Opening last week, Sultan Lebanese Cuisine & Bakery is the newest addition to the revamped Mount Hope Plaza right next to the new Abyssinia that I reviewed a couple weeks ago. Shawarma is the focus of the menu at Sultan and when we went in for dinner they were toward the tail end of both the chicken and the beef. For the non-initiated, shawarma is sliced meat cooked on a vertical spit that rotates while a heat source (in this case electric) cooks the meat from one side. The most familiar example of this style of cooking to most is the Greek gyro but it pops up in other cultures as well like al pastor in Mexico and doner kebab from Turkey.
The menu covers kebabs, manakeesh (flatbread cooked in their brick oven with various toppings), core items like tabouleh, tahini sauce and falafels and combinations of items to fit breakfast, lunch and dinner. No website yet so you’ll have to head in to check out the rest of the menu. Since the oven for manakeesh was down for the evening, we went with a beef shawarma pita, a falafel pita and an order of the hummus for an appetizer. The hummus was very well seasoned and smooth with plenty of tahini, olive oil and fresh garlic. The balance was there between sharp and rich flavors and is something we’ll be getting next time we go there for sure.
Both pitas were served warm and grilled to a pleasant crunch and had different veggies and sauces for the beef and the falafel. The beef had a white garlic sauce along with lettuce, parsley, pickles and onions that complemented the strongly marinated tasty meat. The meat was a touch dry but to be fair it also wasn’t freshly cut off the spit either. The falafel pita had a bit more restrained toppings around it but the falafels themselves were some of the better seasoned I’ve had in a while. They didn’t have much crunch but the flavors popped so much I barely noticed.
The people working were extremely attentive, engaging and interested in how we were enjoying everything. I liked the attention and they came across like very pleasant people who really cared about their craft and working to make things as good as they can. I’m excited to see how things go for Sultan and we’ll be there for sure to taste the progress.