Ouse Gulli has a belief that if an otherwise ethnic environment was removed from a restaurant that one should still be able to draw in customers based on the quality of the food. Add friendly customer service and a modern feel to the mix, and what you have is a Middle Eastern restaurant – deconstructed.
“Not everyone wants to have the ethnic-atmosphere experience,” Guilli explained. At CK Mediterranean Grille and Catering (CK standing for Café Kabob), the emphasis is on the food, and that’s where the ethnicity can be found. No darkened seating, no cultural music playing in the background, no on-site demonstrations of bread making. Instead, customers will find flat screen televisions airing news and sports channels, free Wi-Fi, and wide-open, well lit seating.
This approach adds to CK Grille’s draw as an everyday restaurant, versus one that has the ethnic feel. And why not? Mediterranean food is boasted to be one of best of the choices around for healthy food because of the lack of accumulated fat. Almost everything is cooked by grill, instead of being fried.
An example are the Steak Kabob, featuring char-grilled marinated steak tenderloin cubes (served with vegetables), or the Chicken Kabob featuring marinated chicken breast cubes, charbroiled on skewers (also served with vegetables). But don’t expect to have to drag the meat and vegetables off of a wooden stick with charred edges, CK Grille serves all of their meals off the skewer.
Also cooked on the grille is something unique to the Chaldean-infused, Lebanese fare – the Chicken Shawarma. While the Steak Shawarma - comprised of extra lean steak, slow roasted for about 3-4 hours on the vertical skewer - the chicken (dark and white) is char-grilled to help retain its flavor and prevent it from drying out.
Other signature favorites include vegetarian favorites like the Falafel (Deep-fried pureed chick peas, fava beans, jalapeño & Mediterranean spices), daily prepared Hummus (Ground pureed chick peas blended with tahini, lemon & garlic, served with fresh bread), Fattoush Salad (Lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, parsley, imported sumac tossed with fried pita chips), and an amazing Crushed Lentil soup.
If you want a smaller-portioned meal, try out one of their gourmet wraps (available in white or wheat pita), such as a Beef or Chicken Kafta, or a Chicken Fattoush wrap. Vegetarian wrap choices include the Grape Leaf, Mujadara (Lebanese lentils) with fried onions, Falafel, and a range of Hummus combinations. Be sure not to pass up adding hummus and CK Grille’s garlic sauce, for small price. Make it all a combo, as well, with soup, salad or rice, and a drink, for $2.99 extra.
Pair your food with a selection from the raw juice bar (carrot, apple, and orange combinations), or a tasty fruit smoothie. The Medley is a popular choice, combining strawberry, mango, guava, banana, and honey
Entertaining at work, or needing food for a large party? CK Grille offers in-house and off-site catering services. Locally, CK Mediterranean Grille and Catering also has restaurants in Southfield (25148 Evergreen Rd), and the one that started it all, Mr. Kabob in Berkley (3372 Coolidge Highway).
CK Mediterranean Grille
119 Monroe St., D-7
Detroit, MI 48226
Open Mon.- Sat. 11 a.m., Sun. 12 p.m.