Eggs & Plants
If you’ve never been inside this tiny café, run by an Israeli native and located next to the Seattle Glassblowing Studio, you’ve been missing out on Seattle’s only sabich, an Israeli sandwich of fried slices of eggplant, slow-cooked eggs, hummus, tomato salad, cabbage, pickles and tahini, all stuffed inside a warm, pillowy pocket of pita. It’s filling and substantial in a way that’s not always the case with vegetarian sandwiches. Enjoy it in the back room, where two tiny tables abut a floor-to-ceiling window that looks into the glassblowing studio. $9.75. Belltown, 2229 Fifth Ave.; 206.448.2050; eggsandplants.com
The best—and most symbolic—dish at this humble corner Greenwood restaurant is likely the one overlooked for more familiar fare, like the excellent gyros and kebabs. But you’ll want to order the koshari, listed as a side, though it’s served as a full plate of rice, macaroni noodles and lentils, topped with a vinegary tomato sauce and a pile of caramelized (bordering on charred) onions. Koshari is considered the national dish of Egypt, even though it’s fusion food at its core; it’s said to have originated in India, but arrived in Egypt by way of Britain. $7.49.
Don’t miss: The falafel, which you’ll notice is a greener hue than you may find at other Mediterranean restaurants; Egyptian falafel uses fava beans instead of exclusively chickpeas. Greenwood, 8420 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.706.9300; hummuscafe.net
Zaatar and Cheese Mana’eesh
Originally from Lebanon, mana’eesh are chewy, thin-crusted flatbreads that are now a street-food staple around the Mediterranean and Middle East. At this casual Lake City spot, mana’eesh are served either rolled with additional ingredients (recommended) or in wedges like a personal pizza. One of Man’oushe Express’s best is first slathered in zaatar, a paste of thyme, oregano, and sumac, with roasted sesame seeds, and then topped with a blend of tangy goat and salty cow milk cheeses. $5.49.
While you’re there: Head downstairs (the entrance is on the slope to the parking lot) to Goodies, a well-stocked Mediterranean market with the same owner, Jay Hosn. Lake City, 13721 Lake City Way NE; 206.367.0895; manousheexpress.com