Phoenicia Mediterranean Deli Brings Lebanese-Inspired Food to West County


Chicken shawarma with tabbouli - PHOTO BY JOHNNY FUGITT
  • Photo by Johnny Fugitt
  • Chicken shawarma with tabbouli

West county's newest restaurant, Phoenicia Mediterranean Deli (15344 Manchester Road, Ellisville; 314-764-9222), promises a healthful menu of Mediterranean classics. But that's not all — not by any means. Co-owner Rana Baydoun also offers terrific baked goods.

Baydoun is an avid baker of pastries from both the eastern and northern shores of the Mediterranean. Her desserts are intended as compliments to the rest of the vegetable-heavy, Mediterranean menu.

Sandwiched between Ballwin Cycles and a nail salon in one of the innumerable strip malls lining Manchester, Phoenicia is one of the few options in the far-out 'burbs available to those looking for a falafel fix or to scratch a shawarma itch. Hicham Baydoun, Rana's husband and co-owner, notes that many of his friends in the area regularly drive to Tower Grove, downtown or the Loop to find similar offerings. The couple hopes to change this, with a counter-service restaurant that also offers six tables and a few bright touches.
Bright pillows lend a pop of color. - PHOTO BY JOHNNY FUGITT
  • Photo by Johnny Fugitt
  • Bright pillows lend a pop of color.

The Baydouns have lived in the St. Louis area for about five years. Originally from Lebanon, the family made stops in Europe and Kansas City as Hicham worked towards a PhD focusing on cancer research. Today, he's fighting leukemia and lymphoma by day and serving labneh by night.

The menu features fresh, made-from-scratch Mediterranean favorites, with a particular focus on the flavors of Lebanon. If your perception of a shawarma is a dry pita-taco, Phoenicia is a good place to break such an understanding of the dish. Both chicken and beef are available, and the oversized "Tomahawk Shawarma" can include a mix of both meats. Full of textures, the flavorful spit-roasted meat comes topped with a creamy, non-spicy sauce.