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From high school misfit to The Glutster, via Wahib's

Location

Wahibs Middle East Restaurant

910 E Main St.
Alhambra , CA 91801 United States

I underwent a bit of culture shock during my junior year of high school, transferring to Alhambra from East L.A’s Garfield High School. As a result, I never really made any real friends. Instead, I would entertain myself walking around aimlessly and collecting take out menus from nearby restaurants. And when I had the money for it, trying them out.

For my classmates, the place to go eat after school was Rick’s Drive In & Out for an order of chili-cheese drenched crinkle-cut fries and a large coke with free refills. But for me, the best after-school snack was a little further down Main Street: fresh falafel from Wahib's slatered with the sesame sauce, tahini

At first, I was too embarrassed to eat by myself at Wahib’s and would order a falafel pita sandwich and homemade baklava to go (only to eat it in the back alley while listening to my iPod — as if it was any better). But eventually I got over it and my reward for accepting myself were platters stacked high with roasted eggplant babaganoush spread, sweet charred tomatoes and sometimes juicy lamb kabobs that were still rare on the inside.

Indeed, it was at Wahib’s where I first started to accept my unusual passion for food at such a young age. Waiters greeted me with a complimentary plate of creamy hummus and assorted mekhallel (pickled vegetables) with pita that was always served warm every single time I went. And even if the spread at Wahib’s would cost me at least double of what a burger combo at Rick’s, it was cheaper than lying to myself and trying to be like everybody else at the time. The plates of food were also easily enough for two adults or one growing boy. (This is about the time that I earned the nickname "Teenage Glut-ster" and started food blogging. Hundreds of posts, visits from a certain celebrated chef who cooked with my mother, and various published articles later, I'm now no longer a teenager and simply The Glutster.)

Hummus and other spreadsBut back when I turned 18, there was no question where I would celebrate. I unwrapped sour grape leaves stuffed with highly seasoned gamey lamb and stubby short grain rice while my family giggled at the pinto beans that came with almost everything you order. “Para frijoles? Pues mejor en mi casa!?” “To go out to a restaurant and still eat beans?!” my dad exclaimed. (My family and I were dedicated beaners not for health reasons but for financial ones). But even though most of the kitchen staff working at Wahib’s now are from Mexican descent, legumes —of all types — happen to be staple food in Lebanon, yes, including pinto beans, papa.

Wahib’s Restaurant

BaklavaWahby Wahib and his wife have been doing this since 1981 and have recently introduced a pretty awesome buffet option featuring everything mentioned above and some more that is available all day ($10 lunch and $14.99 for Dinner Everyday; $11.99 Monday And Thursday). You can at least get your money’s worth with the all you can eat garlic sauce for which certain  Armenian chicken chain restaurants charge extra.

Wahib's Middle Eastern910 E. Main St.Alhambra CA( 626 ) 281-1006 

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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9 thoughts on “From high school misfit to The Glutster, via Wahib's”

  1. HARDINGCatherine

    Various people in the world receive the home loans from various creditors, just because it is simple and comfortable.

  2. Love the food at Wahib’s, but the service is hit-or-miss at best and
    often horrible.

  3. This is an especially good referral for this vegetarian Latina in the area. Eat on Javier!

  4. This is an especially good referral for this vegetarian Latina in the area. Eat on Javier!

  5. This is an especially good referral for this vegetarian Latina in the area. Eat on Javier!

  6. I’ve been going to Wahib’s for over 20 years. A special treat is the Lebanese breakfast. Labaneh, foul, eggs and tomato and lots of other stuff in the combo breakfast. Breakfast for one is usually more than enough for two people.

  7. How often have I been on Main St. without ever knowing there was MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD? I melt for Middle Eastern food, MMMMM. I am so there.

  8. I couldn’t agree more about Wahib’s. Their food was pretty good. Of course, A+ for the hookah lounge patio area~

  9. Definitely going to try Wahib’s out now,
    Thanks for the tip!

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