New Find: Rami's, Coolidge Corner, Brookline

Rami's, Coolidge Corner, Brookline
It's rare when you stumble upon a Boston restaurant with a huge cult following that you've never heard of and it's somewhat of an exhilarating experience when it happens.  I hope I'm not throwing my "street cred" out the window when I embarrassingly admit that I've walked by Rami's in Coolidge Corner hundreds, heck, thousands of times and had yet to venture in.  Shame on me and lesson learned.  If a place has been around for 20+ years, they're probably worth checking out.

Anxious fans of Rami's
Upon entering Rami's, my friend Fiona from A Boston Food Diary and I found ourselves in a small space jam packed with some very passionate fans of this spot.  Kind of in daze, as if we had just landed in a foreign country without any sense of how we got there, I took a moment to take it all in.  The place was buzzing with loyal fans excitedly speaking in languages of all sorts as they heartily dug into their generously portioned meals.  A crowd of people had also assembled around the open kitchen watching three people hustle around preparing food.  They were watching with such admiration and intentness, you'd think that they were watching the plot to a movie unfold.  I was broken from my intense "space out" session by Haim, who anxiously and excitedly welcomed us to his restaurant.  With eyes wide with excitement and arms happily flailing about he shouted, "Ladies! Please, please, please have a seat!  Grab a soda from the fridge and get comfortable.  I'm going to make you something special!" and with that, he clapped his hands and disappeared into the kitchen to get to work.  Fiona and I grabbed ourselves a beverage and sat down.

Within a matter of minutes, we were presented with a giant plastic plate full of fresh Israeli delicacies and Haim went to town explaining what was in front of us. "Beef Kebab! Falafel! Houmos (made in-house three times a day!) Chicken! Salad!" he excitedly said as he pointed out each component of the "Rami's Special".  He then proudly declared that all food was Glatt Kosher and took the time to explain what that means (that's when a Rabbi deems the status of the meat to be of the highest standards.) "Do you like hot sauce?" he asked and we both shook our heads.  He disappeared and then reappeared in a flash.  "Here! Try this, you'll like this." he said as he presented us with an herb-y looking sauce.  Lastly, he placed fluffy Pita bread on the table and encouraged us to dig in and enjoy.

The "Rami Special"
Crispy Falafel Balls in Houmos
Fluffy Pita Pockets
Pear Nectar Israeli Drink
Fork in hand, I reached for a falafel ball.  It had a nice slick layer of houmos coating the bottom of it.  As I popped it into my mouth, I was surprised by the extremely crisp texture of the falafel and how well it balanced with the cool, nutty houmos.  The chicken bits that sat next to the houmos-soaked falafel were flavored with a peppy blend of exotic spices.  Resting on top of the chicken were two beef kebabs that were hot and perfectly seasoned as well.  All of the meat came with a salad of cucumbers, tomato bits, pickle slices and a creamy dressing drizzled on top.  To me, the salad was not the best part of the meal, but that wasn't a deal breaker by any means.  While the cucumbers were fresh, the tomatoes were a little mealy (another victim of tomatoes in November, they're just not good anywhere).  I also didn't care much for the pickles so I picked around them.  On the flip side, the pita bread was outstanding.  Fluffy and dense at the same time and with such a fresh bread flavor, I loved dipping it in the houmos and then stuffing it to the brim with assorted meats.  At the end of the meal, I was pleasantly surprised and left happily full and with a strong admiration for Haim and the work he does there.  After sitting there for even half an hour, I could tell we weren't getting special treatment because we are bloggers. During the course of our meal, I observed him walking around to each table, taking a genuine interest in how they were liking the food and treating every single person that walks through that door as if they are a close friend.  If a place like that doesn't deserve a cult following, I don't know what does.

Rami's Coolidge Corner

Rami's on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I was eating it for a few years before I ever even when to their restaurant. In college, student groups would order Rami's for literally every school function. They would promote their events with "Free Rami's!!" I'm glad you enjoyed the full experience of eating in the restaurant. It's a lot fun. Makes you wish you spoke Hebrew so you knew what they were saying.

Rachel said...

Yes! I love Rami's! I've been going there since I was little girl (although thanks for reminding me I am long overdue for a trip) and I think they have the best falafel I've ever had in the US. Well, beside's my dad's falafel :)

I'm glad you "discovered" Ramis, next time you go, make sure to get borekas!

Jen said...

I've never been there either, but apparently I need to go!

Rachel Blumenthal said...

Congrats! This post is featured in BostonFoodBloggers.com's Restaurant Reviews of the Week: http://www.bostonfoodbloggers.com/2010/11/restaurant-reviews-of-week_19.html

Jenny said...

I love Rami's! It's a little taste of Israel right in Brookline :) I usually go there if I'm not sucked into Zaftigs first.

Alicia said...

Sounds delish!! I love Falafel, I'll have to check this place out sometime!

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