A little Lebanese for lunch

So I left work about 45 minutes ago… and while driving home, I was trying to figure out what I should do for lunch. I decided to just stay ‘local’ and grab something on Centre Street. I parked in front of Comella’s, but had no desire for comfort food. I noticed that Phuket has a lunch special from 11am to 3pm for $5.95… which is really a great deal. But I didn’t feel like Thai either. I walked up to the Real Deal, looked in, saw the crowd and thought “forget that”. I ventured up a bit further and landed in front of Samia’s.

Now I have lived in West Roxbury for 5.5 years and have walked past Samia’s a million times; I even have a take-out menu. Though I am embarrassed to say that I’ve never gotten food there. The place is always empty, the food cases look empty, heck… I wasn’t sure the place was really open until I saw that the Mayor dragged the Fox news crew there when they did their Zip Trip to West Roxbury two weeks ago.Falafel. Yeah… I could definitely go for Falafel.” So in I walked.
I was immediately greeted by Samia (I only know this because she was featured on the Zip Trip), who was sort of brash with me. I asked for a Falafel sandwich and she aggressively asked “which one” and tapped the menu that was laminated on the counter. Okay… let’s see. I asked a few questions, got a few blunt answers and finally decided to go with the S-12 Falfel, Hummus & Tabbouleh ($7.50).
I walked across the street to the ATM because they do not take credit cards. I snapped the photo above as I walked back and found that two other people were picking up food orders. My guess is that most of Samia’s business is call-in orders for lunch — from local businesses — which would explain why the place always looks empty.As for why the food cases are always empty? Because everything is made to order and stored items are probably kept at a minimum to keep food fresh and to avoid waste. A sign posted on the display case indicated that the price of all their items has gone up by $0.50 due to the rising cost of fuel and foods. I can totally understand that.




When I went up to the counter to pay, my sandwich was ready. Samia instructed me to not remove the wrapper and to not cut the sandwich, as I would loose too much filling and it would be messy. She also told me that I should only eat half and wrap the rest up for later — that the sandwich was made for two and that it is very delicious. Okay, now I felt like a fat ass. I must say though… the sandwich was HUGE — easily over a foot long… probably more like 14 or 16 inches — I kid you not. I think Samia was warming up to me, as it was obvious she knew I had never eaten there before.

I got home, unwrapped the sandwich and took a few healthy bites before I snapped this photo:

I grabbed a takeout menu on the way out, but Samia had stashed one in the bag — as if she knew that I would want to come back for more. She was right.Baba Ghanouj, Moujadara, Kibbeh, Kabob, Kafta, Stuffed Grape Leaves and various combinations of these items. Sandwiches fall between $5.50 and $8.50 (for the Lamb Kabob & Tabbouleh), though most are about $7 and change. Dinner Plates range from $8.95 for vegetarian dishes to $14.50 for the more meat-centric plates. They also sell their salads and many of their homemade items by the pound and have a few side orders and appetizers as well. Their take-out menu indicates that all the foods are 100% preservative free and that you can also purchase their foods frozen.

I love falafel and I have not had falafel in a few years. Mostly because we haven’t been to many places that have it. I can honestly say that this was the best falafel sandwich I have ever had. I got halfway through it, as Samia instructed, and realized I couldn’t stop. So I ripped some more wrapper off and vowed that I would only eat to the tear and then wrap up the rest. Let’s just say this — I accidentally ate some of the foil…

The falafel was tender, nutty, savory and not at all greasy or oily. The hummus was creamy and delicious and the tabbouleh was chock full of fresh parsley, red onion and Middle Eastern goodness. The wrap was soft and the tahini dressing was unbelievably good. I cannot say one bad thing about this sandwich, other than it was sinfully addictive.

Samia’s is open for lunch and dinner, but closes at 6pm… so call your order in early and be sure to pick it up before closing time. The menu is filled with traditional Middle Eastern and Lebanese cuisine. Falafel,

What a great decision on my part (if I do say so myself). I had a delicious meal and have found a great new take-out place. AND, if I can actually control myself, The Husband and I can share a sandwich for dinner for only $7.50! Though, I’m not making any promises.

Samia Bakery Middle Eastern on Urbanspoon

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