Abu’s – New and Improved!
When one thinks of Middle Eastern food in Milwaukee, chances are that the East Side landmark, Abu’s Jerusalem of the Gold quickly comes to mind. Mr. and Mrs. M. have not been to Abu’s since before it closed for remodeling quite some time ago. But Halloween’s full moon called for shawarma and hummus, and Abu’s was the place for us to go.
Having changed ownership since the renovation, it appears to have slightly more seating than before — and more comfortable seating, at that. (How they accomplished this very welcome improvement is beyond us.) The new owner, Firas Jarrar, managed to bring a lively new look to the restaurant, with sunny striped awnings over the huge windows framing the people-traffic on Farwell Avenue. The decorating remains in progress, as Jarrar continues to mull over what color to paint the interior — a topic of discussion brought on by the three, conspicuous red-paint blotches on the south wall.
The improvements are not all cosmetic, as Jarrar banished the old microwave from the kitchen in favor of all-fresh ingredients for the new menu. The established favorites of Abu’s cuisine are still available, such as overstuffed shawarma sandwiches for only $4.49 ($5.99 for large); and shawarma plates that include generous helpings of delicate, saffron rice or French fries, plus zesty Middle Eastern salad and creamy, luxurious hummus for $7.99. Succulent chicken and all-beef shawarma is an option now, as are shawarma and traditional-topping pizza for about $9.99. Abu’s offers an extensive vegan-friendly menu of Middle Eastern favorites prepared without meat, egg or dairy. Egyptian chili is an old favorite that’s not listed on the menu, but Jarrar was kind enough to specially make a spicy cup of it for Mr. M. And, of course, you can still wash it all down with a tall glass of famously refreshing rosewater lemonade for less than $1.50 (ahhh!). You can also choose from a wide variety of sodas, water, tea or coffee. The service for all modes of dining – eat in, take-out or delivery – also seems faster than before, provided a driver is available for delivery runs.
Abu’s food and décor are greatly improved, not that the old, award-winning Abu’s was bad to begin with. Pop in and treat yourself to some of the best Middle Eastern food and service in Milwaukee the next time you’re cruising down Farwell Avenue and are feeling peckish!
Abu’s Restaurant (website is under construction)
1978 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI
Major credit cards accepted.
Make your own Middle Eastern Tahini sauce, also called Taratour sauce!
1 cup sesame seed paste (widely available in a lot of American supermarkets)
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup water
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients and whisk until smooth. This takes a couple of minutes.
Recipe makes about a cup and a half. Serve as a dip for falafel, pita bread, raw veggies, crackers, chips or whatever your heart desires. Rich and zesty, this sauce also makes a great dressing on shawarma meat and salad!