Sinbad's Restaurant: Halal Middle Eastern Food

Categories: Dare to Dine

Sinbad's Combo.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Sinbad's Combo, packed with tasty onions, chicken tikka, schawirma meat over rice, lamb and chicken kabobs.
Every town has a handful of sketchy restaurants. Often it's the joints that look the most questionable that hold the secrets of culinary enlightenment. Then again, they might hold nothing more than a one-way ticket to whatever you stuffed down your gob firing back out from both ends. It's the most adventurous of eaters who are willing to risk back alley slop houses and decaying lunch counters to find out if the scariest of local eateries lead to Heaven or Hell.

Last time 'round, Web Editor Jonathan McNamara dared Chow Bella contributor Carol Blonder to dine at the hidden lunch counter at Paldo Market in Tempe. This week, Blonder dares fellow Chow Bella-ite Erica O'Neil to step food in Sinbad, a dusty-looking joint on the west side.

Sometimes we think the West Valley is populated by nothing but chain restaurants and run down strip malls, but every once and a while those strip malls hold a gem. Consider one near at 35th Avenue and Glendale. Look past the Dollar Tree, Little Caesar's, and alternative high school, and make a bee line for Sinbad's, a Middle Eastern joint with a turban-clad mascot advertising an all-halal menu. It might need to be dusted off and polished a bit, but the west side cleans up nice.

Dips Bread Sinbad's.jpg
Erica O'Neil
When you eat-in at Sinbad's, you get a full spread of dips, dishes, flat and fluffy bread.
​Step into Sinbad's and the first thing you'll notice is how small it is. It's a bitsy restaurant about three times as long as it is wide, with a walk-up counter where you order whether you're taking it to-go or eating in. Snag a bottled drink from the cooler (there's no fountain drink here), and grab a booth with a view of the lone TV mounted toward the back of the restaurant. We recommend it because there's an eclectic rotation of Arabic and American pop music videos. 

As it was our first time at Sinbad's, we opted for the Sinbad Combo ($17.99) and an order of stuffed grape leaves ($3.99). Little did we know that an entire array of starters come complimentary so you can nosh while your kebabs are grilled. The hummus was super smooth and sprinkled with sumac, the baba ghanouj was smoky, and the array of Arabic pickled bites were crisp and tart palate pleasers. Plus the grape leaves came with a pile of tabouleh, so we were noshing on a serious sampler platter before our Sinbad Combo even arrived. Thankfully, we had plenty of nibbles, pita and a denser, fluffier bread for the main course.

Thankfully, we left plenty of room for the main event, the Sinbad Combo. Two huge lamb kebabs, two ground chicken kebabs, a mound of chicken tikka, and a pile of fluffy rice topped with crispy, pan-fried schwarma meat. Wrap that succulent mass of meat in pita, top with pickled cabbage or sumac-sprinkled onions, and indulge. We ended up with bellies stuffed with delicious Middle Eastern food, and for a song compared to the massive feast we just scarfed. 

You don't need to dare us a second time to check out Sinbad's. We're well aware that we shouldn't judge a strip mall by its (slightly ghetto) surroundings. Stay tuned for the next dare -- and leave us suggestions in the comments.

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Location Info

Sinbad's

3544 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
Jon Vosper
Jon Vosper

This restaurant has very good food.  I have eaten quit a bit of Mediterranean food and this place is one of the best.  The fresh bread (sorta like pita) is incredible as it comes off the oven piping hot.  

Aso Rash
Aso Rash

i have tryed to many Middle Estern restaurant and this place of off 35th ave and glendale ave is the best and really  good also they give alots of food for what we pay also they r  really  respectfull  and im going to get some fish and kabab right now i like to eat there

Carolb
Carolb

Thanks, Erica! Had a feeling this dusty neighborhood strip mall spot might be serving it up right.

Stephanie Downie
Stephanie Downie

I'm intrigued by the restaurant, but just so you know, this makes no sense: " We ended up with bellies stuffed with delicious Middle Eastern food, and for a mint compared to the massive feast we just scarfed. "  A "mint" is a vast amount of money, a fortune.

circlekclerk
circlekclerk

I have eaten at many mid east establishments in phoenix, and despite its rugged look, sinbads is phenominal. Would deffinately recommend trying it out. Also if you go, get their garlic hummus.

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

you are right stephanie! thanks for catching our mistake.

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