Best Middle Eastern Restaurant


Just when you thought the ethnic eats along South Grand couldn't get any more diverse—the place is like an EPCOT food court with parking meters—in comes the Afghani restaurant Sameem. Owner Qayum Mohammad and his family are 100 percent devoted to their enterprise, covering front and back of house for long hours and with little hired help. The food embodies homey, humble goodness, from the sambosas (flaky fried dumplings akin to Indian samosas) to the earthy-tasting beriani (like India's biryani but lighter on the curry). Most triumphant is the muntoo, a traditional special-occasion dish akin to steamed beef ravioli (but accented with mint—nice!). Inexpensive, casual and definitely destination-worthy, Sameem scores as St. Louis' most audacious place to try ethnic food that's off the eaten path.
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