Sufrãt brings Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes to Pembroke Pines
The Altillawi brothers want to make Middle Eastern shawarma as familiar to South Floridians as, say, Mexico’s taco.
So the four Jordanian brothers have opened up Sufrãt Mediterranean Grill, a casual restaurant that specializes in kebabs, lamb and beef cheeseburgers with Greek fries, salads, soups, sandwiches, healthy bowls and, of course, slow-roasted gyros and shawarma. Shawarma is one of the most popular street foods in the world, with its iconic slowly-turning vertical rotisserie of meat that is cut into thin slices.
“Shawarma for us, in our culture, is something in the Middle East you see walking the streets,” explains Tamer Altillawi. “There are shawarma stands everywhere. However, we have a big menu. Our concept is Greek with Middle Eastern.”
Sufrãt — pronounced “Soo FRAHT” — had a soft opening in November and a grand opening on Dec. 17 in the Pines City Center at 10430 Pines Blvd., Suite C101 in Pembroke Pines (next to Publix). For more information, go to SufratGrill.com.
The shawarma is sliced to order at the new restaurant Sufrat in Pembroke Pines on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 . The menu is Mediterranean with slow-roasted gyro and shawarma, healthy bowls, lamb and beef cheeseburgers with Greek fries and, of course, lamb kebab. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
The three brothers — Tamer, Samer and Ahmad Altillawi— and their families divide and delegate duties. “Every one of us is good for separate things, from managing the restaurant, to quality control and the seasoning that goes into the cooking,” Tamer Altillawi says. “We try to do everything between us.”
But it all started with watching their mother cook for them.
“Our mom always cooked for us and served all the food at a dining table where all of us gathered. That’s what ‘Sufrãt’ means. Back home, sufrãt is a big dining table where we eat a lot of food and everyone gathers together.”
The Altillawi brothers live throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties, mostly centered in Miami Lakes, Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines.
They chose Pembroke Pines for Sufrãt because the location was formerly one of the locations of the Halal Guys restaurant chain (”The owner is a very nice guy; He was very helpful”) and because of the local population mix.
The shrimp kebab platter at the new restaurant Sufrat in Pembroke Pines. The menu is Mediterranean with slow-roasted gyro and shawarma, healthy bowls, lamb and beef cheeseburgers with Greek fries and, of course, lamb kebab. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
“We feel here we have Latin people who are Colombian or Cuban people or Latin people from all over the world,” says Altillawi. “Plus you have a lot of people from the Middle East, [places] like Pakistan who love the food too.”
So far, the most popular menu items are the shawarma, gyros and chicken kebabs.
“They sell like crazy,” he adds. “The shawarma is about $7. The chicken kebab platters, which are grilled to order and include two skewers with eight pieces of chicken breast meat as well as two side dishes costs $10.99.”