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Oct 27
Monday

Farooj al Zaeem: Slow Fast Food

Reviews (Eats)

Farrooj al Zaeem, photo by Monique Jaques

Farooj al Zaeem is, pretty much, the best kind of restaurant made to resemble the worst kind of restaurant. If the neighborhood – one of Beyoğlu’s most unkempt snatches – doesn’t send you running, then the look of this place, like a knockoff polo shirt with misspellings, will signal that something here is not right.

Despite the wall of pre-folded fried chicken takeout boxes and all the signage dedicated to the house specialty, no one comes to this Syria-based chain without wiping a thin triangle of fresh pita through a few of the Syrian specialties, which are all executed so well here. Though the whole vibe of the place – cramped interior, cartoony sheriff rooster logo, uniformed staff, enlarged food photos with a corporate sheen – would tell you otherwise, this is actually a place where Syrians come to get proper, freshly made food that tastes like home. Zaeem is so authentically Syrian that some just pass through to say hello the Syrian way, a quick handshake and a kiss of the fingers.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

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