Shahrazad – a Longtime Gem in the Area
By Cynthia Sommer (Winter 2012)
Shahrazad restaurant has been a treasure that has attracted many in and to the neighborhood for almost 20 years. This local, family-owned Middle Eastern restaurant located at 2847 N. Oakland was opened by Mohammed Khabiti and his wife Nazila in June 1993. Positive critical reviews have been consistent since its opening; this year, Shahrazad has won the Milwaukee Magazine, Reader’s Choice -2012 Top 100 Restaurants and Best Middle Eastern restaurant in Milwaukee awards, and, in addition, the Local Eats-2012 award Best Middle Eastern restaurant.
As you walk through the front door, you enter a relaxed space with beautiful Moorish plasterwork, ornately framed paintings and lanterns as well as an array of unique hookahs. Tables of green marble, white linen napkins and soft music add to the ambiance. The split level dining room provides a main dining area and the favorite elevated window seating area that allows customers to “people watch” along bustling Oakland Avenue. The attentive, friendly staff quickly responds to customers with water and pita bread and is helpful in answering any questions that you may have with the menu.
Their menu that is listed as Middle Eastern and Persian, presents a diverse cultural array of Arabian dished found in Turkey, Saudi Arabian, Jerusalem, Indo-Paki and Egypt. Persian dishes were added seven years ago to create two menus in one. Vegetarians will have plenty of menu choices but meat lovers are not neglected. The lentil soup with its nice blend of spices, the creamy and rich hummus, the warm and soft pita bread and the crispy lightly spiced falafel are patron favorites. A nice addition on each table is the availability of the deep-red to purple sumac spice that can add a nice lemony taste to meats and salads. An array of other delicious choices are available including: appetizers (Baba Ghanouj), salads (tabuli, fattosh), house specialties, (Kababs, Taouk), sandwiches (Falafel bel-hummus, Taouk) and vegetarian dishes (Mojadra, Couscous, Shakshooka). Rose water lemonade or Arabian Coffee can be a nice complement to your meal or desserts (baklava, harrisa, nabulsia). A selection of wines and beers is available. Individual food choices range from $4.95- $21.95 but you can sample a variety of their dishes at their lunch buffet ($8.95) that is available on Tues.-Frid, 11am-2pm or at their Sunday Brunch ($13.95) from 11 am – 2 pm. Shahrazad will also cater a variety of vegetarian, beef, lamb and chicken dishes for any meeting or special occasions. Their hours of service are Mon 4-9 pm; Tues-Thurs, Sun 11 am-9 pm; Frid-Sat 11 am-10 pm. You can review their menu with pictures of their dishes and print out coupons available on their web site: www.shahrazadrestaurant.com. For reservations call (414) 964-5475.
Shahrazad – great tasting ethnic flavors that will make you a repeat customer. Thanks for continuing to be a part of the neighborhood for so many years and congratulations on your well-deserved recognitions!