This Labor Day weekend, I visited Atlanta with Henok. Before our drive back, we stopped by a neighborhood drive-thru that serves Halal food. Even though we could've conveniently picked up our food at the window, I'm so glad that we decided to eat inside.
When we entered, a smiling faced gentleman greeted us and excitedly asked me where I was from (New York) and my favorite foods. He explained that he was very interested in international cuisine, in which I told him that my parents are from Hong Kong. Knowing that he is Muslim, I answered that my favorite Hong Kong food are shrimp wontons and that my favorite homemade recipe is pineapple ginger soy marinated wings. He then plopped down a small thick notebook on the counter and told me to flip through it. It was filled from cover to cover with recipes from around the world -- all handwritten. This chef is clearly passionate about his work and it shines through his cooking. As he was telling me about his goals in opening another restaurant showcasing international foods with hood (that's where he's from) flavor and a vegan food truck, he gave me several samples to try including homemade salmon cakes and a delicious curry chicken. He told me to feel free to take photos of as many recipes as I wanted as he prepared our orders, and I of course took advantage of the offer.
Henok had a very flavorful and crispy falafel sandwich, and I had a curried tilapia sandwich. Both were pita stuffed with lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers. Both were bursting with spices, which I find to be the chef's signature.
Upon finishing our meal, I really was intent on sharing some recipes with the chef. I asked him how to best reach him. Should I email him? Should I leave him a link to my blog? He really seemed not too fond of using the internet, so I suggested that I could mail him a few recipes. And he agreed that it would be the best way and to just use the address on his business card. Well then, I guess that means time to hand write a few recipes out!
Baraka Shawarma Mediterranean Grill
4865 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain, GA