Monday, December 17, 2012

Afandi Restaurant & Market, Las Vegas!

     The Afandi Restaurant & Market is located at 5181 West Charleston just west of Decatur in Las Vegas.  It is nice to see a small middle eastern market in this area of Las Vegas.  Afandi is a Lebanese style restaurant and marketplace that offers permissible halal food.   
     Afandi is more like a market that has a to-go style restaurant kitchen.  There are only a couple of tables for indoor or outdoor dining.  The business seems to be more of an east coast or midwestern traditional to-go style mediterranean restaurant.  
     I visited Afandi shortly after the restaurant kitchen closed for the evening, but I had a chance to look at the menu.  All of the middle eastern favorites that you would expect are on the menu.  Shawarma, kafta, kabobs and kibbeh are offered.  Hummus, garlic dip and baba ghanoush are on the menu and they are nice items to share with company.  Vegetarian falafel is offered and there are many vegetarian items on the menu.  Many people think that middle eastern cuisine is mostly meat entrees, but more vegetarian food is eaten daily in the middle east than meat.  If you have been seeking traditional vegetarian food that has some great flavor, then middle eastern vegetarian food is the way to go.  The spices and cooking style of middle eastern vegetarian cuisine is very different than Indian or asian vegetarian cuisine.
     Taboulah, fatoosh and stuffed grape leaves are also in the Afandi menu.  Two items that caught my eye that are not seen everyday were the Sujuk Sandwich and the Nakanek Sandwich.  The Sujuk Sandwich is made with spicy hot beef sausage that is made in the Afandi kitchen.  Both dried cured beef sausage and fresh beef sausage are a popular traditional items in Lebanon.  The Nakanek Sandwich features sauteed Lebanese sausage.  Both sandwiches sounded good and I will return at a later date to try one of them.
     Since the restaurant was closed, I shopped at the Afandi Market!  The Afandi Market is small, but it is well stocked with quality goods.  Middle eastern breads, pastries and desserts were offered.  There is a delicatessen and meat case in the market that offers traditional style cuts of middle eastern meats, cheese, cold cuts and pre-made specialty items.  Fresh produce is also in stock.
     While shopping, I chose some Lebanese sweet cookies to send off as a holiday gift.  I bought a large piece of halloumi cheese.  Haloumi is a nice brine packed mild fresh cheese from Cypress.  I also purchased a bag of hand made Lebanese mughrabia.  Mughrabia is a traditional pea size couscous.  Hand crafted mughrabia has a superior texture when compared to mass produced large couscous.  I also purchased some necessities that I was running low on, like good olive oil and ginger paste.
     Even though the timing was not right and the restaurant closed for the evening, my visit to Afandi was a good one!  Now I know where a second good mediterranean market is in the Las Vegas Valley.  Next time I am in that neighborhood in the early evening hours, you can bet that I will give a few of the  Afandi Restaurant menu items a try.  After briefly talking to the employees at Afandi, I could see that they cook some great food and they did mention that the portions are nice!  
     I recommend Afandi Restaurant & Market for locals and visitors that crave authentic middle eastern food!  Afandi offers to-go style halal food in a Las Vegas neighborhood that does a lot of to-go business.  Casual dining limited seating is available.  The market at Afandi is definitely worth recommending!  Yum!  ...  Shawna           

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