Ready to take your taste buds on an express trip to the Middle East?
The Tsadok family, whose Ahuva’s Grill in Hewlett has become a neighborhood favorite, have expanded with a quick-service restaurant on Rockaway Turnpike. Ahuva’s Express specializes in shawarma, or diced up meat from the Middle East, typically served on pita bread with salad and hummus.
“I kept it simple here. Nothing here takes more than five minutes to make,” said Avi Tsadok, manager of the eatery at 480 Rockaway Turnpike.
Ahuva’s glatt kosher shawarma comes in two varieties — chicken and a lamb-turkey combination — cooked on spits so the fat drips down to keep the meat moist and juicy. Both feature matriarch Ahuva Tsadok’s Yemenite spices — 15 to be exact, which gives the meat a unique flavor that explodes in your mouth.
Locals, as well as residents of Brooklyn and Queens, have been flocking to the eatery, according to Avi. Seating is limited, so it’s best to avoid peak times if you want to enjoy shawarma there.
In fact, business has already been so good in the three weeks since opening, the Tsadoks are considering franchising, Avi said.
The family also operates neighboring Giant Bagel, “which fell into” their laps after the previous owner walked away because of Superstorm Sandy.
“We wanted to catch you for breakfast with a bagel and catch you for lunch and dinner,” Avi said.
Avi’s father, Haiym, got his start in the bagel business, operating a store with the same name in Manhattan. Along with kettle-boiled bagels, the new store serves salads and pizza, and is open until 7 p.m. There’s even some crossover with Ahuva’s, according to manager Mati Tsadok. Some customers put Yemeni spices on their bagel with eggs.
“One of the keys is to keep a clean place with friendly faces,” Mati said. “We’re happy to be here, and the reception has been phenomenal.”
Editor’s note: Ahuva’s Express provided Patch with gratis food.Want your business featured on Patch? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-754-9411.