Epic Sandwich: Emily's Lebanese Deli's fried kibbi sandwich
Emily's Lebanese Deli's fried kibbi sandwich
Kibbi is the Mediterranean cousin of steak tartare, and Emily's Lebanese Deli off University in NE is famous for it. So famous that it has been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I figured any Minnesota establishment that has made a national performance--regardless of how you feel about the Food Network--is worthy of checking out.
There's no way I would ever eat a raw beef sandwich, but thankfully they have an oven-fried version as well. The procedure for making kibbi varies from country to country, but typically calls for a mixture of beef, onions, cracked wheat and a range of spices including allspice and cinnamon. Think of a really dense burger without all the grease and an eyebrow-raising twist of spice. The oven frying helps intensify the flavors, but also keeps the exterior crisp as the little pieces of cracked wheat start to toast.
Emily's serves their sandwiches on wonderfully thick, dense and golden brown mistah--which is now my new obsession. The bread is flavorful like a flatbread, but has a really nice heft to it. I would have expected the sandwich to need a bit of sauce, but a simple tomato accompaniment kept things fresh and allowed the spices to really permeate.
Sandwich Rating: Tasty. This unique sandwich is accompanied by a generous portion of tabouli and a pile of flatbread to help scoop up the refreshing salad--a tremendous value at only $7. And the word has spread, so since this joint only has a few tables, you should get familiar with their take-out menu.
Epic Sandwich copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins
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