Kismet Café in Hancock Center, Suite 200
1000 East 41st Street
Friendsgiving Celebration at the Kismet Café
What’s it like at Kismet Café?
The food is all Arab cuisine. Arab foods like the falafel and kafta, as well as the hummus and the tabbouleh are authentic – I can vouch for that! The owner of Kismet Café is Jordanian, so their recipes are Jordanian, (not Lebanese, like most Arab restaurants in the US). I love the food, but then I’m biased: Jordanian cuisine is a little closer to Iraqi cuisine than Lebanese foods are.
Kismet is more of an “eatery” or a “diner” than fancy restaurant, so don’t expect tablecloths or waiters. The food is served on trays, but you won’t be disappointed. The manager and the employees were so good to us when we went there for our November lunch. Instead of making us order at the counter, we took our places at the table and the cashier came to us to take our order, then brought the food to us when it was ready.
Their menu (with prices) is posted online at http://www.kismetcafe.com/menu.html. The website has pictures of many of the food dishes.
You can get foods like shawarma (oven roasted chicken) or falafel (deep fried chick pea patties or balls). The plate has these goodies served with sides like rice, tabbouleh, cucumber-tomato salad, French fries, and dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, an egg plant concoction. There are plenty of vegetarian sides to make a meal of it. The kafta is like a hamburger with Arabic spices.
If you’d prefer a sandwich to a plate, you can get a pita wrap with shawarma or falafel. They have non-traditional meats like gyro (hero) or even a philly cheese steak! You can get different sauces on your pita wrap or plate: tahini sauce (sesame paste), a jalapeño sauce (mildly hot), a garlic mayo sauce, hot sauce and more. All the sauces are dairy-free.
Not into the plates or the wraps? How about some lentil soup or some stuffed grape leaves? For those preferring something simple, Kismet Cafe prepares feta cheese with olives? It’s all good. A meal will cost you less than $10.
If you’re not familiar with Arabic food, you should definitely check out the pictures.
There is lots of parking in the Hancock Center, with some spots reserved as Handicapped Parking only, but none of those Handicapped spots are right in front of the Kismet Café.
The bathrooms have handicapped stalls which are adequate for anyone in a manual chair, but too small for electric chairs, I think. Unfortunately, the entrance to the restrooms have the usual heavy, heavy door. You should get help from an employee to pull that restroom door open, though pushing it open from the inside is less of a problem. I just barrel through it.
You can take MetroAccess to Kismet Café. When you reserve your ride, make sure you tell them you are going to “Kismet Café” in the Hancock Center near the HEB. And don’t forget to book your trip ahead of time – at least one day in advance!
This will be our “Friendsgiving Celebration,” since it comes right after Thanksgiving, It’s also the second day of Channukah and about three weeks before Christmas. So come to Kismet at 1 p.m. and let’s create a festive lunch to celebrate all these holidays in our own way!