Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zooroona bakes its own pita

Text by William R. Wood
Minister of Culture
Photography by Bradley S. Pines

Zooroona, a newer Middle-Eastern restaurant in the Tiffany’s Village shopping center at 1710 West Main Street in Kalamazoo, Mich., is now making its own pita bread. 
That’s makes the restaurant one of the few Arabic eateries in Kalamazoo to take a such a fresh basic and healthy approach to its food.
Fresh baked pita at Zooroona. (Click to enlarge)
Habib Mandwee
The pita is best eaten at the restaurant, where it is served hot and golden in a basket with sides of hummus and extra virgin olive oil. You can really taste the softness of the texture and care that went into the baking of the pita. "We do everything natural here, (pita) is very basic to us," said Habib Mandwee, co-owner of Zooroona. 
Kafa Kobob ($13.50) with beef and lamb.
The Kafta Kabob, served in a combination of beef and lamb is grilled on skewers, has turned out to be the top selling dish at Zoorona. The meat is tender and the char really adds to the flavor. The rice is extra sweet, and has a garnish of raisins, and the golden color reflects the saffron used as a spice. Grilled tomato, onion and pepper round out the presentation. 
Spicy Egyptian Falafel from a home recipe.
About every Middle Eastern restaurant offers their version of falafel. At Zoorona, there’s a choice, regular and Spicy Egyptian. The spicy version is a rare treat. Developed from a chef’s home recipe, it gets its heat from jalapeno, mixed with the fava beans, garlic, cumin, cilantro, and black pepper.
Zooroona has become one of my favorite places for both lunch and dinner.
Zooroona is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday noon to 9 p.m. It is closed on Monday.
For a full picture gallery of images, please see Bradley S. Pines’ web site at

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