If you grew up in an Arab household, the Pacific Northwest can be a hard place to dine.
Without the sizable population of Arabs who reside in California, New York or Michigan, restaurants here that advertise Middle Eastern cooking cater too often to a palette that can’t discern saltless chickpea mash and stovetop meat from the utter ecstasy of a smooth hummus and crispy shawarma dripping with fat.
Word-of-mouth is the best way to find the real thing in these parts. Luckily, the Iraqi and Iranian communities I was raised with talk a lot about food. One of the first things a family friend asked me when I first moved to Seattle three years ago was whether I’d tried Garlic Crush.