Edinburgh, United Kingdom
August 8, 2002
One of the reasons I selected this restaurant was simply because there appeared to be a free table. The other reasons were because the prices seemed reasonable and the menu had a fair amount of English translations on it, so I could be sure of what I was getting.
I read through the menu and decided on the Arayis, which was described as a lammtarter gegrillt – grilled lamb tarter. Most of the sandwiches were in the range of 4 euro, and mine was 4.40 euro. Sodas were 1.30 euro. There was only one guy standing in the window, over a small grill, and I gave my order to him.
I watched him make the sandwich. First he thinly spread the lamb tarter on a large flat, tortilla-sized bread. Then he sprinkled some spices, including oregano, salt and cilantro over the meat, and placed the entire thing in a grill rather like a waffle-iron. The sandwich cooked in the grill for a few moments, and in the meantime the original cook disappeared and another man came up to work the grills and window. When the sandwich was done, he pulled it out and asked if I wanted any of the garlic sauce, chili sauce, cilantro, green peppers and tomatoes. I had him put everything on it, and he then rolled it a couple times and wrapped it tightly in paper for easy handling.
The sandwich was wonderful. It was almost too hot to hold at first, but this meant only that it stayed warm while I ate it, as the top, exposed part would cool enough before I would take a bite. The meat was juicy, but not so much that it was running down my fingers (something you appreciate when there’s no bathroom available!). The cilantro flavor was nice, and the chili and garlic sauces added a bit of a kick while the tomatoes softened the blow. In short, I loved it.
To top off the fact that the sandwich was really nice, so were both of the staff I dealt with. They were both very friendly and spoke basic but decent English, in addition to German. The first guy chatted with me in English while he was making my sandwich. And the second guy, after I told him I didn’t speak German, asked me if I spoke Arabic (in English). I said not really, that I only knew ‘salem alaikum’, which made him laugh.
They are open daily from noon to 2am.
From journal Multiethnic Dining in Frankfurt