One new restaurant is Shababi, 5655-A General Washington Drive, which opened at the end of January and serves musakhan, a rotisserie chicken that is the national dish of Palestine. Shababi was founded by Chef Marcelle Afram and shares space as a ghost kitchen in chef Roro Asmar’s Lebanese restaurant.
According to alextimes.com, “Afram said part of the reason he chose Alexandria was because of the city’s large Middle Eastern community. Afram’s family is Middle Eastern and he fondly remembers his grandparents cooking Palestinian food while he was growing up. He also remembers his family saying “Shababi,” an Arabic American word that means “my people,” when food was ready. “I can cater probably to this group of people that haven’t had this dish in a really long time, and it can bring some nostalgia … and it can introduce Palestinian cuisine in general, to a plethora of people that may have not had it,” Afram said.”
As per alextimes.com, “As a ghost kitchen, Shababi operates on a preorder system. Preorders go live on Mondays at 3 p.m., at which point customers can order their meal online – if they can snag one. The restaurant has been open for only 14 weeks, and each week it has sold out, Afram said. He said Alexandria has a small community feel, which is phenomenal because he wants the restaurant to be a neighborhood spot. “This is really amazing to me because it’s one of my goals, was I want people to pick up their food and I want the smells of the food on their drive home to just encapsulate the entire experience,” Marcelle said.”
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