House of Mandi (بيت المندي): Delicious Yemeni Cuisine in Northern Virginia
BY: David DeMaria/Contributing Writer
Yemen, the most impoverished nation of all the Arab countries, has been facing a military onslaught and disastrous civil war. Whether this is a necessary military action is a matter of opinion, but Yemen is a nation that is seemingly suffering from being on the wrong side of history. The plight of the nation hasn’t stopped Americans of Yemeni origin in the United States from celebrating their rich culinary heritage.
One restaurant that delivers authentic and delicious Yemeni cuisine is the House of Mandi (بيت المندي), which is located just South of the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia.
The menu is filled with delicious Yemeni traditional dishes, and the restaurant offers a casual dining experience with a warm family atmosphere.
There are many appetizers to choose from, including the popular Shafout (شفوت) which is a mouthwatering yogurt-based salad dish served with bite-sized crispy bread, fresh basil, mint, and jalapeño peppers. It also comes with House of Mandi’s fresh, warm, homemade tandoori bread, or a side of french fries.
The perfect compliment for a delicious appetizer is an ice-cold soft drink which is a refreshing order of fresh lemon juice with mint, or a mango and banana smoothie.
As far as main courses are concerned, you can indulge in the delicious Mandi Lamb (لحم مندي), which features slow oven roasted free-range lamb, covered with banana leaves, seasoned with Yemeni spices, served on a bed of warm, delicious rice, and topped with fried onions. Another great choice would be the Saltah (سلته), a slow-cooked Yemeni stew with vegetables, topped with Helpa, a fenugreek whipped condiment, and served with fresh tandoori bread. Some consider this to be the national dish of Yemen.
House of Mandi is open early, so if you’re looking to start the day Yemeni-style, you can’t go wrong with a delicious Shack-Shookah (شكشوكه), which is a delicious blend of scrambled eggs, sautéed onions, tomatoes, and peppers, topped with melted cheese, and served with fresh tandoori bread.
If you’re looking for a quick sandwich, House of Mandi delivers excellent Shawarmas and Kabobs, and what better way to compliment a delicious sandwich than with the soup of the day (شوربة اليوم) or a side salad. The Cucumber Yogurt Salad (سلطة ذبادي) and Daquos (دقوس), which is a hot salsa served with cheese upon request, are especially tasty.
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to save room for House of Mandi’s delicious dessert menu, which includes traditional favorites, such as Areekah (عريكه) which consists of mashed banana with bits of homemade wheat bread, drizzled with honey and black seeds, then topped with homemade butter, cream, and Australian Kraft Cheese. You also wouldn’t go wrong to select the Fattah with date or (فتة مع التمر) a similar concept to Areekah, but this time, the wheat bread is mixed with dates as opposed to bananas, and drizzled with honey and black seeds, then topped with butter and cream. You can also keep it simple with 3 pieces of home style baklava (بقلاوة) and what better way to compliment dessert than with a warm cup of Arab coffee with dates served in a traditional Dalah (دلة) or carafe (قنينة).
It’s safe to say that Yemenis take a tremendous pride in their food, and their hospitality. House of Mandi is an excellent promoter of Yemeni culture and cuisine of a country that is currently in peril, but will, undoubtedly, persevere to see better days in the future.
House of Mandi5515 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: (571) 414-0506
|Mon||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Tue||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Wed||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Thu||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Fri||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Sat||11:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Sun||11:00 am – 8:00 pm|