Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First Look: MoMo’s Kebab

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:25 AM

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The “eat street” of Lee Road in Cleveland Heights has a new entry. MoMo’s Kebab (2199 Lee Rd., 216-932-3512, momoskebab.com) opened in February in the storefront briefly occupied by A Phiner Bistro. It’s a pleasantly simple Mediterranean grill, where gracious host and owner Mo Abelessamad makes and cooks everything from scratch. There are a few tables and couches for dining in.

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Despite the small kitchen, MoMo’s has a brick oven that is used for roasting vegetables and baking breads, like the dense Arabic-style whole wheat pitas that come with most menu items. The kebabs – marinated chicken, marinated beef, and kofta (seasoned ground beef) – are cooked over charcoal, giving them a great smoky crust.

Meals start with steaming bowls of harira ($3.50), a Moroccan-spiced soup made with chickpeas, lentils, rice and herbs in a beef-based broth. It’s hearty, satisfying and surprisingly peppery. Salads ($5.75) are bright and fresh, with a mix of greens, cucumbers, radish, olives, feta and vinaigrette.

The kebabs are available on a salad, as sandwiches on house-made pita, or as part of a platter ($9-9.50), which includes salad, pita, rice and oven-roasted vegetables. Make sure Mo gives you his homemade harissa, a spicy North African pepper paste made from sweet and hot peppers.

Nightly specials are more adventurous, with items like roast lamb (Thursday), couscous (Friday), and tagine (Saturday).

Hoping to attract the post-bar crowd, Mo stays open until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends.

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