Droubi’s is a bakery, grocery store, and restaurant located in Southwest Houston at 7333 Hillcroft between a used car dealership and a ratty looking strip of shops, some look at this setting and think they must be in the wrong part of town, but I see character.
Though the decor is not much to look at, it is the cultural experience you get that I find attractive, from the fresh baked middle eastern pastries, the isles of groceries of dried spices, to the wall of hookah pipes. The culture is what really decorates.
As for the food, it is never disappointing, with a menu full of roasted lamb shanks, kibbeh in yogurt sauce, roasted eggplant, turmeric rubbed potatoes, not to mention the chicken, lamb, and beef shawarmas.
I have to go for the kibbeh every time I see it there, it is a Lebanese meat ball with shell of ground beef and bulgar wheat then filled with seasoned lamb and pine nuts which then is then covered with a dill and yogurt sauce called Taziki. Stuffing meat with more
meat, a practice I am happy to see thriving to this day.
If kibbeh is not your thing, there is always a falafel sandwich, a glob of chickpeas and veggie puree formed into
a patty then thrown into hot oil and frying the outside to golden crunchy perfection leaving the inside moist and soft, which is then usually served with tomatoes, onions, and tahini which is a roasted sesame seed sauce. I could
become a full on vegetarian as long as I am within walking distance of a good falafel.
The roasted lamb shank at Droubi’s is the way all lamb shanks should be cooked, requiring only a fork to peel off
the strands of lamb meat that have been simmering in there own juices with a kick cumin and wrapping up the leftovers in a warm pita.
Food like this has always been a favorite of mine, it tells a story of the lower class citizens back when this
entire menu would be considered peasant food, and how the people at the time didn’t have many options for food but they took what they had and improvised. They took the toughest part of the lamb and with a few spices, braised the
shank for a few hours and the end result is now a renowned dish.
To finish off the meal you should find your way over to the pastry display where there are racks of various kinds
of cookies, baklava, and other sweets. The classic baklava is a chunky paste of pistachios with honey and sandwiched in between light flaky and crisp filo dough almost like a Mediterranean peanut butter sandwich.
Truly a great place to go for lunch or an early dinner and just grab something to take home and eat later. My only complaint is that there is no food truck selling this stuff just outside of my favorite bar so I can grab a beef shawarma or Falafel for the road.
7333 Hillcroft Street, Houston – (713) 988-5897