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For many diners, the lack of a liquor license is a deal-breaker. That proclivity can relegate most Middle Eastern spots to a lunchtime treat rather than an evening pleasure. Farmington Hills’ 2Booli addresses the problem with not only a full bar but a happy hour that lasts all evening long, Monday through Friday. Draughts are $2.50, margaritas and martinis are $4, and featured wines of the week are also about $4, or $12-$15 a bottle. As the name makes clear, the restaurant has aspirations to address several cultures around the Mediterranean, rather than just the Lebanon from which the owners’ parents emigrated. Bruschetta, polenta, fritto misto, clam linguine, and a meatball sub share the menu with tabbouleh and falafel.
Al-Ajami is no worse than, but no better than, a slew of other Middle Eastern restaurants, with uneven quality to its cuisine and cleanliness. So what does Al-Ajami do right? It’s less expensive than La Shish. Chef and co-owner Stephan Ajami offers 15 seafood dishes. Also good are the chicken lemon, which combines grilled chicken and pilaf with vegetables doused in lemon butter, a terrific chicken rice soup, and a good lentil soup. Servings are enormous.
Owner Khalil Ameer says with pride that his Lebanese fare isn’t Americanized factory food. He has labored to stay true to the Lebanese table, offering fresh bread, serving no pork or liquor, and preparing food that’s not overwhelmed by spices and herbs. And the dishes are made to order. Instead of simply ordering a vegetarian platter, diners may choose among vegetarian grape leaves, tomato kibbee, green bean stew, eggplant stew, a “veggie galaba” of rice, mushrooms, carrots, green peppers — and, if you must have it, they’ll add more spice.
Middle Eastern dishes served in a large, open, two-tiered dining room. Two locations.

Amani's, located in Dearborn, offers a full menu of halal Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare.

Thriving deli/gourmet food shop/beanery. A menu with a sense of humor -- and it gets the crowds through the deli line. #6 - 'Leave it to Beefier,' #64 - 'Emil's Green Cow.' Featuring pastries, a juice bar, smoothies, tortes, flavored coffees, samples.
In warm weather, a large, covered outdoor dining area allows outside dining. The bar serves beer, wine, juice and smoothies. For the harder stuff, examine the small but diverse wine selection and three Michigan craft brews. Salads and veggie-intensive appetizers fill a good portion of the menu. There are even a few unique pita pizzas. As with most Mediterranean cuisines, Lebanese is considered to be a very balanced, healthy diet. If meat is your thing, you can easily fill up with kebabs or shawarma. Lamb is prominent in the form of chops, shanks and kibbeh, a mixture of ground lamb and cracked wheat that can be ordered baked or raw. Of course, there are also a couple fish dishes. The ideal sampler is Anita’s “mixed mezza” — for $30 you get a plate of hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush and crunchy pickled vegetables with a touch of heat and a few other plates. Comes in a vegetarian version for $24. For an fine finish to a meal, order a pot of Turkish coffee and a tender, not-too-sweet piece of baklava. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Child friendly. No smoking.
A crowded lunch spot for Troy office workers, this friendly cafe offers good food, reasonable prices, and large portions of both Middle Eastern and American foods. Especially good are the quiche-like artichoke pie, the lemon chicken, and the desserts, which include a fine carrot cake and rice pudding almost as good as the one made by our reviewer's mom. The barbecue ribs tend to be dry, but the vegetarian mousaka and shish kabob are both good and well-seasoned. ***
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