lashish3117-A N. Sharon Amity Road

Middle Eastern
Owner: Izzat Freitekh
La Shish on Facebook

Fresh and healthy Middle Eastern mainstays such as chicken shawarma, baba ghannouj, falafel and of course kabobs shine here.

Izzat Freitekh knows numerous Charlotte restaurants serve shish kabobs and wraps. Some of those restaurants even say they serve Middle Eastern food, like his restaurant does—but they’re not the same as La Shish Kabob.

Like any cuisine, there are variations of Middle Eastern cuisine. La Shish Kabob, a small café nestled in a shopping center at the intersection of Albemarle and Sharon Amity, serves food familiar to people from Jerusalem, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, Freitekh explained.

The dishes have similar names such as kabobs and shawarmas (think gyro), but the meat tastes di!erent and the bread is different, Freitekh said.

At La Shish Kabob, Freitekh serves up Middle Eastern mainstays such as chicken shawarma, baba ghannouj, falafel and of course kabobs. Falafel, a street food staple, is one of the café’s hottest sellers. Freitekh said the mixed grill—beef, lamb and chicken skewers—is another of the café’s signature platters. The three large skewers come with a huge helping of basmati rice and sides. The lentil soup is flavorful and a good accompaniment.

Freitekh takes pride in ensuring that all of the dishes are homemade. Each day, there’s a different dish as a featured special.

“Everything is fresh and healthy,” he said.

During a recent visit, Freitekh had an enthusiastic conversation with a customer from Egypt who was excited to hear about the ingredients used in La Shish Kabob’s baba ghannouj. The customer, a woman who has lived in Charlotte since the ’70s, said she has watched the city’s restaurant o!erings slowly begin to reflect the diversity of its residents.

La Shish Kabob is part of this shift. His restaurant is beginning to get more customers who aren’t familiar with Mediterranean cuisine, Freitekh said. After owning a popular restaurant in Jerusalem for more than 20 years, he finally opened La Shish Kabob at his son’s urging.

“It is not secure [in Jerusalem],” Freitekh said. “I am very happy here.”

– Profile written by Tonya Jameson