BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2006 - Emily's Lebanese Deli
When you enter Emily's the first thing you notice is the unassuming surroundings. Wood paneling, scenic photos, a display case filled with meat pies, baklava, and assorted olives. Place your order, however, and the whole universe shifts from unassuming to a dimension entirely fresh and flavorful; your plate arrives with a large wedge-shaped spinach pie with pillowy crust and a hint of lemon and a mound of fresh, chunky tabouli. Or hearty pieces of chicken breast paired with a zesty cinnamon-infused rice studded with lamb and pine nuts. The stuffed grape leaves, wrapped tightly like small cigars, are the spiciest around. The fresh hummus is tangy and provides a perfect complement to the other dishes. The menu also includes kabobs and, for the adventurous, raw kibbi, a sort of Lebanese steak tartare, in which the meat is mixed with onions, cracked wheat and spices. Emily's is a perfect neighborhood getaway where delicious family recipes are shared in a comfortable room that almost feels like an extension of the kitchen—in fact, it looks like home, but tastes like travel.