a RAWky road

Food, health and fitness advice while vegan in a sad, S.A.D world.

Karam Lebanese Deli & Catering

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We don’t often go out to eat, but when we do we utterly spoil ourselves. My husband was “starving” and we were both too lazy to make something to eat. Lately, we joke that we should go out to a restaurant, or buy some sort of vegan something, or make some elaborate concoction all in the name of a RAWky road. “It’s for the blog,” we’ll say to try to convince ourselves to devour something new or review an oldie, but a goodie.

We caved and decided to try Karam Lebanese Deli & Catering. We knew of KLD&C previously as they sell a variety of flavors of hummus at our local Whole Foods Market and now New Seasons Market (congrats!). To be perfectly honest, it’s the only hummus we ever get because it’s the best! Each flavor (and there are many) are so delicious and excellently made that we won’t even try other hummus’ now, we’re set for life.

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Karam Lebanese Deli & Catering is a family run business located in Beaverton, Oregon, and serves passionately prepared, fresh Lebanese cuisine. The menu is not entirely vegan, but they do provide many, many plant-based food options (clearly labeled as vegan), which you’ll see soon.

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We were very excited to go and we arrived at the perfect time. They had just gotten through their lunch rush and the place was all ours. It’s spacious and there are plenty on tables and chairs both indoors and outdoors. The restaurant itself is beautiful and spotless.

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The kitchen is open, so you can see into it and there are two large glass cases filled with goodies, one for desserts and another for the savory items.

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There were so many desserts, sadly only one vegan option. According to their website, the Pastry Chef is part of the family and a distinguished French pastry chef. 

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They’re all incredibly beautiful and we wished there had been more that we could have tried. My husband has the most insane sweet tooth and he would have gotten one of everything.

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I prefer savory items and there was a glass case filled with various hummus’ and hand foods that I just couldn’t wait to try. We all eat with our eyes and KLD&C know how to display their food in the most scruptious way. There came a point were we needed to quit staring and start ordering, we ordered everything on the deli menu that was vegan, except for the lentil soup. I’ll warn you that I may get repetitive while describing what we got because everything was so flavorful and if we went back we would order it all again.

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 Veggie Combo (V) (GF)

 Tabouleh, hummus, Mihshi (stuffed grape leaves), falafel. (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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We love us some combo platters and this one does not disappoint. It also came with house-made pita bread, but I forgot to snap a picture of it. The hummus was as it always is, spectacular, and the tabouleh was just the way I like it (lots of parsley and tomatoes). I’ve had tabouleh in the past that was more cracked wheat than anything and I can’t stand that, here, however they make is perfectly.

Mihshi (V) (GF)

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Delicious stuffed grape leaves, stuffed with rice and a unique combination of herbs and spices. It’s sweet, savory, tangy and highly addictive.

Falafel (V) (GF)

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Lot’s of places ruin falafel in so many ways, too dense, too crispy, not crispy enough, flavorless and the list goes on, this is not the case for these delectable balls of heaven. When you don’t even want to dip them in the accompanied tahini sauce then you know their good.

Falafel Sandwich (V) 

Original hummus, their exclusive falafel is made from scratch, served on their house pita bread, topped with lettuce, tomato, parsley, and garlic tahini sauce. (Vegan)

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This was my husband’s favorite wrap as he fell head over heels in love with the falafels on the combo plate. The tomatoes and lettuce really freshen and otherwise rich, yet devine wrap.

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Hummus Sandwich (V)

Their traditional Hummus or your choice of flavored hummus, served on their house pita bread with roasted red pepper, grilled eggplant, tomato, and parsley. (Vegan)

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I preferred this particular wrap because I’m a huge fan of roasted vegetables and my only complaint is that I wish this one had more in it. That’s just me though, I’ve always been a fan of loading vegetables into my wraps to the brink of bursting. The eggplant and roasted red bell pepper were awesome, I was smiling the whole way through this one.

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Mnaqish biz-Za’tar (V)

A blend of Middle-Eastern herbs, toasted sesame seeds, and olive oil, generously spread over their house made dough and baked in their wood stone oven. (Vegan)

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This pizza-like goodness was out of this world. Baked to order and tossed in their wood stone oven, damn this was good and consequently, my husband’s favorite thing on the menu. It was crispy, chewy, savory and the diced tomatoes freshened each slice. Don’t even think about coming here and not ordering the Mnaqish biz-Za’tar!

Fatayar (V)

Their special recipe spinach stuffing wrapped in a dough triangle and baked in their wood stone oven. (Vegan)

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I can’t decided on what my favorite thing on the menu is, but whatever it may be it’ll compete with this. Baked to order, the best way (we were told) to eat this is hot. I loved it! The crust is crispy, yet chewy and the filling is a slightly tangy, spinach-lover’s dream come true.

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Chocolate Halva (V) (GF)

The lone vegan dessert, Chocolate Halva, is like the lebanese version of a peanut butter cup (my husband’s favorite thing in the world), but instead of peanuts they use tahini and instead of a little cup you get a full-on slice garnished with pistachios. I’m not going to lie, this is dense, but man is it tasty. One slice was enough for both of us.

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Now, I know this post is rather long, but I don’t want to finish without addressing one of the most admirable things about this place. The service here is like nothing else. We literally felt like the doors to a family’s home had been opened to us and we were the main guests, invited in to share an intimate meal among family and friends. It’s rare to see such attention to detail and customer service in one place, but it exists here in Karam Lebanese Deli & Catering. This isn’t just any restaurant you’re stepping into, it’s a microcosm of a warm and passionate culture, with wonderful people and kick-ass food!

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 Joelle, the most adorable girl you’ll ever meet. She just happened to be hanging out at her family’s deli.

 I don’t know what more to say, other than GO! You won’t regret it.

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