Shish Kebabs Meat Platter in Jordan!

Mark Wiens

On Day 4 of our trip to Jordan, we started off in Amman where we had a wonderful simple and local style breakfast of manakish, which are rounds of dough which are flattened, topped with simple things like zaatar and cheese, and baked in an oven. We then took a day trip to As-Salt or also just known as Salt, a historical city about a 45 minute drive from the center of Amman. The highlight of the day for me was the giant shish kebab meat platter that we ate for lunch!

00:38 Manakish – Manakish is something you’ll eat a lot of when you visit the Levant and in Jordan it’s a very popular snack and meal. Manakish is a piece of rounded dough which is flattened out and topped in a variety of different things. We ordered a manakish topped with zaatar, a special herb thyme blend, and also a couple topped with Jordanian white cheese, which is similar to halloumi cheese. They were all excellent mainly because they were baked so fresh and just used simple but delicious ingredients. Price – 1 JD ($1.41) each

04:20 Day to to As-Salt, Historic Old Salt Museum – 1 JD ($1.41) – Out main activity of the day was taking a short day trip to Salt, an ancient and historical city that was one of the commercial and trade centers of Jordan. We started off at the Historic Salt Museum, where we had a tour and learned a little bit about the importance of the city and how it influenced and shaped Jordan. We then took a stroll through Hamam street, the center old market street in Salt.

07:27 Al-Salam Restaurant – For lunch we went to a Jordanian meat bbq restaurant in the center of Salt called Al-Salam Restaurant. The first dish I tasted was the hummus ma lahma, a plate of hummus topped with minced meat fried in lard – it took hummus to the next level – it was absolutely incredible. Then came galayet with meat, a thick tomato based dish with minced meat in it as well. It was delicious with bread. From there, this Jordanian meal just got better and better. Arayes is a dish of bread stuffed with minced lamb and seasoning, then grilled over charcoal. The fat from the lamb makes the bread nearly taste like it’s deep fried because it gets so crispy, yet it’s merely grilled – and it was insanely delicious. But the ultimate winner of our Jordanian meat feast this time was the platter of shish kebabs and lamb pieces. The minced meat was mixed with parsley and seasoning, salted quite heavily, then grilled over hot charcoal. The mix and ratio of meat to fat ensured that the meat had an incredibly pronounced smoky taste. Total price – 25 JD ($35.26) for 4

14:01 Anabtawi Sweets – For dessert we took a walk down the road to a famous Jordanian sweets shop called Anabtawi Sweets, where Fadi ordered a mix of different desserts including hareeseh, one of the famous desserts, cream fingers, and warbat. They were all very sweet, but alright in small portions – I’m not a huge desserts lover. My favorite dessert was probably the warbat, it was kind of a cross between a cheese cake and baklava. What I really enjoyed about eating this dessert is the Arabic coffee that went with it. After having this cup of Arabic coffee, I was immediately hooked.

17:26 Thyme & More – Although it was unplanned at first, we decided to stop by a place called Thyme & More to taste some different and unique varieties of za’atar, a thyme and herb blend that’s very common in Jordan, and something I really loved eating. We tasted some incredible za’atar, and then the owner kindly invited us to have dinner at his restaurant where he served us some pizza and a giant calzone.

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