Day 2: A Jordanian Ramadan In Houston

Its Ramadan in the Muslim world and Houston is home to some fantastic Middle Eastern Restaurants.

Patrons eagerly await their turn to enjoy some hulawiat ("Sweets").  These are stuffed with cheese or nuts, fried, and then sugared.  Its good for the soul.


You will hear the call to prayer over the speakers, and then the fast is traditionally broken with a date first.


The table is decked out with food and the feast begins

The owner of Sayad Grill is a Palestinian from Jordan.  During Ramadan he makes several special dishes and reorganizes his restaurant around the holiday.  It is one of the premiere Ramadan experiences in Houston.  He makes two special Jordanian one of which we will will feature here called Mansaf.  

Ramadan is a month long fast celebrating Muhammad receiving his first revelation.  It is practiced with differing amounts of revelry in the various Muslim countries but in general it includes a fast during the day and a meal (or all night feasting in some places) after sundown.

The next step is a lentil soup.  After fasting all day it is wise to start slow.


And what a feast it is: Maklouba, Mansaf, Potatoes, Pasta, Kofta, Kebab, and fish!


The yogurt goes poured over the lamb and rice.  Taste before you pour.  If you like sharp cheeses you will find it delightful. 

Mansaf is one of the national dishes of Jordan. While in Jordan during the Arab Spring, one of the locals told me “if you have a friend over for dinner you make him Mansaf; if you have the King over for dinner, you make him Mansaf.”

Of course, no meal in the Middle East would be complete without some tea.  Try it with mint and 3+ spoons of sugar if you want to drink it like a "local."

Check out Sayad Grill on 12225 Westheimer