After a month of turkey, pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies, beef tenderloin, gingerbread and my other holiday favorites, my husband and I needed something different to sink our teeth into. And we knew just what we needed — our favorite Toon for Two from Zaytoon Mediterranean. The Toon, as we affectionately call it, offers hearty portions of many of our favorite Middle Eastern foods, and it always leaves us with enough leftovers for at least one lunch. Let me walk you through our most recent platter.

The bottom of the tray is lined with rice with vermicelli noodles, a Middle Eastern standby and a perfect, slightly buttery, carby complement to every thing on top of it. On the top layer, chicken shawarma — spiced, chopped, ever so slightly crisped chicken — is nestled next to grilled strips of bell peppers. Then a chicken kabob, grilled white meat chicken, competes for space with a grilled beef kabob, cooked to your preferred level of doneness. There’s also shish kafta, tubeshaped rounded patties of ground beef, char-grilled to perfection. Stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and fried kibbe round out the platter (and my figure.)

My favorite thing to do is tear off a piece of pita bread, liberally smear it with the deliciously pungent and bracing garlic sauce and top it with a bit of rice and chicken shawarma. We always start our Toon for Two with the lemony and acidiclentil soup, sopped up with the pillowy fresh bread (available when you dine in or for takeout on request.) After a season of such decadence, healthy eating is easy when it is so fantastically satisfying.

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

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Zaytoon Mediterranean

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday- Saturday (two locations)
940 Elmwood Road, Lansing
(517) 203-5728
1979 Aurelius Road, Holt
(517) 906-6402