Mad for Med Deli

July 5, 2009 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

It doesn’t hurt that Bill Smith, the celebrated Crook’s Corner chef, is a regular at Chapel Hill’s Mediterranean Deli. But there are plenty of other credible indicators that this modest Middle Eastern eatery on the foodiest side of town is something special: First is the irresistible aroma of garlic, olive oil and Mediterranean spices seeping out to West Franklin Street. Second of course is the amazing range of hard-to-pronounce fresh delicacies on the daily menu. Then there is the weekday lunch mob of regulars who thrive on lovingly prepared fresh local ingredients with an ethnic flare.

I’ll never forget the day I received an e-mail missive in the haze  following 9/11 noting that business had suddenly fallen off at the Med Deli, run by Jamil Kadoura, a Palestinian who grew up in Jerusalem.  The message urged customers to get over there for lunch ASAP to stamp out ignorant bigotry and show our enlightened support (a favorite pastime in the Southern part of heaven).

When I arrived, the line was out the door, though come to think of it that was not so unusual. Turned out the alleged boycott was  just a rumor. It would take much more than the fear of global terrorism to keep us away.

Learn more about Kadoura’s delights in Andrea Weigl’s News and Observer interview.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Locavore cuisine with an international flavor Top 50 Food People

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