“We aren’t Mediterranean!” These are the words that first-timers to Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill should remember lest they expect the chain of restaurants to offer Mediterranean dishes alongside Middle Eastern dishes. The chain’s management has repeatedly stated that its culinary inspiration isn’t from Spain, Italy and Greece but from Israel, Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon, among other Middle Eastern nations.
Even the spices are imported from these countries while the recipes used for the dishes are authentic to their place of origin, such as the hummus from Egypt, the baba ghanoush from Lebanon, and the harissa from Morocco. The Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill prices are reasonable considering the costs of the ingredients and the quality of the food, as well as the excellent customer service.
Below are the latest Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill menu prices.
|Chicken Shawarma Pita||$7.95|
|Chicken Shawarma Hummus Bowl||$9.45|
|Falafel Hummus Bowl||$8.85|
|Steak Hummus Bowl||$10.05|
Basmati Rice Bowl
|Chicken Shawarma Basmati Rice Bowl||$8.95|
|Falafel Basmati Rice Bowl||$8.35|
|Steak Basmati Rice Bowl||$9.55|
|Chicken Shawarma Couscous Bowl||$8.95|
|Falafel Couscous Bowl||$8.35|
|Steak Couscous Bowl||$9.55|
|Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl||$8.95|
|Falafel Salad Bowl||$8.35|
|Steak Salad Bowl||$9.55|
Pick 2 Plate
|Pick 2 Plate||$11.99|
Chicken Breast Kebab Plate
|Chicken Breast Kebab Plate||$11.99|
Sides And Beverages
|Regular Fountain Drink||$2.45|
|Large Fountain Drink||$2.99|
|Side Of Basmati Rice||$2.85|
|Side Of Couscous||$2.85|
|Small Baba Ghanoush||$4.25|
|Large Baba Ghanoush||$6.25|
|Original Baklava Square||$1.75|
|Sea Salt Caramel Baklava Square||$1.75|
|Choose 2 Proteins (Chicken Shawarma & Steak)||$11.99|
|Choose 2 Proteins (Chicken Shawarma & Falafel)||$11.99|
|Choose 2 Proteins (Steak & Falafel)||$11.99|
|Choose 3 Proteins (Chicken Shawarma, Steak & Falafel)||$12.99|
|Falafel (By The Dozen)||$9.99|
|Six Pack Of Pitas||$5.25|
|Assorted Baklava (Catering)||$11.00|
|No Kid Hungry Donation||$1.00|
In 2009, Sahar Sander and Elan Burger founded Naf Naf Grill as a restaurant that offered Mediterranean food in a quick service setting. But a rebranding campaign has changed its focus, as well as the color and logo of its brand, from the all-too-broad Mediterranean cuisine to Middle Eastern cuisine only. Even its name was changed from the original Naf Naf Grill to the Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill to reflect such a change – and the chain doesn’t suffer from a culinary identity crisis, unlike many of its competitors.
At present, the fast casual restaurant chain has 39 locations in Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; many more are under development. The chain is also a multi-awarded brand with recognitions coming from QSR Magazine (Top 40 Hottest Startups in the Fast Casual category), Nation’s Restaurant News (2016 Hot Concept), and Fast Casual (Top 100 Movers and Shakers).
What They’re Famous For
Naf Naf continues to build its enviable reputation on authentic Middle Eastern food – and when it says authentic, it means that the ingredients are imported and the recipes are tested for authenticity, if necessary. Here, chicken falafel and shawarma are as authentic as can be so much so that many diners who have been to the Middle East say that they were transported back, figuratively, to the place.
By the way, the term “naf naf” literally means “to fan the flame” in Hebrew. Every Naf Naf restaurant then wants to fan the flame of love for the best in Middle Eastern food among its customers.
Why Eat Here
Keep in mind that there are no Mediterranean ingredients, such as kalamata olives and feta cheese, in any of the Naf Naf restaurants. Instead, the food are as authentic Middle Eastern as can be, as previously mentioned from the pita sandwiches to the Iraqi amba. If you’re on the hunt for the best food from the Middle East, then you should come here!
Like many fast casual restaurants, Naf Naf restaurants offer their customers build-your-own food. Basically, you choose either bowls or pita sandwiches, followed by your choice in green leafy vegetables, hummus, basmati rice or couscous, and then make your choice in one or three proteins and vegetable toppings. The final choice is in the sauce, which may be Lebanese tahini (i.e., fondly called as the Middle Eastern ketchup), Iraqi amba with fenugreek and pickled mango, or Yemeni skhug.
Most of the ingredients are made from scratch, when possible, and it’s no mean feat considering the chain’s growing number; many of its competitors either have a central commissary or outsource many of its ingredients for the build-your-own bar. Each Naf Naf restaurant, for example, makes and carves the shawarma on-site and, thus, meat cones aren’t present. This is true for the falafels, coarsely ground sans the fillers (e.g., bread), as well as for the pita bread being rolled and baked on site, all day, every day.
The pita bread is perfect for pairing with the hummus spread made from chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, and tahini. The fresh chicken shawarma is a must-have because it’s just so delicious, thanks to the chicken marinated in dry rub seasoning before being roasted the day after. The steaks are also marinated overnight in a blend of Middle Eastern seasonings and grilled to perfection before served it’s on a plate.
The fresh chopped salad, which usually consists of several types of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, and purple cabbage with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, is a meal on its own, if you want. There are also seasoned sumac onions and fresh cucumber pickles, if you’re into these kinds of food, as well as extras like hand-cut fries and fresh lentil soup.
The selections at Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill isn’t as extensive as its competitors’ but there’s a good reason for it. The chain wants to maintain a very narrow focus, particularly on Middle Eastern food, so the ingredients are limited but are of the highest quality possible.
Be sure to check out the Naf Perks app, too, for the opportunity to earn and redeem points for freebies, mostly food, and to enjoy special offers and order ahead.
To learn more about Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill or to find a location near you, visit their website at nafnafgrill.com.