Part of learning about different cultures is engaging in the food aspect of such. If you are like me you love trying foods from all over the world. Habibi restaurant on 127 west 14th street will satisfy even the pickiest person’s needs. They specialize in Arabic cuisine and I can guarantee you it is the best in Erie. The food here is prepared just as it is in my country. Every dish is served with love in an unforgettable atmosphere. Not to mention the restaurant offers a hookah bar as well. If you are looking to learn more about Arabic culture than this is definitely the place to go.
As soon as you walk through the doors of Habibi you are greeted and seated. There has never been a single time where I had to wait. If you are there to eat and smoke you will be directed to a different section. This room is bright red with beautiful carpet. They offer many flavors of hookah such as blueberry, double apple, and pineapple. Hookah is flavored tobacco that is smoked out of a special device. They even have flavor changing hookah. Personally I would recommend grape berry. If you are choosing just to eat there they take you to a smaller section with purple and yellow chairs and walls. This room simplistic in design but serves its purpose.Habibi specializes in several traditional Arabic dishes. They have things like chicken kabob, kabsa, and showroma. Chicken Kabob is very similar to American shiskabob, kabsa is rice and chicken with Arabic seasoning, and showroma is similar to a chicken wrap. Habibi is also very vegetarian friendly. They offer hummus and other vegetable dishes. They are all very delicious and affordable. My favorite dish would have to be the showroma. I also love Baklava for desert, it’s a delicious pastry that is filled with nuts surrounded by a flaky crescent. The waitresses are very willing to help answer any questions about these dishes as well.
There are certain standards that I and generally everyone else looks for when eating out. Service is one of the most important factors to me. I’m sure everyone can account to having to wait an extremely long time for their food at least once in their life. This can ruin the entire experience no matter how delicious the food is. At Habibi the food is served to you very quickly without any problems. The waitress comes by several times while you are there asking if anything is needed. The service here is wonderful and others can account to this as well.
The atmosphere here is without a doubt “jameel” which means beautiful in Arabic. You will not find a single crumb on the tables. They take cleanliness very seriously here. The tables are arranged very nicely and everything is color coordinated. It is a great place to enjoy a nice, quiet family dinner. The menus are also very neat and well organized. They give a brief description and photo of each dish. This really helps first timers to see what exactly they will be getting. Unlike McDonalds, the food looks exactly like the picture.
When you visit Habibi restaurant I guarantee you will not leave hungry. The amount of food you get for your money is unbelievable. Whenever I eat here I always have to get a take home container. For as little as $7 you can have enough food for two meals. Also, all the meat they serve here are raised without any steroids or chemicals. All the ingredients are fresh and never outdated.
If Habibi could improve in any way I would suggest that they expand to other people besides those of my culture. Whenever I go here I just only see Arabic people, it is very rare to see anyone else. I think maybe they should offer some sort of promotion for college students, so that everyone can discover the mouthwatering foods here.
I think if Habibi was a little closer to Gannon more people would fall in love. Many students enjoy going to Kasablanca, which is very similar to Habibi but isn’t nearly as good. At kasablance the hookah and food is a lot more expensive. To me their food tastes kind of bland as well. Americans need to be introduced to the right Arabic food to get hooked.
Another fault that this restaurant has is that its website has very limited information. I searched everywhere and could not seem to find the hours of operation. While glancing through the site I noticed the comments and reviews. Someone claimed to had driven all the way from Jamestown and the restaurant was closed. I think they really need to generate a better site so they can increase their business sales.
I know that everyone has different taste buds but with the variety of food here there is something for everyone. Whether you want a salad, hummus, chicken, lamb, of beef, Habibi’s has it all. With great prices, a clean atmosphere, great service, and relaxing environment what more could you ask for?
If you need an extra nudge to visit Habibi, just go to international night here at Gannon and try some of the dishes from Saudi. I can assure you that your tastbuds will be begging you for more. Many times people just stick to what they know and the problem with this is that you will never know if there is better out there. I have always been pleased with every trip I have taken here. I have never encountered even a single problem, which is very rare in the restaurant world. I’m very grateful I was able to find an Arabic restaurant with such great quality and variety.