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If you like Middle Eastern food and live anywhere near West Roxbury, you'll want to try Al Wadi

Al Wadi

Al Wadi, the replacement for the old Spring Blossom at 1249 VFW Parkway, opened last week. The kidlet and I stopped by for lunch today and concluded it looks to be perfect for those nights when you want somebody to serve you your Middle Eastern food (specifically, Lebanese) at a table, instead of just picking something up at the King.

For starters, anybody who remembers Spring Blossom will be amazed at the transformation inside: Who knew the place could look elegant? Two walls are lined with cushiony benches behind the tables (they've got throw pillows scattered about, for the extra tired). The place actually has windows now, with surprisingly pleasant views of trees (and, well, yeah, a Home Depot sign out of one of them). There's a sleek bar that's constantly changing colors (LEDs: Is there nothing they can't do?) - and which has a full liquor license. The waiter quickly brings over slices of pita and a tray with a couple of different types of olive-oil and some creamy cheese/yogurty thing (couldn't quit tell). Lebanese (I assume) music plays over the loudspeakers - but not too loudly.

The menu is split between mezzas (relatively small servings; think of them as sort of Lebanese tapas), which go for $4 to $7 apiece and more elaborate (and more expensive, of course), full-blown entrees.

Since it was lunch, we went with some of the smaller dishes: Chicken soup, hummus Al Wadi, sambossik and rice pilaf. Hummus al Wadi is hummus topped with ground beef and pine nuts; sambossik are these small, almost knish-like meat patty things (but way, way better than the things that pass for knishes at supermarkets around here).

All were delicious. It's probably a good thing they were small portions - if they were larger, we probably would have kept eating until we burst. At the end, the waiter brought over some complimentary baklava. Throw in a couple of sodas, and the whole thing cost about $26 before tip.

Al Wadi's phone number is 617-325-3254. Web site.

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Comments

Thanks for the quick little review! I've been wondering if this place would be worth checking out, and now we will. And though I was never in Spring Blossom, the exterior of that was awful. Glad to see a new place opened, and that on the outside it looks so much better. I was worried the location would sit vacant forever.

If you like good Lebanese food and haven't yet tried it, Byblos in Norwood is excellent. It's one of the few restaurants we'll miss having so close now that we've moved into West Roxbury. But maybe Al Wadi will be as good.

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I hadn't heard of Byblos yet. I'll have to make a run out to Norwood too!

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Byblos is incredibly good. We've been going there for 8+ years, since back when the owner had a tiny hole in the wall in south Norwood.

Friday nights they have live music and a dancer. Lots of fun!

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Byblos is fantastic... but so is the take out counter at Cedar's Market just around the corner (across from the town green) And the rollups start at an irresistible $2.99. Try two today.

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Check out Karoun in Newtonville on Washington St at Walnut St along the Pike. Belly dancing and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. The owner is really friendly as well.

I'll have to run over to al Wadi now that I know it exists, thanks!

Once I've had their food, I'll have to rate them on my personal "Percentage close to my grandmother's cooking" scale.

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Great review! I am excited to try Al Wadi this weekend!

Now we just need to fix up the two lots next to it, and the old stop and shop across from it, and the area won't be as dumpy!

I really hope this place the greatest of success!!

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I've been waiting for them to open!

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