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Published: Saturday, 6/15/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Alexandria Diner mixes Mediterranean, American food

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Kareem Abbey, right, owner of the Alexandria Diner, speaks with customers Joy Flansburg, left, and Amelia Lampkin, center, 10, from Sylvania, while they have lunch. Kareem Abbey, right, owner of the Alexandria Diner, speaks with customers Joy Flansburg, left, and Amelia Lampkin, center, 10, from Sylvania, while they have lunch.
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The Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce added a new member to its roster last week -- a local restaurant that serves a mix of Mediterranean and American dishes.

Alexandria Diner, 5834 Monroe St., owned and operated by Kareem Abbey and his wife Nagwa Ebraheim, is a family restaurant that mixes American classic plates, such as burgers, sweet potato fries, and a variety of wraps, with dishes inspired by the family’s birth-home, Alexandria, Egypt and other Mediterranean staples, such as beef and lamb kafta and moussaka.

Truly a family affair, Mr. Abbey and Mrs. Ebraheim of Maumee manage, with their daughters, the 25,000-square foot restaurant that seats about 50 people.

The dinner, opened in December, and was Mr. Abbey’s idea after he finished his services in the U.S. Army.

“I served in the Army for five years, and wanted to spend more time with my family,” Mr. Abbey said.

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He had a limousine business in 2012, but it didn’t pan out, so he decided to open a diner in Starlite Plaza.

Since the eatery opened, many customers keep coming back.

“The sweet potato fries are crispy on the outside, said Joy Flansburg, 72, who was enjoying lunch with her daughter, Krista Lampkin and her granddaughter Amelia Lampkin.

Kafta over rice is one meals served in the Alexandria Diner. Kafta over rice is one meals served in the Alexandria Diner.
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Three generations of the family agree that the food, and Mr. Abbey’s accommodating service makes them repeat customers.

“And he accommodates you even if your a picky eater,” Emelia, 10, said.

In the kitchen, Mr. Abbey has two food managers. Kholud Jabri, of Jordan, oversees the hummus, boiling the ceci beans, and using just squeezed lemon juice. She also finely chops the parsley for tabouli salad, and rolls the vegetarian or beef and lamb grape leaves.

Maria Stoude manages the American side of the menu, including prime steak dinners, chicken burgers, and customer-inspired sandwiches like the Rebecca Special.

“It’s philly steak and cheese on a flatbread, and he put some special spices on it,” said customer Rebecca Hoak of Toledo. She works next door and comes in daily for lunch.

Mr. Abbey said he has not turned a profit on his investment.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunches and dinners. It is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Delivery is free within a five mile radius. For information, call 419-824-0008 or visit www.alexandriadiner.com.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com



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