Mary Tutwiler

The sultans of shawarma

by Mary Tutwiler

Lafayette loves Lebanese food. Grape leaves and hummus are so ubiquitous around here they pop up on otherwise all-American menus and nobody even comments. Sultan Café & Grill is the latest addition to the Middle-Eastern movement. Owner Mustafa Ozen is actually Turkish. His partner, Ramzi Nassour is Lebanese. The running joke between the two men involves a disagreement about whether the kibbe and kefta, the baba ghanouge and chicken shawarma, the Lebanese tea and Turkish coffee, hail from Beirut or Istanbul. For customers who want an all-American menu, there’s baked potatoes and steak sandwiches, but for those with a taste for the Mediterranean, go for the tang of yogurty tzatziki and lemon splashed dolmas.

Sultan, like all good food destinations, is a little hard to find. You have to know that North Bertrand is a little dogleg off Eraste Landry. If you’re coming up Bertrand from the Congress intersection, take a right on Eraste Landry, then a left at the Cracker Barrel. Sultan is on the left in a newly renovated building. Nothing on the menu is over $10, and the fresh lemonade is a nice summer cooler with lunch. Call the Sultan at 456-6020.