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Arabian Breeze

Name: Arabian Breeze
Location: 3223 NE Broadway
Portland, OR
Contact information: 503-445-4700
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: Most dishes $6-$10
Reservation recommended: Not taken
Good for: Americanized Middle Eastern
Insider tip: Care to smoke some hooka? Buy some and borrow a pipe to smoke in the back garden

Review: There are two very cool things about Arabian Breeze: the decor, and the large, freshly cooked pita that is brought right to your table along with deliciously herbed olive oil for dipping. Although not as novel, but not to be overlooked as it is the main attraction…the food isn’t bad either.

The owners of Nicholas’ Restaurant opened the doors of Arabian Breeze in May of this year after an extensive renovation. The brightly colored building shows off a small kitchen in the front window, where the bread is prepared. The low ceiling (and lighting) adds intimacy, although the hard benches do their best to counteract it.

Upon seating, you are brought a freshly cooked pita, placed on a piece of wax paper and a raised tray (like the ones used for pizza). You’ll make a mess dipping it into the olive oil and spices, but it’s hard to avoid with flaky bread.

I had the falafel with cilantro, onions, garlic, lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. There was definitely a slight kick, which I liked, and the falafel was neither dry or too crumbly.

Arabian Breeze also offers an assortment of be riz, rice platters, shawarma, kababs and a number of specialty offerings.

The restaurant is very vegan friendly and lists dishes that are are suitable, or can be adjusted for vegan diets.