Food Find: Kibberia Middle Eastern Restaurant & Cafe, Westport
Dietitians and nutritionists say that the the weight picture is determined 80% by diet and 20% by exercise. Therefore we can exercise all we want but if we aren’t eating the right foods we aren’t going to get the results we want. Westport has seen an influx of healthy eating establishments in the past few years and as of last August (lucky for us!) we gained one more.
Located on Post Road West near Whole Foods is Kibberia Middle Eastern Restaurant. It is easy to drive right by, but trust me, this is seriously good Middle Eastern food. I’m talking this is in the “if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life” category. I pick up their lentil & cabbage salad and must use every ounce of control I have not to devour it in the car on the way home.
Nick and Sam, two Lebanese brothers, opened the original Kibberia in Danbury in January 2011. Sam’s wife Carole (the chef), took her favorite dishes from home and put them onto the menu. By word of mouth their popularity grew and even patrons from as far away as NYC still make a pilgrimage to Danbury for Carole’s falafel. Nick opened Kibberia Westport in August 2013. Carole continues to take charge in the kitchen and for that many of us are thankful!
I often ask myself, how can food that tastes this good be so healthy? Carole explains to me that they use the freshest ingredients and everything is prepared that morning and mixed upon demand (thus their self proclaimed “somewhat fast food” status). The meats they serve are the leanest and herbs and spices add depths of flavor to the dishes. The only menu items that are fried are the kibbe and falafel.
You cannot go wrong with their hummus which comes in the traditional form but also five other variations (artichoke, roasted red pepper and sun dried tomato, black olive and oregano, horseradish and spicy). Pair it with Kibberia’s super soft and thin Syrian pita bread and you will be a very happy person. Their hummus, babaganoush and falafel are vegan and gluten free.
Their menu also contains salads, flatbreads, soups, pita pockets, kabob wraps and platters and kibbe.
My favorite dish is the Lentil & Cabbage Salad. A lentil and rice mixture sits on the bottom of an edible, baked shell. Freshly chopped cabbage, tomato and herbs, tossed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil on top (not oily at all) are generously served on top.
Both Carole and my husband call the fattoush salad their favorite. Carole favors the lamb kabob, my husband the chicken kabob.
Nick’s favorite? The Lamb Kibbe and Tabouleh Pocket (Pita bread filled with a grilled kibbe patty, hummus and tabouleh)
My three young children often share the chicken kabob platter (8 kabob pieces served on a bed of white rice with a side of hummus, tabouleh, garlic sauce and pita bread). All of Kibberia’s chicken is white meat and marinated in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. They also love the fried Kibbe Pops (small kibbe bites made with beef and bulgur wheat).
Most popular menu items? Fattoush salad with chicken kabob and the falafel. Their falafel contains only chickpeas and fresh herbs, thus the green color.
All desserts (think pistachio, walnut and pecan baklava!) are baked by Carole in house.
Call ahead and your order will be waiting for you. The website is easy to navigate and contains photos and descriptions of all menu items. You’ll even receive 10% off your first order placed online.
Bottom line: Kibberia is healthy, fresh and somewhat fast. There is something on the menu to please everyone: vegans, paleos, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, etc. Eat in, carry out or have it delivered, you will not regret it!
361 Post Road West