A staple on the Birmingham restaurant scene is a Mediterranean café that has been steadily responding to its clientele with upgrades to its menu and its location for almost 50 years.
Nabeel’s Café & Market was founded by Nabeel Shunnarah in the early 1970s as a sandwich shop and specialty grocery on Oxmoor Road in Homewood. Guests often visited not only for the Camel Rider sandwich, which is on the list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die, but also for a game of backgammon with Shunnarah.
Shunnarah sold the café and market to Ava, John and Anthony Krontiras, who continued to expand on the market, where customers could buy imported European and Mediterranean ingredients, cheeses, spices and sweets. They also added a second famous dish to the café menu that is mentioned in the 100 Dishes to Eat book, the moussaka.
Now, the café’s third owner, Ramsey Duck, is expanding once again, this time adding breakfast and brunch menus.
“I love breakfast food and wanted to look at traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes to offer Birmingham something unique and exciting,” said Duck, whose breakfast menu now consists of manoush, shakshuka, Spanish omelettes and labne with Eastaboga honey and walnuts, plus classic American breakfast dishes.
The chef uses the authentic Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and Russian ingredients that can be found in Nabeel’s Market in all of its café dishes, so the taste of the dishes is authentic Mediterranean, prepared just as you would receive if you were sitting in a café in Italy.
In addition, the café has added draft beer to its menu. “I want it to be a place you can come in, get takeout for the family and enjoy a cocktail or craft beer while you wait or just bring the family for breakfast, lunch or dinner,” Duck said.
Duck has relocated the market, giving the café more space in the dining room. Adding to customer convenience, Nabeel’s also offers delivery through Waitr and Door Dash.