Behold white stucco, arched doorways and airy interiors accented with wood: Rajah Gargour’s CAFÉ MUNIR is a sophisticated oasis in Loyal Heights near Larsen’s Danish Bakery. Here, the flavors of Lebanon—lemon and feta, lamb and oregano—work their magic when tucked into pliant flatbread served warm and fragrant. Start with a shareable portion of muhammara ($4.50), a dip so deliciously nutty (made primarily of roasted red peppers and walnuts), it’s a wonder it’s not as well loved as hummus; and pickled beets with labne, a tangy, thick cheese made of yogurt and cilantro leaves ($4.50). Depending on the day, one might find on the menu sensational roasted chicken marinated in sumac and served with a garlic sauce atop soft flatbread ($15). Tom Douglas, who lives nearby, praised the restaurant’s falafel on his radio show, and he is right: The fried chickpea patties ($5) are moist, fragrant and just about perfect when laced with the restaurant’s tahini dressing. Munir is well removed from the heart of the Ballard restaurant whirl—you shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to park—and it’s an affordable destination for a lively and authentic taste of the Mediterranean. Dinner Tuesday–Sunday. Loyal Heights, 2408 NW 80th St.; 206.783.4190; cafemunir.blogspot.com.
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