photo credit: Abu Salim Middle Eastern Grill
Abu Salim Middle Eastern Grill
Walking into this family-run Middle Eastern restaurant in Upper Haight feels like stepping into a cozy living room—there are bright murals and cushy red and black banquettes that wrap around the space. This sense of comfort applies to the food, too.
The menu is written on big blackboards above the register, and is split up into wraps, appetizers, plates, specials, and desserts. Each section has enough highlights that it’s pretty hard for you to order wrong. For example, you can go with one of their forearm-length shawarma wraps, which are well-spiced, saucy, and can easily be split between two. Or you can order a side of dense, golden-brown falafel and get them stuffed with mozzarella or a wonderful mix of caramelized onions and sumac.
Another option (and the thing you absolutely should not leave without trying) is the beef and lamb shawarma-topped hummus. The meat gets crispy on the rotating spit, and the hummus is smoother than a flawless Yebba riff. Scoop it up with still-warm pita and you’re all set.
Everything on the menu works well for takeout. But our favorite way to do a meal here is to grab a corner table and settle in with a friend—you’ll feel right at home with your big spread of comforting dishes.
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Hummus With Beef & Lamb Shawarma
The shawarma is tender yet crispy, and well-seasoned throughout. Combined with the hummus, it’s a consistent hit and our favorite item on the menu. Order this.
Chicken Shawarma Wrap
The huge shawarma wraps are loaded with hummus and tahini and filled with everything from falafel to beef and lamb. But we especially like it with the chicken shawarma. Make sure to add some of their housemade hot sauce to every bite.
If falafel are still missing from whatever you order, get some on the side (preferably stuffed with mozzarella or caramelized onions, sumac, and pine nuts). They’re perfectly-fried and should be on your table.