Middle Eastern Food

Wood Fire Kabobs

Sayad is a new 100 percent Halal eatery with a wood-fired grill

By Robb Walsh May 14, 2013


Sayad is a new Arab grill on Westheimer between Kirkwood and Dairy-Ashford in the same shopping center as Burger Guys. The crunchy falafels are stellar and the tabouli incredibly fresh, but grilled meats and seafood are the signature dishes here. The chicken kabobs and kofta skewers on the mixed grill I had were exceptionally juicy. The waiter asked if we wanted lemons, garlic sauce or hot sauce--we asked for all three, of course.  The oily red hot sauce was outstanding. The mixed grill was $14.95.

I was surprised to see a pile of wood out front. While I am accustomed to seeing these ornamental woodpiles outside of barbecue joints, this is the first time I have seen one at a Middle Eastern restaurant. The woodpile is meant to remind you that the kabobs and seafood served here are grilled over a hardwood fire. I doubt they actually use any of this neatly stacked wood--the logs are too big. The wood they cook with probably comes in bags.

Sayad displays whole fish on ice just like Tampico, the Mexican seafood restaurant on Airline near 610. You select a fish at the counter at a given price ($14.99 a pound for red snapper), and the chef grills it for you. Our Persian waiter told us that the original Sayad restaurant is in New Jersey--the chef here at the Westheimer location is Palestinian. He described the food as spicy Arab-style cuisine. (He also told us where we could go to find milder Persian flavors.)

I plan on going back to Sayad soon for an Arab fish dinner.

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