue, so I pulled a quick U-Turn and swung into the parking lot.  I sure am glad that I did, because all I can say is that dining at Marrakesh was the highlight of the Vegas getaway!
     Marrakech is truly is an experience!  Imagine stepping through the doors of a restaurant and finding yourself in a dining room that resembles a vast Bedouin tent with Moroccan decor in a Sahara Desert oasis setting.  After being respectfully greeted, guests settle into plush atmosphere of comfortable fine furnishings.  The chef offers a pre-fixe feast of great Mediterranean cuisine, so there is more time to relax and enjoy the night with guests.  The classic Moroccan table service begins by rinsing hands with rosewater.  The entire waitstaff serves each meze, main course, dessert and tea with dazzling professionalism.  Guests drink and dine at a leisurely pace while enjoying the entertainment, which happens to be great traditional music and talented belly dancers!
     Belly dancing is an art in itself and the show at Marrakec h was impressive beyond belief!  Interpreting the dancers movements is thoroughly enjoyable when sharing food with guests.  Things get really fun when the dancer invites table guests to give belly dancing a try.  This can lead to some comical moments that everybody in the dining room applauds.  The dining and entertainment experience at Marrakech truly is a nice social event!
     Items that I ordered:
     • Moroccan Casa Blanca Beer
     Pre-fixe dinner menu:
     • Mediterranean Shrimp Scampi
     • Harira Soup
     • Marrakech Sampler of Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Moroccan Olives, Cucumber, Marinated Carrots and Bread
     • Beef Kabob
     • Royal Moroccan Couscous Platter with Djaj
     • B'stilla
     • Mint Tea
     Marrakesh is located at 3900 Paradise Road between Sands and Flamingo.  This location is only a few blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip.
     Because of the relaxed Moroccan dining style and generous portions, guests tend to spend hours enjoying the evening, so placing table reservations is highly suggested.  It is very easy to recommend Marrakesh, because the level of satisfaction is superb!                                
     Market Grille Café 
     There is always a better alternative to grabbing a bag of unhealthy highly processed junk food at the drive-thru at a fast food joint.  When the tab is added up, the cost of a fast food meal compares to the price of a lunch entree at a café or small restaurant, so there is no sense in justifying fast food by comparing value. 
     A gyro is actually an ancient street vendor style food item that can be prepared and served quickly, but it is not fast food.  A place to get a great gyro in Las Vegas is the Market Grille Café.  The Market Grille Café offers Grecian style Mediterranean cuisine.  Kabobs, spanakopita, moussaka, hummus, salads, soups and a wide range of healthy Mediterranean entrees can be found on the menu.  Traditional Grecian desserts, like baklava are also offered.  
     The Market Grille Café dining room is spacious and it has a pleasant comfortable atmosphere.  The open view kitchen and dining room were spotlessly clean and well maintained.  The menu prices offer dining value and the portion sizes are good.
     Items I ordered: 
     • Hummus To-Go
     • Gyro To-Go
     The Market Grille Café is located at 7175 West Lake Mead Boulevard between Highway 95 North and Tenaya.  The parking lot in front of the restaurant is rather small and it reaches capacity quickly, but there are more parking spaces behind the building.  
     Paymon's Mediterranean Café and Hookah Lounge
     Expertly prepared Mediterranean cuisine in Las Vegas!  I have dined at Paymon's several times.  Social networking is what caused me to become interested in Paymon's Mediterranean Café and Hookah Lounge.  A representative of Paymon's complimented my own Mediterranian cuisine, so took a look at what Paymon's had to offer at their website.  My mouth was watering as I read the Paymon's menu and my tummy started growling!  My step grandfather was from Syria and Lebanon, so experienced Arabic and Mediterranean cuisine at an early age.  Since then, I always seem to have craving for the flavors of that region.
     The dining area at Paymon's Mediterranean Café is very comfortable and it is decorated to the hilt.  An entire wall by the entrance is adorned with dining awards and citations of merit that Paymon's has received over the years.  Paymon's has been on the Best Of Las Vegas list for a very long time!
     Paymon's menu is divided into regions of the Mediterranean.  Italian, Middle Eastern, Greek and Indian cuisines are offered at Paymon's.  Each cuisine is expertly prepared in an authentic fashion by highly skilled chefs.  
      Paymon's has a full list of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African beer and wine.  For those who prefer to only drink non-fermented beverages, Paymon's offers a long list of fine gourmet mediterranean tea and coffee specialties.  
     Items I ordered:
     • Fesenjan
     • Saganaki 
     • Broiled Chicken Kabob
     • Moroccan Casa Beer
     • Lebanese Almaza Beer
     Paymon's Mediterranean Cafe and Hookah Lounge is located at 4147 South Maryland Parkway, just south of Flamingo.  Paymon's is located close to the Las Vegas Strip.  The Hookah Lounge at Paymon's is separated from the dining area by glass and doors.  Paymon's Hookah Lounge is very active and it has a nice mellow party atmosphere.

     Shish Kabob House
     The signage has the appearance of a big city kabob to-go shop, but the Shish Kabob restaurant offers Armenian style elegance and comfort!  I initially placed a chicken and beef kabob order to-go, but after getting into the comfortable atmosphere I sat at a table and asked the host to change my order to dining at a table.  Armenian beer is stocked, so a bottle of Erebuni Beer was appropriate for the moment.  The chicken and beef kabob showed up from the kitchen a short time later.  While chatting with the server, she proudly exclaimed that the beef on the kabob was actually beef tenderloin.  Nice! 
     Warm pita bread covered the Chicken & Beef Tenderloin Kabobs, to keep the entree from cooling down.  The old world café style food presentation was appealing and it was refreshingly uncomplicated.  The plate of food simply had the look of pure comfort.  All I can say is the chicken and beef tenderloin were tender beyond belief and the portion size was generous.
     The Shish Kabob House offers menu prices that are a real bargain in this modern age.  A small band stage for entertainment is located near the host station.  A large banquet room is available for special events, like weddings, birthdays and business meetings.  The Shish Kabob House also runs a busy catering business.  
     Items I ordered:  
     • Chicken & Beef Kabobs
     • Armenian  Erebuni Beer
     • Baklava 
     The Shish Kabob House is located at 6620 West Flamingo Road in a small plaza, between Torrey Pines and Rainbow.  The parking lot is well lit and there are plenty of spaces.  

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