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Zakia Deli's Kafta Sandwich: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 6

The simple joy of a gently spiced meat sandwich filled with hummus should not be overlooked, especially when you can survey its beautiful contents through the deli glass before they meet their enrobing pita. Add to that a cheery person who assembles your lunch with a kind of graceful efficiency and all you're left to do is find a window seat looking out upon Stinson Avenue.

Meet the kafta meatball sandwich -- creamy chickpea spread and a ground beef patty full of love. What could make lunch better?


Family owned and operated, Zakia Deli is a smallish counter shop at the corner of Kennedy Street and Stinson Avenue that sees weekday crowds availing themselves of the red seats and Lebanese and American offerings. Some swear by the grilled chicken, but not this diner. My eyes anxiously scan the case -- eyeing up the falafel, mjadra and lubnay, but ultimately stopping on the stretched, long meatballs known as kafta.

Bites have been had...
Bites have been had...


While the meatballs in question are a rather homely sight, they taste like the best savory beef gingersnap you ever ate. Made of ground beef mixed with parsley, onions and herbs (perhaps bhar helou), the kafta is wrapped up snug in a large pita with tomato, onion, more parsley and your choice of plain or red pepper hummus. It's fresh, spicy, cool and meaty with that hint of exotic flair, not to mention the fact that it couldn't be easier to swing by the joint -- whether eating in or taking out.

Zakia Deli, your no nonsense kafta meatball sandwich satiates my noon time cravings. Keep your American lunchables if you must, so long as you never give up this Lebanese herbed meat treat.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 7: Black Sea's spicy eggplant
No. 8: Wolf's extra virgin honey
No. 9: Sun Street Bread's biscuit sandwich
No 10: La Loma's puerco tamale
No. 11: River Chocolate Company's Mango Tango
No. 12: Triple Rock's mother biker

No. 13: Fat Lorenzo's blood orange gelato

No. 14: Loring Kitchen & Bar's zucchini fries

No. 15: Trung Nam's coconut croissant

No. 16: Bryant-Lake Bowl's grilled cheese with ham

No. 17:   Zumbro Cafe's chicken wild rice hash

No. 18:   Skinner's Reuben Pizza

No 19:   Los Ocampo's Sope with Chicharrone Prensado

No. 20: Good Day Cafe's Glazed Doughnut Pancakes

No. 21:  El Taco Riendo's tacos

No. 22: 

Broders' fresh pasta

No. 23:  Burger Jones' salted caramel shake

No. 24:  Rinata's eggplant involtini

No. 25:  Smack Shack's lobster roll

No. 26:  Moto-i's steamed hoisin pork buns

No. 27:  The Happy Gnome's MN game burger

No. 28: 

Patisserie Margo's zuppa englese torte

No. 29:  Heartland's Kansas City strip steak

No. 30:  Tum Rup Thai's Mee Kah Teeh

No. 31:  Dolsot Bibimbap at Dong Yang Oriental Food

No. 32:  Piccolo's Scrambled Eggs with Pig's feet

No. 33:  Meritage's pommes frites

No. 34:  Travail's Fried Chicken

No. 35:  Hmong Village's stuffed chicken wings

No. 36:  Cafe Maude's Now You Know

No. 37:  Urban Eatery's Asian pork sliders

No. 38:  Isles Bun & Coffee's puppy dog tails

No. 39:  Surdyk's Flight's chicken báhn mì

No. 40:  Sunny Side Up Cafe's Santa Fe Railroad French Toast

No. 41:  Szechuan Spice's chicken with double chili pepper

No. 42:  Dancing Ganesha's Chicken 65

No. 43:  Bradstreet's Black Walnut Old Fashioned

No. 44:  Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll

No. 45:  Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs

No. 46:  Peninsula's chili tofu

No. 47:  Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars

No. 48:  Cocina del Barrio's jalapeño poppers

No. 49:  Papa's Philly Cheesesteak

No. 50:  Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll

No. 51:  Thomasina's cashew brittle

No. 52:  Patisserie 46's Rory Cake

No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's seafood and tofu hotpot

No. 55: The Inn's Polish Delight cocktail
No. 56:
 Gopher Bar's Coney Island dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: 
The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok

No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu

No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: 
Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar

No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: 
In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites

No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: 
Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao

No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: 
Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: 
Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt

No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: 
B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello

No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: 
Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: 
Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel

No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi

No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: 
Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon

No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: 
Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta

No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: 
Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary

No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: 
Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: 
Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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