Make Me Wanna Shouk

This South Street hookah bar has always been in our peripheral conscious, a place we vaguely knew about but never got around to visiting. Philly Mag’s feature on $50 dinners lavished praise on their Israeli small plates, and we wondered why haven’t we been to this place? We enjoy Middle Eastern food. We enjoy smoking. We enjoy Aladdin, which is what eating at Shouk is like. The long, narrow space is all stone walls, soft sofas, and flickering lanterns you might expect a genie to jump out of with a cloud of blueberry-scented smoke. We’d ask him for more of Shouk’s hummus, streaked with paprika and golden splash of olive oil. Showered with toasted pine nuts and served with warm Damascus Bakery pita, it’s a meal by itself, though you can add ground beef for a few bucks more. Flavored with pomegranate, cardamom, and mint, Shouk’s cocktails are bold and, in the case of the Guido (Sambuca and Kahlua), mildly offensive. Almost nothing is over $10. Really, it’s true. Like Scooby Doobey Doo.

Photo: Shouk

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