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Nishnosh Mediterranean Grill opens in Hauppauge

Shawarma platter at NishNosh Mediterranean Grill in Hauppauge.

Shawarma platter at NishNosh Mediterranean Grill in Hauppauge. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

Nishnosh Mediterranean Grill brings the vibrant flavors of Israel to a Hauppauge strip mall.

The counter-serve eatery operates somewhat like Chipotle Mexican Grill but instead of tacos and burritos, Nishnosh presents such options as pita pockets, wraps, platters, salads or hummus plates (similar to platters, but with a layer of hummus on the bottom).

This is by no means fast food.  First, you choose the main ingredient from a list that incudes beef shish kebab, ground beef kebab, chicken kebab, shawarma (roasted marinated chicken thighs carved into small pieces), falafel and a vegetarian assortment. Kebabs are grilled to order while you wait. Once the cooking is done, you're summoned to the counter to choose fillings and toppings from behind a showcase -- perhaps cilantro-lime rice, pearl couscous, Mediterranean beans, carrot salad, eggplant salad, Kalamata olives, red cabbage and/or tahini sauce.

On a recent visit to the eatery, I opted for a hummus platter with super-savory shawarma, carrot salad, beans and couscous. Such a colorful and satisfying plate of food. The same held true of my lunch companion's juicy white meat chicken kebab with peppers and onions and nut-cranberry rice.  Options run from $5.50 for a falafel pita pocket to $9.65 for a beef shish kebab platter.

The restaurant's name, said Israeli-born owner Neil Caduri, is an expression used to describe  a variety of food on the table, where you choose a little of this and a little of that.

Nishnosh Mediterranean Grill is at 601 Veterans Hwy., Hauppauge, 631-257-5330.

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