Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rami's, Coolidge Corner, Brookline

You might miss it.  You could walk right past and not have any clue what treasures are inside.  I did.  I have walked past Rami's, located on Harvard Ave in Coolidge Corner a bunch of times.  I had never seen it before, until last night.  A bout a week ago, manager Haim sent me a note asking if I would care to stop in and try out their food.  Have any of you ever known me to say no to a request like this?  Honestly-food?  Yes, please.  I have spent a great deal of time in Coolidge Corner-tons really- and yet I had to map quest where Rami's was located.  I am incredibly embarrassed to admit that. I arrived however, Katie from A Small Boston Kitchen in tow, and was ready to indulge in the cuisine of the Middle East.

Immediately after entering the counter service establishment, we were greeted with a very friendly hello from Haim.  Despite the fact that he was awaiting our arrival, I soon learned that this greeting was not out of the ordinary.  Each person who entered was greeted as a friend would be, and each assisted with polite words, and a knowing grin.  I felt immediately at home.  Haim picked out our entrees for us, and we were presented with over loaded plates containing the Rami's Special-touted on their menu as the "Ultimate Pu Pu Platter".  I have to say- if this is their version of a Pu Pu Platter- all others better just sit down.  Rami's Special incorporated a wide variety of textures, temperatures and flavors ready to satisfy any craving.

The Rami's Special included a crunchy salad made with lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickles topped with a creamy dressing, falafel sitting in a creamy pond of freshly made houmos, grilled chicken, and kebabs.  Additionally this massive amount of food was served with freshly made pitas, and a we received a side of Rami's own home made hot sauce.  Faced only with the decision where to dig in, I started with the salad, intrigued by the idea of pickles in the mix.  The lettuce, crunchy and refreshing mixed well with the slightly tart pickle.  It was a combination that I would not have imagined, but was actually incredibly delightful.  

My next stop in my around the plate journey brought me to the houmos and falafel arena.  Ohhhh the houmos....nutty and creamy with all of the decadence of olive oil lightly mixed in- this was some of the best houmos I have had.  So often houmos is served grainy and too thick, but at Rami's it flows with beautiful flavor and perfect consistency.  Sitting atop the houmos were perfect spheres of fried falafel perfection.  Falafel is another food that I will often pass up gladly as they sometimes contain a grainy or gritty texture.  Not at Rami's!  Here their soft and warm insides are en capsuled by a crunchy outer shell- a beautiful contrasting textural profile.  

Next I moved into the chicken, which Haim described as sauteed with onions.  It was a simple explanation, but a much more complex flavor profile.  A variety of spices played off the tender meat making it addictive and delicious.   I quickly found that the combination of the pillowy pita, with houmos, hot sauce and the chicken was my favorite in the plate.  

Finally, I set my sights on the kebabs.  Ground meat, blended with a mix of spices, and then cooked in links-these devils looked right up my ally.  I was right.  The spice was a bit more prevalent in these than in the chicken, creating a bit of fire on the palate-nothing unbearable by any means, but a hint of a kick.  The meat was incredibly well flavored around the spice which made it very palatable, and with great depth of flavor.

The meal was resoundingly delicious.  Each item provided great flavor and texture, and when combined together in different combinations, they played off of each other amazingly well.  The dinner however went beyond the food itself.  Rami is an incredibly warm and inviting space.  It is a place where friends gather, business men break for the evening, and people craving good Middle Eastern cuisine come even on their own.  Every patron seems to have immense pride in the location, one even stopping when he realized we were food bloggers to rave about Rami, declaring their food the best Middle Eastern in the city.  With reviews like that, I urge you not to walk past Rami, but to stop, turn in and feel the warmth, hospitality, and savor the wonderful cuisine.

Please also note- Rami's is Glatt Kosher.   

Rami's on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Great looking pitchers!!! The food looks amazing.

Emily said...

I am a total sucker for the pickle/falafel combo... I've walked passed Rami's tons of times but never gone in. I'll definitely have to give it a shot!

Dani B. said...

Great review. Rami's definitely is a gem.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Hooray for new spots in the 'hood that are delicious and affordable! As always, great review!

Melissa said...

Haha Haim grew up in my neighborhood and there used to be a Rami's location in our town! Unfortunately it closed, my family loves it! Glad you enjoyed it!

michellepc said...

I've never even heard of Rami's, let alone seen it! Sounds/looks like they have some great food, and I'm always a fan of good hummus and falafel. Great review!

Restaurant Reviews: A dead art?

Last December I declared 2023 the year I would return to food writing.  It was a bold statement (even now as I look at my last published dat...