A quick-serve spot from the owners of Mamnoon is a winner in the new Amazon Doppler building in the Regrade.
Courtesy of Amazon, Seattle’s got what feels like a new outdoor-mall food court. Suddenly, at Sixth and Lenora, there’s a Marination outlet for Hawaiian-Korean favorites; a Skillet for upscale diner food; a branch of the national Potbelly Sandwich Shop chain for purported “Good vibes and great sandwiches”; the inevitable Starbucks; two new Huxley-Wallace spots, Great State Burger and neo-Mexican Bar Noroeste; and two new places from Wassef and Racha Haroun, the owners of Capitol Hill’s beloved Mamnoon.
While the Harouns’ Anar is a “modern union of food, juice & life” (aka a vegetarian juice-and-snack bar), Mamnoon Street offers the street food of Syria, Lebanon and beyond. It’s much like the to-go part of the original restaurant, but with a couple key additions: an extremely good chicken shawarma and a bar.
The menu: Assemble your own meze platter, have the flatbread mana’eesh with a variety of toppings, get a falafel wrap and more — and why not more? Nothing’s over $10, and they’ll cut sandwiches up to share.
2020 Sixth Ave., Seattle
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
Etc: credit cards accepted, no barriers to access, full bar, street parking
Don’t miss: The chicken shawarma is tender, saucy and super-tasty, with pickled onions for contrast, plus (yay!) fries inside. Get the fries on their own, too; they’re nice and spicy with aleppo and cayenne, and they come with a za’atar mayonnaise that you’ll want to spread on everything in sight (though the cinnamon-and-allspice house-made ketchup is too sweet). The falafel sandwich has an unusually delicate bread-wrapper, plus pickled turnips for color and crunch. (And happy hour, 4 p.m. to closing daily, includes falafel and a draft beer for $9.)
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What to skip: The beet dip called shamandar bi tahini is less than compelling and went mostly uneaten. The kefta arayess sandwich, though it comes on crispy-chewy griddled bread, also lacks distinctive flavor. The lamb shawarma can have bites of tough meat.
The setting: The line at the to-go window moves faster than you’d think, even during the lunch rush. Inside, the small dining area has a sort of Spartan contemporary style to it, in a way that seems ripe for fast-casual replication.
Summing up: A chicken shawarma, lamb shawarma, kefta arayess, an order of fries and shamandar dip cost $41 before tax and tip, and made for a big lunch (with leftovers) for three.