Sunday, March 21

Sitti



























Sitti (pronounced sit'-tee) means grandmother in Lebanese. My dearest old friend is of Lebanese extraction and when I saw a new restaurant in Raleigh with that name, I knew we had to go there when she came to visit. I had (typically) forgotten about it, but her grandson, pictured here with my friend and his significant other, ran it up the flag pole - and we saluted!

We met downtown on the first day of spring, which was doing its best to impress. Temperatures hovered around 75*, with sunny, blue skies and warm breezes. Downtown Raleigh used to be deserted on Saturdays, but since an urban renewal began over the last 2-3 years, people are flocking to the downtown area once again. The large windows at Sitti allow lots of people watching; both passers-by and diners who choose to sit outside. We wanted to catch up on each other's lives, and the restaurant allowed us to do that easily. Though there were plenty of people there, the acoustics were almost perfect.

Beginning with hummus and Baba Ganoush, on warm, puffy pita bread, I chose a Lebanese style hamburger, made with onions and mint (yes, mint!) mixed inside, and served on a bakery roll with excellent fries. Trust me; the next hamburgers I make at home will definitely have mint included!

As a teenager, I was treated with some frequency to my friend's Lebanese specialties. I haven't eaten any Lebanese food in years, except tabouli, but I guarantee you I will from now on. Sitti is highly recommended!


13 comments:

Tardevil said...

Dang, I miss Raleigh. Glad you got to enjoy it in the beautiful weather we had for the 1st day of spring! My husband and I were just talking about how we miss Darryl's. We use to go on dates there a long time ago, before we got married. Sure wish I had some of their old recipes. Hope you're doing well.

Grannymar said...

Sitti sounds like a great place to meet, greet and eat!

Kay Dennison said...

I love Arab food!!!!! When I visited the man in Motown we often visited the many Arab restaurants there and I am a "frequent flyer" at the Middle Eastern restaurant near me. This restaurant looks like a delight!!!!!

Tabor said...

I will have to remember that if I am every down Raleigh way in the future. Mint is nice with lots of things as long as it isn't used all the time. I get tired of it then.

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm just on my way out for lunch, but not to a place like this!

Still as long as I get a burger and fries I'll be happy.

Happy Sunday to you.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Yummy sounding food. I would love to try that hamburger with mint.

I'll have to look for a Lebanese restaurant in our area.

I'm glad you had a good first day of Spring, Judy!

Tracie said...

Mmmmmm that sounds so yummy! I am going to have to see if we have any Lebanese restaurants near me.

srp said...

That gives me an idea... I must plant a bit of an herb garden... at least on the deck... will include mint. Was it spearmint or peppermint?

Star said...

When my daughter and her husband were stationed in Germany, they were befriended by a Lebanese restraunt owner. He treated us to a Lebanese feast. I have been hooked on the cuisine ever since.

Arkansas Patti said...

Now you have me curious about mint in hamburger. Must try it. Do you think that will count as a vegetable??

Palm Springs Savant said...

well now that's interesting info. I do enjoy learning about different cultures and such..

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This sounds incredibly Yummy, Judy. I LOVE the idea of Mint in that Hamburger....Great addition!
It sounds like Spring has finally arrived in your town...I'm so happy for you, my dear.

Shephard said...

It's one of my favorites. :)
I can tell Lebanese from other Middle Eastern cuisines... it's lighter and fresher tasting to me.
Funny that we both discovered a Lebanese restaurant the same month!
We tried a traditional pastry called "mamoul"... pockety pastry filled with dates or walnuts or pistachio! Very yummy!
~S