On one of the walls above the counter at Al Rayan, there’s a green, cardboard side of a box that’s been sort of wedged into place. It’s got some Arabic text on it, a few white buildings, and in English, the words “A blessed chicken, thru’n’thru.”
I’m not entirely sure what was in the original box, but the text could have been about my lunch order.
I ordered the #1 under “Other Plates” on the menu. It’s a big plate of seasoned long-grain rice served with tender, grilled chicken and vegetables. The chicken wasn’t super spicy, but it had a little kick to it. It wasn’t anything my glass of water (served cold, but without ice) couldn’t handle. It came with a salad and basket of warm pita bread.
Al Rayan is located on Cleveland, in a section of Midtown that’s generally considered “Crosstown”. Despite living down the street from the restaurant for almost a year, I had never been inside. It’s a fairly small place, but it’s colorful and inviting. At the table next to mine, a group of people were laughing having a super animated conversation that was half in English about someone mailing a package. They had a huge communal plate of food in the center of their table that seemed to have a little bit of everything on it.
The staff is friendly, and they seemed to know a lot of the people that came in to the restaurant to pick up take out orders by name. Al Rayan’s menu has a lot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staples, like falafel, shawarma and kabobs. They’ve got a few special plates, some sandwiches and daily meat specials. The food is Hallal, and most of the things on the menu are less than $10.
288 North Cleveland Street
Memphis, TN 38104