The best in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern delis, the sequel

Fresh baked pita straight from the wood oven rests in a basket as customers arrive at Sassool in Cary on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.

The Triangle is filled with tasty Middle Eastern delis and kebab shops.

By Greg Cox

Originally published 10/05/2017

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains.

Last month, we set out in search of Middle Eastern delis and kebab shops, and found find so many we only made it halfway through the alphabet. This month, we pick up where we left off.

 

Nile Cafe

8204-111 Tryon Woods Drive, Cary

919-229-4664

nilecafenc.com

Run by a charming couple from Egypt, this Cary newcomer serves up scratch-made Middle Eastern fare accented by the traditional flavors of the owners’ native country.

Try: Koshari (traditional Egyptian medley of rice, noodles and lentils), tagon lahma (beef simmered with apricots, plums, almonds, caramelized onions and spices), house-baked pastries.

 

Nur Mediterranean Deli & Market

2233-108 Avent Ferry Road, Cary

919-828-1523

nurdeli.com

Don’t let the generic strip mall location fool you. Open since 1980, this deceptively modest-looking shop in Mission Valley is a local landmark.

Try: Chicken gyro, lamb shank platter, flatbread pies (five variations from spinach to lahmajun: minced beef, tomatoes, onions and parsley).

 

Petra Grill

6091 Capital Blvd., Raleigh

984-200-2009

petragrillnc.com

They cater to a wide variety of tastes at Petra Grill, where you can get anything from gyro to a club sandwich on pita. Even the kids’s menu includes grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and kebabs.

Try: Chicken shawarma, gyro, veggie sampler (grape leaves, hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel).

 

Pita Grill

1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill

919-929-6800

pitagrillch.com

Pita Grill’s extensive, eclectic offerings include Greek lasagna, grilled chicken with artichokes, and pretty much anything you can think of in a flatbread wrap, from chicken souvlaki to hot pastrami and Swiss.

Try: Chicken avocado wrap, chicken souvlaki, homemade baklava.

The four-item sampler at Sassool is made up of a choice of salads, dips and hot items.

Sassool

9650 Strickland Road, Raleigh; 1347 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

919-847-2700 (Raleigh); 919-300-5586 (Cary)

sassool.com

Brought to you by the locally legendary Lebanese-American family that owns Neomonde (though they’re not connected except through familial bonds), Sassool raises the ante with house-baked pita still warm from the oven.

Try: Four-item sampler (choice of salads, dips and hot items), spinach carré (fresh spinach, onion, feta, lemon juice, olive oil and spices baked inside a rectangle of pita dough).

 

Sultan’s Deli

1459 Beaver Creek Crossings, Apex

919-367-6007

sultansdeli.mycloveronline.com

Located near the cineplex in the Beaver Creek mega-shopping complex, Sultan’s Deli is an oasis of fresh, healthy fare in a desert of national chain restaurants.

Try: Steak and lamb kofta sandwich, Lebanese chicken kebab platter (with baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, falafel, hummus and grilled pita).

 

Tarbouch

5645 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh

919-239-4408

tarbouch-nc.com

Friendly staff, a broad selection and consistent execution have made this cheery little eatery a North Raleigh favorite ever since it opened in 2013.

Try: Stuffed sweet bell peppers, chicken shawarma wrap, Tarbouch platter (choice of three sides or salads), baklava.

 

Taza Grill

6325 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh; 10940 Raven Ridge Road, Raleigh

919-872-7161 (Falls of Neuse); 919-845-7772 (Raven Ridge)

tazagrill.com

The original Taza Grill in Sutton Square has proved so enduringly popular that another location opened a few years ago on Raven Ridge Road. Visit either one, and you’ll understand why they’re both still packing them in.

Try: Lamb platter, vegetarian platter (anything with hummus, actually), beef kebabs, chicken salad pita.

 

The Urban Turban

2757 N.C. 55, Cary

919-367-0888

urbanturbanbistro.com

Mixed in among the expected Greek and Lebanese fare, temptations include Indian, Pakistani, even the occasional northern African dish – all beckoning to you from an all-you-can-eat buffet. Probably not the place to go if you’re on a diet.

Try: Turn off your calorie counter, grab a plate and dig in. Follow your whim, but don’t miss the Moroccan lentil soup if it’s on offer.

ggcox55@gmail.com or themenunc.com

Gussy’s Place, opened by the owners of the popular Gussy’s food truck, is located at 2945-121 S. Miami Blvd., Durham. The restaurant serves up Greek street food.

Who else made the list?

Here are the restaurants Greg Cox picked last month.

Al Baraka, 3815 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. 919-758-8118. albarakagrill.com

Baba Ghannouj, 2468 Walnut St., Cary. 919-233-0907. babaghannoujcary.net

Cilantro Grill, 5400-102 S. Miami Blvd., Durham. 919-472-2424. cilantro-grill.com

Falafel 54, 2105-AA NC Hwy. 54, Durham. 919-237-1635. falafel54.com

Flame Kabob, 7961-110 Skyland Drive, Raleigh. 919-596-2525. flamekabob.com

Gussy’s Place, 2945-121 S. Miami Blvd., Durham. 984-439-8455. gussys.com

Hummus Cafe, 962-A Airport Blvd., Morrisville. 919-650-1601. hummuscafenc.com

Jasmin, Multiple locations; see jasminbistro.com

Mediterranean Deli, 410 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-967-2666. mediterraneandeli.com

Neomonde, 3817 Beryl Road, Raleigh. 919-828-1628. 10235 Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville. 919-466-8100. A third location will open in Durham in the base of the new Unscripted Hotel this fall. neomonde.com