Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sahara Lebanese Cuisine - Sterling, VA

I had decided my husband and I needed a “date night.” We were shopping for a wedding shower in the Sterling VA area and I was in the mood for Middle Eastern; so we stopped at a small establishment in Sterling. It is somewhat hidden from view in the Burlington Coat Factory plaza.

Even though it was a Thursday night, I was surprised to find it empty. We were warmly greeted by Manal, the owner. From the moment we entered, we were treated like kings. This is why I prefer to dine local. Chain restaurants are detached from their clientele. They do not connect with their customer because they do not feel that they have to. Suffice it to say, I felt more than welcome. 

Hubby and I both ordered an appetizer. I went straight for the stuffed grape leaves, while he went for the Fatayer B’jibne (Cheese pastries filled with a blend of cheeses). Both were phenomenal. The grape leaves were definitely the real deal. I have become quite the connoisseur of this particular dish. I have tried it numerous places, and I know what makes Sahara’s recipe truly fantastic, the mild flavor. The subtlety of the ingredients as they blend on your palate.Inexperienced restaurants can make a version of this dish, but their attempt is heavy handed. The flavors are too overpowering, not pleasurable at all. This was not the case here. Everything I ate was wonderful, but the grape leaves will remain the victor in this match for supremacy. 

The pastries were rich and very feta friendly. If you relish the taste of feta, this is the appetizer for you. They also bring and endless supply of warm, flat, doughy bread. Hot every time! It is served with light dipping oil that puts Macaroni Grill to SHAME.

For my entrée, I was torn between the Salmon Cilantro and Mixed Grill. I went with the latter. A heaping plate of basmati rice pilaf, hummus, salad, and a mixture of lamb kabob, shish tawouk (grilled marinated boneless chicken breast with garlic puree. The puree is incredibly delicious!), and kufta kabob (ground lean beef and lamb mixed with parsley, onion, herbs and spices). Every last one of these items was superb. Equally juicy and well seasoned.

I highly recommend this jewel to all who love Lebanese cuisine.

Contact Information:
46950 Community Plaza
Sterling, VA 20164
Phone: (703) 421-8252
Fax: (703) 721-8253

No comments:

Post a Comment