March 31, 2022

Egyptian (and Lebanese) - On Mason Road

 A new discovery and one that I will be returning to often for the lamb shank. But today we went for an Egyptian dish called kochari. Ultimate comfort food. Lentils, pasta, rice. Like an Egyptian version of the Kraft Dinner. It's some kind of delicious.








John Nechman writes:  "It's always an awesome experience going out on a food exploration with Jay who let me choose from my never-ending list of places to try in the 8 county metro region, and I chose a Guatemalan spot I'd seen on Mason Road called Los Celajes. Alas, we'd waited too long--Los Celajes (which means "the clouds") appears to have passed on to Foodie Heaven.

But that didn't deter us on what has become one of my 3 favorite food streets in Greater Houston--Mason Road. Several years ago, Jay foresaw the rise of Mason in an article he wrote on his wonderful food blog ( https://www.houstonfoodexplorers.com/.../mason-road... ). On this amazing stretch of Katy concrete, I've eaten everything from Iraqi to rarely seen freshly-baked Korean walnut cookies to 2 of our favorite breakfast spots in town (including the best Venezuelan and Colombian breakfasts) to a spot whose menu is half Venezuelan, half South African. Today, we visited a fabulous Lebanese spot (and in true Mason Road form, located next to a Trinidadian spot I adore, a Mexican taco spot, and right around the corner from another Colombian bakery about to open) that took over a spot once called Tito's Egyptian and that specializes in the best of Lebanon and Egypt.
Jay has lived in the Middle East, and I have traveled extensively there. In Egypt, I fell in love with the national dish, koshary, a hearty combo of rice, lentils, chickpeas and pasta topped with a cumin-tomato sauce and crunchy fried onions, with vinegars, oils, and a spicy sauce to add as you wish. It's absolutely glorious, and only a few places in town sell it. The kind Lebanese owner informed us that after he took over Tito's, he kept several of the Egyptian dishes on the menu, including the koshary. The servings are massive, and neither of us could finish it all. Jay impressed me (he always does) by whipping out a 4 level Indian tiffin set to store his leftovers.
I added an order of tender zucchini stuffed with spiced rice with beef, as well as grape leaves containing the same. These came with more of the savory cumin-scented red sauce and a creamy labneh.
The owner brought us complimentary cups of an intensely purple hibiscus tea and shared with us massive dates imported from Saudi Arabia. He told us that on a return visit, we must try the lamb, particularly the lamb shank and the lamb shawarma. This place is well worth return visits.


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