Hummus Bil-Shawerma at Middle East

Fresh Greek salad, tabouleh, hummus…I love it all, but just a few months ago, you couldn’t get any of these things brought straight to your table in our city. Middle East Restaurant, located at 4621 S. 14th St., is the only restaurant in Abilene and the surrounding area that serves traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. This restaurant is owned and operated by Sabah A. Hammoodi and his family. They came from Iraq a little less than two years ago and were able to start a new life in Abilene and open a mom-and-pop restaurant. Yes, the food is wonderful and the cuisine is authentic, but the Hammoodi family is what makes your dining experience so special.

Their pride in their place is evident. Upon entering the restaurant, Sabah will personally greet you, promptly seat you and then proceed to bring you a good-sized portion of hummus and pita bread as an appetizer. After that, it’s on to the spicy chicken or lentil soup—always on the house. During my visit to Middle East Restaurant, I ordered the Hummus Bil-Shawerma, which is chicken shawerma served on a bed of hummus with fresh garlic garden salad and two pieces of pita bread. The chicken was different than you’d expect—it was a chilled dish and soft, yet tasty nonetheless. My colleague ordered a vegetarian dish, the Falafel Platter, which included five spicy fried vegetable patties made with chickpeas and Eastern spices, hummus, garden salad with two pieces of pita bread. She was very excited to learn from Sabah that they have 24 vegetarian menu items!

Throughout your meal, Sabah will happily tell you about his family’s story, recommend dishes or allow you to sample other menu items— making your experience that much more memorable and enjoyable. If you have allowed enough room for dessert, be sure you try their homemade Baklava. Middle East Restaurant has a wide range of menu items available, including: appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees (including chicken and beef), and desserts. I promise, you won’t leave hungry! They are open daily and catering is available. For more information, call 325-829-3183.