Archive for the ‘middle-eastern’ tag
I noticed an odd ad for Al Amir in the Free Times the other week, the wording of which was unusual enough that I suspected that one of its Main Street locations, at University Corner across from the the old Towers was gone. Driving by the other night proved that to in fact be the case. The spot is now occupied by another Middle Eastern restaurant, Sahara on Main. I thought I had a good shot of Al Amir here, but all I can locate now is a shot where you can barely see it in the corner, so I'll just go with these pix of the new storefront.
The other Al Amir on Main, The Epicurean by Al Amir at 1734 in the old The Elite Epicurean location is still there.
I've always enjoyed the food at the various Al-Amir locations over the years, though they have sometimes seemed to operate on rather an amateur basis, where you might not get the side-items the menu said came with your meal, or get your glass refilled in a timely manner. Still, I'm sad to see this one (in the old Shane's Rib Shack location, and which was, I believe basically a replacement for the Sparkleberry Crossing one), or indeed any one close.
(Hat tip to commenter Mr. Hat)
It's a shame because I really like the food at Al-Amir -- the Damascus bread, tabouli, hummus and falafel are all very good. Luckily, they still have locations on Main Street by Moe's and at Sandhill in the old Shane's Rib Shack location.
This closing had a very fast turn-around. I know I ate at this Al-Amir sometime in February, and now it is not only closed, but re-opened as a burger and pizza place called Stinger's.
(Hat tip to commenter E.J.)
I liked Al-Amir (which is still around at 3 other locations), never got around to Saffron and generally liked Tabouli though from time-to-time it had some rough edges. It was a little variable, and over the last few months they made some odd choices -- for instance, their namesake salad used to be served on a flat elliptical plate with a nice slice of leaf lettuce on top and a lemon wedge for squeezing, but the last few times I got it, it was glopped into a cereal bowl with no lettuce or lemon. I do have to say that the last time I went there, in late September, I had the feeling that there was some kind of staffing problem ongoing in the kitchen and there seemed to be a lot of to-and-froing to produce a plate of falafel. That said, it was a nice place for long lunches on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. (And often, the owner, or manager perhaps, would take a personal interest and offer a free sample of something or bring out hot tea).
I'm not exactly sure when they closed. As I said above, they were open in late September, but I noticed the place dark Thursday night when I stopped by Za's. As it was fairly early in the evening, I suspected the worst, and going back at prime-time Friday confirmed it. There's no note of any kind on the door, but calling the phone number gives a "this number has been temporarily disconnected" message. Perhaps the "temporarily" is some sign for hope, but in that case I would have expected a explanatory note on the door...
UPDATE 19 September 2011 -- Well, I didn't see this one coming! Al Amir is to return to this spot: