Amalia’s Café, a new Middle Eastern restaurant and hookah bar, is now open on West Passyunk in a storefront that previously was a church called In His Presence Ministry and a Chinese takeout.
Amalia’s, which opened in May, serves a handful of platters of traditional Middle Eastern staples like various types of kebab platters and sandwich versions of the same, plus branzino, lamb chops, a mixed grill and homemade desserts. There is also a selection of tobaccos for hookahs, which happens to be the second hookah option that opened in South Philly in the past couple months.
“People like the chill hookah gives them, they enjoy it and can enjoy a meal at the same time,” said one of the owners, Dawood Abusade.
The early reviews on Yelp are overwhelmingly positive – practically gushing – and on our visit, the staff was welcoming, serving customers a cup of ginger tea for no charge when they are seated.
Prices are quite reasonable, with sandwiches starting at $4.95 and entrees topping out at $15.95. Hookahs go for $11.99 to $14.99. And, it’s BYOB.
The owners also allow customers to play any type of music they want on the restaurant’s stereo. They also cater, deliver, and serve take out.
“When the customer’s plates are clean is when I enjoy this business most,” said Dawood.
The owners, Dawood and Adel Abusada, are uncle and nephew. The business is also named after Adel’s mother. Dawood has only lived in Philadephia for about three weeks, previously owning high end restaurants in his old hometown of Chicago for seven years. Adel has owned several businesses in Philadelphia, as well.
Amalia’s Café: 1431 West Passyunk Ave. Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. Call: 267-639-9532.