Warm, hardworking Kamal “KC” Constantine is of Lebanese descent. Lots of folks in Mobile, Alabama are as well. KC works for Food for Less, a chain of locally-owned grocery stores right here in Mobile. I wanted to toss that out there right away. The man really knows food and he knows all about good food. I have personally known KC for about a year now. I even had the extreme pleasure of partaking in some of his tailgate feast prior to a South AL Jaguars football game last fall. Amazing homemade hummus, grilled meats of all kinds — a true party for the tastebuds.
Flash forward to this past week. A mutual friend (Chris Kalifeh) tells me that Mrs. Constantine (KC’s wife) has opened a Mediterranean restaurant on Old Shell Road. I wanted to know all the details right away. Nope, I couldn’t wait. Yep, you could say I was a little excited about the news. The restaurant (aptly dubbed “Constantine’s”) can be found directly across the street from the Mitchell Center, the home arena of South Alabama Jaguars basketball. My on-campus office is also nearby, so this clean little place will surely earn a regular spot on my lunch calendar.
The eatery is housed (literally) in an older single family home — very cozy!
This open-air patio should get a lot of traffic at night and on cooler afternoons.
The Cream of Lentil soup is an excellent starter – and only $1 with an entree!
This Kafta wrap platter — with housemade pita chips — goes for just $5.95.
The Kafta wrap was absolutely delicious — packed with ground tenderloin, onion, tomato, lettuce, thinly sliced dill pickles, and a delicious yogurt sauce. I had sampled a few kafta skewers at KC’s tailgate party, so I knew I was in for a mighty fine sandwich. It did not disappoint.
Constantine’s newly fashioned menu also features traditional Middle Eastern favorites like baba gannouge, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouli, and kibbi. OK, there’s more. Falafel, spinach pies, meat pies, gyros, baklava — you get my drift. It will take me quite a while to work my way through the entire menu, but you can bet your sweet baba gannouge I will savor every bite of it!
Stay tuned, friends. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this place in the days and weeks to come. They don’t have a website yet. But I’ve often been told that people will beat a path to your door if you simply offer great grub at fair prices. So if that saying holds true, just look for the beaten path along Old Shell Road in West Mobile — and you’ll surely find Constantine’s.