Zakia Deli's Kafta Sandwich: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 6

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Spicy meatballs of love...
​The simple joy of a gently spiced meat sandwich filled with hummus should not be overlooked, especially when you can survey its beautiful contents through the deli glass before they meet their enrobing pita. Add to that a cheery person who assembles your lunch with a kind of graceful efficiency and all you're left to do is find a window seat looking out upon Stinson Avenue.

Meet the kafta meatball sandwich -- creamy chickpea spread and a ground beef patty full of love. What could make lunch better?

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Calling all kafta lovers

Family owned and operated, Zakia Deli is a smallish counter shop at the corner of Kennedy Street and Stinson Avenue that sees weekday crowds availing themselves of the red seats and Lebanese and American offerings. Some swear by the grilled chicken, but not this diner. My eyes anxiously scan the case -- eyeing up the falafel, mjadra and lubnay, but ultimately stopping on the stretched, long meatballs known as kafta.

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Bites have been had...

While the meatballs in question are a rather homely sight, they taste like the best savory beef gingersnap you ever ate. Made of ground beef mixed with parsley, onions and herbs (perhaps bhar helou), the kafta is wrapped up snug in a large pita with tomato, onion, more parsley and your choice of plain or red pepper hummus. It's fresh, spicy, cool and meaty with that hint of exotic flair, not to mention the fact that it couldn't be easier to swing by the joint -- whether eating in or taking out.

Zakia Deli, your no nonsense kafta meatball sandwich satiates my noon time cravings. Keep your American lunchables if you must, so long as you never give up this Lebanese herbed meat treat.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 7: Black Sea's spicy eggplant
No. 8: Wolf's extra virgin honey
No. 9: Sun Street Bread's biscuit sandwich
No 10: La Loma's puerco tamale
No. 11: River Chocolate Company's Mango Tango
No. 12: Triple Rock's mother biker
No. 13: Fat Lorenzo's blood orange gelato
No. 14: Loring Kitchen & Bar's zucchini fries
No. 15: Trung Nam's coconut croissant
No. 16: Bryant-Lake Bowl's grilled cheese with ham
No. 17:  Zumbro Cafe's chicken wild rice hash
No. 18:  Skinner's Reuben Pizza
No 19:  Los Ocampo's Sope with Chicharrone Prensado
No. 20: Good Day Cafe's Glazed Doughnut Pancakes
No. 21: El Taco Riendo's tacos
No. 22: Broders' fresh pasta
No. 23: Burger Jones' salted caramel shake
No. 24: Rinata's eggplant involtini
No. 25: Smack Shack's lobster roll
No. 26: Moto-i's steamed hoisin pork buns
No. 27: The Happy Gnome's MN game burger
No. 28: Patisserie Margo's zuppa englese torte
No. 29: Heartland's Kansas City strip steak
No. 30: Tum Rup Thai's Mee Kah Teeh
No. 31: Dolsot Bibimbap at Dong Yang Oriental Food
No. 32: Piccolo's Scrambled Eggs with Pig's feet
No. 33: Meritage's pommes frites
No. 34: Travail's Fried Chicken
No. 35: Hmong Village's stuffed chicken wings
No. 36: Cafe Maude's Now You Know
No. 37: Urban Eatery's Asian pork sliders
No. 38: Isles Bun & Coffee's puppy dog tails
No. 39: Surdyk's Flight's chicken báhn mì
No. 40: Sunny Side Up Cafe's Santa Fe Railroad French Toast
No. 41: Szechuan Spice's chicken with double chili pepper
No. 42: Dancing Ganesha's Chicken 65
No. 43: Bradstreet's Black Walnut Old Fashioned
No. 44: Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll
No. 45: Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs
No. 46: Peninsula's chili tofu
No. 47: Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeño poppers
No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's seafood and tofu hotpot
No. 55: The Inn's Polish Delight cocktail
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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