Tuesday, December 9, 2008

i just have to write about shish

On this busy section of St. Paul's Grand Avenue, a very wise man has reinvented Middle Eastern cuisine in the Midwest. This cozy, sleek little restaurant, simply known as Shish, not only has a solid menu of freshly prepared Middle Eastern staples, but it has managed to produce these dishes using a lot of natural, local ingredients.

With our toddler in tow, my wife and I stumbled into Shish this evening for a quick meal. This was my first time eating there, but my wife had been to Shish once before and was anxious to return.

We spent at least five minutes combing the large menu to make a selection, but the lure of freshly made falafel sandwiches proved too strong. I was particularly eager to try Shish's falafel, as one of my preferred vendors is another St. Paul gem, Abu Nader.

After placing our order, I noticed a sign on the wall promoting an "organic hamburger" special. Despite a recent surge in popularity, it is awfully difficult to locate organic meats in Minnesota restaurants, especially in less formal eateries. I then asked one of the employees if all of their meats were organic or free range, and was told "hold on, I'll ask the manager."

A friendly, excited-looking man appeared, and boldly told us that they only use organic ground beef, and all of their other meats are procured from sustainably minded, local producers. The manager then said "Wait here. I will show you the ground beef." He vanished into the kitchen and returned holding a package of Dakota Beef, which appears to be a reputable Midwest producer of organic beef.

The manager then said: "We buy only high quality meats from local producers, because people come here for the food, and we want to give them the good stuff." Right on.

Needless to say, our falafel sandwhiches were superb, tasting of all the good stuff this little restaurant has so carefully sourced for its patrons.
I don't think they have an official website, but you can find basic info about the restaurant here. And if you have seen their site, please post the url here.

1668 Grand Ave.

St. Paul, MN 55105


Update 07/08/09: Shish now has a website.

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