Monday, 19 August 2013

Al Salam Bakery Deli Restaurant - tasty chicken skewers and freshly baked pita!

In our search for a Lebanese bakery with deliciously tangy meat pies in the south of Edmonton, we stumbled upon Al Salam, a bakery with cafeteria style dining area, and a small dry and frozen good grocery.. and the prerequisite to all good bakeries – a gigantic oven placed front and center. I do get spoiled every now and then when my Lebanese friends whip up their yummy traditional foods, but this place will do in a pinch. Lets eat!



the DRINKS
There's a variety off to the side in the upright fridges, so we grab some random ones to go with our meal and sit down in the olive, orche and red decor of the seating area.

the APPYS
I combined two meals together into one post.. so before you think we had enough food for a week between to people :d  The first time we went, we were craving meat pies, but accidentally ordered the wrong one, and got a beef pizza instead. 

Still, this fusion take on pizza was tasty with a thin crisp crust, a thin smear of tomato sauce, seasoned beef, a smidge of green peppers and lots of mozzarella cheese. Nom!

We had to try their hummus and fresh pita – hummus was included in our entrees, so we ordered pita separate.  Super poofy, these resembled Kirby like pillows!

They were crisp and soft at the same time and made for excellent vehicle to scoop up the very garlicy hummus. There’s a hole at the bottom – it either cracked or there on purpose to let out steam as it bakes.

Kibby.  The name was cute and we had no idea what it was so we ordered it.  Kibby turned out to be three pieces of deep fried bulgur wrapped around seasoned meatballs.  The seasoning was quite mild so the hummus used as a dipping sauce was a tasty welcome.

the ENTREES
The first time around, my boyfriend had the Chicken tawouk platter. 

Nicely seasoned chicken cubes are grilled to a moist perfection and served atop seasoned rice, a big scoop of garlicy hummus, a blob of garlic sauce (think thin garlic mayo) that could have used a hint of lemon to brighten it up, pickled vegetables and a house salad tangy with sumac. Mmmm!

I had the Falafel platter, also served with humus, pickled vegetables and the house salad.

The falafels were crisp and flavorful without being too greasy (they are deep fried!), drizzled with a sauce I mainly ignored for the garlicy good hummus.

I scooped most of the plate up into one of the gigantic pitas as dinner (and saved another one for lunch!)

The second time around my boyfriend tried the Beef Sharwama wrap, as he wanted to compare them to the places around the city as well as hoping to have on as good as the ones he had while traveling thru Ottawa.  Sorry for the poor pic as the wrap fell apart as we tried to take it out of the wrapper.  While the meat quality is quite high, it lacked seasoning and really had to rely on the sweet sauce, tomatos and pickled veges to punch up the flavor.

I really wanted meat pies as it was the sole purpose of our first trip, so we had the Lahem Ajeen - Halal beef, tomatoes and onions baked on fresh dough.

The dough was thin and crispy, though the meat-tomato topping was surprisingly not flavored with sumac (spice that gives a wonderful tanginess) and showcased the sweetness of the beef, onions and tomatoes instead.

The Kishk -Yogurt, bulgur and tomatos baked on fresh dough was hit and miss (wedges on left side).  I’ve tried a few traditional versions of kishk – where it was just a homemade super drained and pressed dry yogurt wonderful for spreading onto pita.  And yes, I’ve actually consumed an entire bowl that normally serves a big family once to my friend’s dad’s amusement. 

The tomato and bulgar mixed into the dry yogurt brought out the flavors of, well, bulgar and tomatos rather than the simple sweet and slight tang of the dry yogurt spread I was hoping for… and gave it a lot more moistures, so it resembled a thick peanut butter like consistency.

The Cheese Ajeen -Mozzarella baked on fresh dough was my favorite even though it was the simplest. (Wedges on left) 

Crisp thin freshly baked crust topped with molten mozzarella. Nom!

the VERDICT
Love the bakery and the fact you can pick up ingredients like cheeses and halal meats if you want to give things a whirl at home.  While a solid place for Lebanese fare, I’m still going back to Sunbake Pita up north for their tangy meat pies.


Al Salam Bakery Deli Restaurant
Address 10141 34 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E
Phone 780-944-0000
Hours Open daily for lunch and dinner
Al Salam Bakery Deli & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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