READERS' PICK: A perennial favorite, Tork's moved this past year from its tiny location on Country Club to larger digs on busy Grant Road. The delectable food is just as good as ever, but now you've got some elbow room. Tork's offers a selection of meat and vegetarian dishes, all individually prepared. There are also sandwiches and side orders perfect for the lunch crowd. But for a hearty platter, try the meat combo with stuffed grape leaves, sambusa, kifta and hummus, plus salad and rice. The veggie combo also includes the grape leaves and sambusa, but substitutes spicy deep-fried falafel for the meaty kifta, and two of either the hummus, baba ghanouj, and rice sides. Wash it down with iced mint tea for a cooling experience that'll make you feel like you're on the road to Damascus.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Sinbad's, 810 E. University Blvd. If you're feeling international in the university area, Sinbad's is the place to go. They offer a delicious selection of Middle Eastern cuisine in a smart café setting. There's a wide selection of appetizers, soups, Mediterranean-style salads, breads, platters, entrees and pita wraps. We suggest starting off with the appetizer combination plate (choose among tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanouj, grape leaves, falafel or kibbe) followed by either the meat or chicken shawerma, or a kabab entrée. There are plenty of meatless dishes also. The tile floors and matching wrought iron furniture give the place a clean, casual feel. Get a window table to view the courtyard fountain and passersby. The righteously strong, dark-roasted coffee or the even stronger Arabic coffee will keep you from getting drowsy afterwards. Great food and a lovely setting, perfect for sharing with friends.