Holy Land Deli on Central Ave in Minneapolis is known for many things, but their most lauded achievements are probably their famous hummus and their amazing over-the-top buffet. On a recent visit I managed to avoid pigging out on both in lieu of the kufta kebob sandwich ($7) and found myself armed with another reason to gush about this place.
Holy Land oozes authenticity and I knew that if I wanted a traditional sandwich I would look no further then this crowded, bustling food haven. The lunch rush is always a spirited affair on account of the crowded buffet and the quick-service counter. I really wanted to smash the buffet, but I needed to keep the mission in mind and started to search for an interesting sandwich at the counter.
Going the gyro route seemed too easy here so I swung at the curveball and ordered the kufta kebob sandwich. Admittedly, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but the picture sure looked good, and frankly, that's good enough for me.
Kuftas land squarely in the meatball family, and the version I received was constructed with spices, onion and densely ground lamb. Each bite was moist and flavorful with a wonderful texture (lightly pink in the middle with a nice flat-top birthed crust on the exterior) and an awesomely persistent parsley perfume. An immensity of ingredients were layered in and amazingly held together by a thin pita that didn't do much in terms of flavor, but was astonishingly capable of holding in the abundance of fillings and sauces. Accompanying these delectable lamb meatballs was a bucket of cucumber sauce laced with garlic, lemon and even more permeating parsley. Add in a big smear of their famous smooth and garlic-strong hummus with a crate full of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and you've got yourself a serious sandwich, and some wicked breath.
Sandwich rating: Tasty. The meatballs were crazy-good and the lamb/parsley combo managed to shine despite the heavy garlic and onion treatment. They went a bit too heavy on the sauce for my liking, but a simple request will help clear that up on my return visit - as long as I can resist that killer buffet again...
Epic Sandwich copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins