Shadi's Restaurant & Lounge caught fire on Christmas morning. The flames moved rapidly and the building is a complete loss. You can read the whole story here.
Out here in Suburbia chain restaurants rule. Methuen has an Outback, Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden, T.G.I. Fridays, and all the typical fast food garbage. The sad part is that these places are always packed. People flock to these restaurants. So, for a small Mom and Pop place like Shadi's to survive in that environment for 20 years is quite remarkable. But sadly, Shadi's is now gone.
I have been enjoying Shadi's Middle Eastern food for a long time. Kris and I were there on Thursday night. We would eat there often; once, sometimes twice a week. Kris' sister worked there as a bartender for five years back in the late 90's. We've gone there for Christmas parties, birthday parties, anniversary parties, and we've held many company parties there as well. I have many fond memories of just sitting at the bar and enjoying the scene. But what always kept me coming back was the fresh, homemade food. The tabbouleh, tahini, hummus, raw kibbe, and I just recently found out how amazing kafta is. Last Thursday I enjoyed a fattoush salad with grilled lamb. Kris had the grilled tenderloin of beef with rice pilaf. But above all of that great food one of their dishes always made me happy. It was a steak cheese and salad wrapped in fresh syrian bread served with the best fries ever. A simple meal, but so good. The syrian bread was sourced out every morning from a local bakery, the salad was always fresh and dressed perfectly, and the fries...The fries were hand cut then soaked in water overnight. Then they were twice fried. First in low oil to cook, then in hot oil to crisp. The only way that a fry should be made! This is the meal that I will truly miss the most.