The grocery store El Shater got replaced with Habibi, but the brother of that establishment’s owner has now opened his own Lebanese store/eatery: Souk El Shater on Queens Blvd north by 43rd street (right next to Yum Yum Thai). We got some take-out food for dinner from there last night (just one day after it opened).
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I only had my cellphone at the time. You can see one of the chefs looking out the door. Souk El Shater is more eatery-oriented than Habibi, which seems to focus more on its groceries. Here, there is even a counter and some stools where you can eat right on the spot, but it’s clearly meant mainly for take-out (and delivery as well).
This chicken shawarma “sandwich” (technically a wrap) for $3.50 has the same format and price as the one from Habibi. The one from Habibi seemed slightly larger volume-wise. In terms of taste, I liked the Habibi one slightly better, but Emilia liked this one more.
This chicken cutlet platter doesn’t really fit the definition of a chicken cutlet. It’s actually almost the same thing as the wrap, with strips of chicken mixed in with some vegetables (I was a little disappointed with the accompanying salad; rice is also an option). It comes with hummus and some sort of garlicky sauce, as well as two tortillas to wrap things in. It was really good – they actually cooked the chicken right in front of me from scratch (which understandably took a bit of time), but I don’t really understand the price: $10! Compared to the $3.50 for the wrap it seems disproportionately high.
There is a large variety of desserts, with many sold by the pound($8 per), and individual pieces ranging from $1 to $3. A baklava piece is $1.50 but for some reason they weighted this and had me pay the per-pound price (which was reasonable). The piece on the left is a baklava (very good!), and I am not sure what the right one is (I somehow always have trouble remembering these middle eastern desserts), but I think it might be kounafa, and it’s less sweet than the baklava, but still good.