18 September 2011

Souk El Shater



El Shater used to be a beloved Lebanese spot in Sunnyside, but closed fairly recently and sadness abounded. Thankfully it branched into two separate spots that now compete for customers affections with delicious fair. The namesake has moved a block away to Queens Boulevard and rebranded itself as Souk El Shater.

As I waited for a dining companion, I was able to see a bustle of activity in front of the storefront as the sun set. Women in headscarves helped each other with directions, went inside to buy fresh ingredients and groceries. The meat on the spits near the window is fairly sparse by 7pm, but there was still enough for our order, thankfully.

The thing that jumps out at me immediately about this place is the fact that they are serving up high-quality sandwiches for $3.50 a pop. I hope this is not just an introductory price at opening, but am hopeful they will last at least a while as their menus and custom signage has these prices fixed.

The chicken schwarma ($3.50, below) is my usual go-to at a Lebanese takeout, as I am always excited to try a place's homemade garlic sauce. The sandwich here is not as loaded as some, but an excellent value for the price. The meat is deliciously spiced and the sauce top notch.



They were out of ingredients for the fattouch platter, so I ended up just getting a side of tabouli ($5.99/lb, below), which was very good and fresh.


The pies and savory pastries looked a little warn, but it was evening and I am sure these are very good and right out of the oven earlier in the day. All in all, the residents of Sunnyside must be ecstatic to have their reliable Lebanese back in the neighborhood.

43-03 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside, NY

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